Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Swing Vote" movie

Also read Global Warming, the real thing.

'Kevin Costner's Swing Vote is being filmed here in New Mexico. The 'casting call' came in from Elizabeth Gabel's Far Horizon Studios. Thank you for putting this 'Geezer' to work, Elizabeth. I get to play as a 'Greenleaf Supporter' (bearded Geezer) on 'Dennis Hoppers' 'Donald Greenleaf' Party. I have to dress 'conservatively', now that sounds strange. The scene is set in a 'New England' fall setting. Of course this is in the Sandia mountains of New Mexico in August so it will be about 85 if we are lucky. I am to be dressed in layers, tweeds, coats and scarves. I was asked to bring 3 sets of clothing plus what I am wearing. The wardrobe is sorted and ready, my clothes to wear are positioned on a spare bed. The call time is 5:00AM so wake up is about 4:00AM. The 'Hotline call' line this evening is to verify the 'Call time'. These are long days for sure but fun nonetheless.

20 August 2007, 'O dark 30' and up at 3:30 AM. Drove to Madera, parked at 'Extras Parking' caught the school bus to the 'base camp'. Bagels and cream cheese with instant coffee. Sign in and board the bus followed with a short drive to the set. Nice house overlooking the East Mountains on the East side of the Sandia Crest. This is not far from where the 'Geezer' lived at one time many years ago. I asked about the owner of the nice home on an overlook. No one seemed to know. Well all of a sudden I saw an old acquaintance from my years in the banking industry, standing in the doorway of the garage. His home was being used for this film sequence. For sure 'it's a small world after all', as that 'hellish' song at Disneyland goes.

The very next surprise came when I was questioned for being in an area of the set where I did not belong (My friends home). Rebeca, an 'extras casting associate', made 'the bust'. Of course she is very good at that sort of thing, seeing as she is the daughter of one of our past Police Chiefs. It's hard to get away with anything on these sets. The fact that she knew my friend as well, made the entire scenario a little 'special'.

We formed groups of 25 and were assigned to positions which we maintained most of the day with breaks to get some relief from the sun. We were dressed for weather in New England. Top coats, scarves, Layered look, long sleeves, and some hats. Morning was not bad. Dennis Hopper and his wife (stage) walk through our 'gauntlet' numerous times, while we clap, cheer and generally act enthused. Techno Crane 30 followed all of the action. (We used a bigger Super Techno Crane on the set of Wild Hogs, I referred to it as 'Johnny 5'). Today Blogengeezer got to wear a tan hat, clamp a pipe in his teeth, and wear a light colored windbreaker, which was better than a heavy top coat. Men 'sweat ed' like horses, through all of this, during the afternoon sun. To say the least, the women were 'glowing' like horses. Three people passed out from the heat, Drink water , was the endless call around the set. Nobody died today..

During our 'Comanche Moon' filming in 2006 (start of this 'Da Flikkers' blog) I had a wife that rode in the carriage with me, walked the sidewalks of 'old Austin' with me, and carried a parasol. She wore a hoop skirt and bonnet. This was 'Shani' my second wife. Well as Jack Nicholson said in 'The Shining', "Sheee's back". Well Jack didn't say that exactly. Anyway she is still a very beautiful young wife and fun to work in films with. Tall Bryan was on this set as well as Chuck the butcher (he survived) from Comanche Moon (check out his website ) and 'Curly' that stabbed the dead Indian some more after the massacre in old Austin. Hank a retired bank exec was there as well.

Debbie the Strawberry redhead, always impressed me from other films we worked on including Comanche Moon. Debbie reads a lot and recommends Cormak MCarthys, 'All the Pretty Horses', 'The Crossing' and 'Blood Meridian'. This book set is a 'trilogy' about the border and Deb said it made her cry. Don't say we didn't tell you. We work together on the 21st at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque. See you there Deb. John, one of the 'reporters' told me it was his second day on Swing Vote and he is loving every bit of it. Thanks John, I hope to see you again on another set.

We basically repeated the same sequence most of this day, where Dennis Hopper walks to the podium, watched intently by the ever observant Secret Service agents, one of which was played by 'Marcy', and gives a speech proclaiming his allegiance to several prominent people on stage. Every base was covered for his 'Rainbow' Whitehouse. American Indians, American Hispanics, American Koreans, American Blacks, American Muslims, American Jews. Everyone but Anglo Americans, Oh wait, that's Dennis. Dennis makes a lot of Bloopers so we do the sequence over, and over, and over again until some sort of continuity is filmed. The names of each one of the 'stage people' were especially difficult for him. They were long complex names, so he has an excuse.

Dennis Hopper is a shorter guy than I thought, still looks pretty fit. He looked taller in 'Easy Rider'. Peter Fonda, his 'Easy rider' sidekick, is pretty tall, He showed up at the end in 'Wild Hogs' when we filmed it in NM last summer. Check archives about March of 2007.

Lunch break was veggies, spaghetti and meatballs, Lemonade (pretty good stuff) served back at base camp (another bus ride). After that little break we returned (more Bus riding) for more of the Greenleaf support work. The end of the day slowly rolled around with a mob scene down the hill from the house. Lots of yelling and booing, most likely when the two candidates demonstrators met? I wasn't there.

Boone was the opposition to the presidency against Greenleaf. The last scene we did was at the polling place, an old church down near base camp (bus ride). It was over quickly so we were able to grab a piece of pizza and board the bus again for sign out at base camp, then board the bus one final time for a ride to the parking lot. Being on set until 8 PM is a real long day. Now I know what 'the Freedom Riders' went through, Bus rides anyway..

Rebeca was waiting for us along with other 'associates'. She signed me out and gave me her em for further discussion about 'The Chief'. See you on the next set Rebeca. Get some sleep so you can do this entire thing again tomorrow.

Debbie, maybe we will do some good 'back ground acting' tomorrow at 'Love N Dancing' See you there. We are supposed to dress up real nice for this one. I have my Geezer 'Tux' all lay ed out. Maybe it will be just like 'Dancing with the Stars'? The next filming for 'Swing Vote' comes up for the Geezer on the 4th and 5th of September in Belen NM. I can hardly wait, due to the wonderful attitude of everyone on this set. Good Job Ya'll, hope to meet again, I'll blog the next days 'as well' or 'as worse' than this one. Maybe in the comments below or......?


Blogger blogengeezer said...

Kelsey Grammer was in Albuquerque for his part in this filming of Swing Vote. He and his wife took a ride up to the Sandia Crest on the Tram.
He apparently was unimpressed due to the way he called it a 'hill' (10,678 feet) and when describing the ride as 'loooong', there was a certain way it was said. Too bad he knew nothing of the history of the mountain.
Read the following post about our '39Th anniversary' to learn just a little about the Sandia Crest geology.
Kelsey grammer apparently stayed at the Sandia Indian Casino which is near the base of the mountain. He described it as a small Indian Reservation. It is a very nice modern facility by the way.
I believe Kelsey grammer has seen all of the world and is little impressed with our area. I always wonder why the Holywood types move to Santa Fe New Mexico, when they are nearing retirement.
What attracts them to this small out of the mainstream existance that they distained while rising stars? What in the world attracted 'Valerie Plame' here?

9:49 AM  

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