Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Rich From Children's Television

While Brian and I were producing the animation for the pilot of Between the Lions at The Ink Tank they approached about making a few other short films.

One of these was "Sloppy Pop", that's a story for another time.  The other was "Gawain's Word".

Jesse Gordon was the director.  We boarded from the script and I tracked down where to get armor and scouted for a location.

We envisioned a "meadow".  Keep in mind we're in New York City.  For some reason it never occured to me to look outside of the city.  Why bother -"Flushing Meadows" is huge on the map?

Of course, Flushing Meadows aren't really meadows.  Like the Sea of Tranquility isn't really a sea.

Kerrylyn Genetive drove me and Jesse around Queens in a rented Volkswagon Rabbit (I think) going from green patch to green patch and coming up empty each time.

We were about to give up when we pulled into a 7 Eleven -this gives you an idea of how far we travelled in our search.   Jesse asked some kids in the parking lot if they knew where there was a meadow.  Blank stares. I added "you know, like, a field where you can go drinking and nobody will see." Bingo.  Go right, go left, go through the church parking lot, past the tennis courts and you can't miss it.

They knew what they were talking about.

We came back that weekend to shoot two scripts.  In the pilot shoot, "Gawain" was an empty suit of armor (Norman Stiles idea, and it was hilarious -but the "educators" nixed it after the pilot).

We also have a few "knight cam" shots where we cut cookies in the shape of their visors mounted them in the mattebox and ran towards the other knight.  This was also cut for educational purposes.

I don't remember who was who, but I play the gold knight in most episodes.  I think Scott Dodson is the silver knight in a bunch.  A friend of a friend Jesse's is the silver knight sometimes too -I completely forgot about him until now. And Matthew Salata is "Gawain".

We did two more shoots after the pilot of different words, but the running knights are always me and Scott.

On the third shoot Sam Henderson is the gold knight and Jeff Jensen is the silver.  Because of the union deal, the actor got $150 or so per episode -and we could sho0t about 20 per day.  After doing the pilot and the first set, I figured I would give the gig to somebody else.  Although I could sure use that $2000 now.

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