Yesterday, Break released a Fourth of July video that we made, called "I Hate Britain Day". It's getting hundreds of thousands of views... and a record number of comments. Here are 11 little behind-the-scenes notes about the video...
The actor we hired for the video is, obviously, an older man. And while we love and respect our elders, they can be somewhat tricky to work with. Because old guys have a lot of stories... and a limited amount of short-term memory. So sometimes, we do a ton of takes to get the lines right... and hear a lot of stories in between those takes. This shoot took over nine hours. But it's all good for the final product. Plus, this actor tells some hilarious and quotable stories.
For the video, we needed to shoot at a lot of locations that were right on Lincoln Blvd... which is an extremely busy street. Lots of traffic noise is bad for our audio so, basically, we'd have to wait for a lull in traffic and then bang out as many takes as possible. Coupled with the aforementioned short-term memory issue, this was, naturally, a monster challenge.
A lot of people have asked about the slap at the end (1:40 - 1:44). It's all camera and editing tricks. We had Jack (the old guy) pretend, slowly, to punch Mike (the young guy.) With the camera angle, you can't see the impact. Then Paul sped up the footage to make it look like a fast slap and added a sound effect.
When we shot in front of the log pile, we really wanted some homeless guys' shopping carts in the background, as an added satirical detail. And we thought this would be no problem because, for some reason, homeless guys always leave their shopping carts out in front of that log pile (which is right across from our office). Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, the day we shot, there were no shopping carts there. So we had to go steal one, and then use the blankets from Paul's trunk to make it look like a homeless guy's cart (1:24).
We loved the Super Jesus line (0:59), and thought we'd have to Photoshop an image of Super Jesus. Nope. We Google Image Searched that, and, turns out, plenty of pictures of Super Jesus already exist.
We decided to leave the photos of the Beatles, Jesus, Super Jesus and George W. Bush up on our wall. So far, most guests have been outraged... over the GWB photo only.
Reading the comments on the video, I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- at how many people completely missed the satire. I mean... we thought it was smack-you-in-the-face obvious. Pretending to support our awesome wars? Stealing our language? SUPER JESUS? How could these possibly be construed as real? Which only proves once again: Never underestimate the idiocy out there online.
We had a big debate over the "suck my old man balls" line (1:48). Apparently, Jack showed the script to his girlfriend the day before and she freaked out about that line. So we made a deal with him: Three versions of the line. One where he'd just say "England can suck it", one where we'd cut the line entirely, and one of the "England can suck my old man balls." He agreed to that.
We did one take with the line cut out, then asked him to do it with the "old man balls" part... and then "forgot" to do it the other way and just kept doing "old man balls" takes. Which was the right call -- it's infinitely funnier that way.
Getting Alexandra Paul from "Baywatch" to record the opening for us was pure luck (0:00 to 0:07). We were filming some of the scenes outside the Federal building in Westwood and she just happened to be out in front of it doing an Iraq protest. (You can see them on the left of the screen at 0:17.) Jack recognized her... started talking to her... we explained what we were doing... she liked it... so we asked her to record the opening, and she was game. She wanted to see the rough cut before we published though, to make sure she was cool with her image being used that way. We sent here a rough cut a few days ago and she responded that she was "honored" to be part of it. Gotta love that.
Unfortunately, we left our lapel mic clipped to Alexandra. So, as we were driving home... with the nine-hour shoot behind us... I got a call on my cell phone. It was her. (I'd given her my Break business card.) She told us we could meet her to get it back. The meeting place? Soupplantation.
(For those unfamiliar, Soupplantation is a delicious buffet-style soup and salad restaurant chain.) I mean, I knew Soupplantation was good... but who knew that it's the choice of ex-Baywatch superstars?!
And finally, right now, since both of our Jack videos have been bit hits (our Fuck the Earth Day one was the other), we're debating what to satirize next. It's either going to be immigration or gay marriage. To be determined...
This post was originally published on Friday, July 4, 2008 at 08:49:35 AM under the category Web & Tech.