(This post references iSundae II: Attack of the Cones, part 9. You may want to view the movie before reading this post.)
Believe me, after twenty minutes of acting under two-thousand watts of light (and more than five yards of velvet) you feel like you’re flying, and it’s not a pleasant sensation.
Staying cheerful and hydrated during the Flying Machine Sequence was one of the hardest and most personally challenging things I did during the production of iSundae II. The staying cheerful part especially. Bad attitudes can spread like wildfire on the best of days, and filming in a tight area just makes them spread faster. I think the extra effort showed as Gwenanda getting steadily crazier. We got quite a few outtakes and “behind the scenes” clips. I guess those made up, in a small way, for the difficulties.
The room we were filming in would have been a great size if we had taken all the furniture out, but that wasn’t really practical. So all seven of us crammed in between the couches, television, speakers, bookcases, recliner, and foosball table. Us, and two of our biggest production lights. When you get that many heat-producing bodies in that size of an area, things warm up really quick. With the lights it was just awful. Oh, and then we lost about three feet off of one end of the room because the weather-balloon of a blue screen had to hang a ways out from the wall. But somehow we all crammed in there and made it to filming.
As soon as you can get over not being able to see much and the vague feeling that you’re in a giant microwave, filming with the big lights isn’t too bad. I’m here to testify that you can get used to it! Just make sure that none of your costume fabrics are flammable.
Acting for this scene was easy. We actually got to sit down almost the entire time! We faced the flying machine left, and said our lines. We faced the machine toward the camera, and said our lines. We turned to the right, and said our lines. You get the basic idea. And you’d think we would know our lines really well by the end of the first two times through, but you’re reckoning without the heat. And it didn’t help that as we got more loopy, things seemed more funny.
All in all it was a . . . good experience. I now know how to survive under all that velvet. You don’t think about it, and try to help everyone else forget that we’re presenting a passable imitation of baked trout. And it did pay off. We got some great footage and ended up having fun.
Here’s a video of some of the craziness from the flying machine filming day: