Since time was short, I gave the production company a call. The folks at RDF weren't sure about providing plane fare, but they had no problem with a bunch of Yanks applying, if we could meet the application deadlines (which were only a few weeks away). They dispatched the team information packet, application form, and instructions.
yea, deadlines. Since the US showing was well after the UK one, the
applications happened to be due in about two weeks time. (which was
how long it took the post to get the forms to us, they arrived on the due
date). Jackie was very helpful, I promised her the forms would be
in her electronic mailbox Monday morning, and the tape would follow as
fast as FEDEX could get it to her.
Geo's form dp's formCrashes' form
We all agreed that explaining a sewing machine was the best of the three (besides we didn't have a spare Mr. Coffee to sacrifice), and with a borrowed video camera, and without a script, we headed over to Geo's Chinatown loft to start filming. The introductions were quickly dispatched, and we moved to the next phase, constructing the model of a sewing machine. We did this on camera, as it seemed like it would show how we would manage under "real life" conditions. Materials were things "just lying around" Geo's space. With a spool of electric blue Cat-5 ethernet cable for the bobbin itself, and some PVC pipe for the needle, the three of us took our positions. Crash played the needle and tension arm, I was the hook and feed dogs, and Geo rolled around on the floor as the bobbin.
made 5 stitches in a hunk of mat board, each of us calling out our role
as we played out the part. We got genuine two thread lock stitches, and
(incidentally) showed why a presser foot is a good idea. We did some
basic editing, and I left with a precious item, the original copy of the
final version. I had it converted to PAL, and sent both off with
paper copies of the forms. Later Geo played with some real editing
gear, and produced the "dance mix" version (fancy titles, etc.).
to Raissa, for operating the camera, and providing the opening joke. You can watch Sewing machine magic hosted on Metacafe
Sewing Machine Magic - A Successfull Junkyard Wars Audition. - Funny video clips are a click away
Atlantic makes a day trip very difficult, so I got a list of supplies to
acquire. The plan was that we would have a video camera running,
and they would call and tell us what problem we had to solve. We
actually improved on the original plan by having a webcam so they could
watch live (a task made much more complicated by the imposition of
firewalls, and by some bugs in MS NetMeeting).
asked some technical and safety habits questions, and the team and film
crew retired to a lecture hall to watch ourselves on a large screen (it
happened to be the nearest VCR to duplicate the tape with), and to gather
energy to face the rest of the day. (The taping session was intense, and
we were left seriously short on adrenaline.) They had a few more
teams to audition, so it would be a tense 3 weeks before we would hear
On March 28th my company held an overnight retreat, putting me out of touch. Of course that was when the roster was settled. I got to the hotel after midnight, checked my email, and found a "call me" message from Jackie. I left her the number at the hotel, and gave her a time to call. (a very early time, as I had to be out the door by 6:30 am) She called and said "Unfortunately you will be spending your summer with us". Since it was so early, I had to restrain my urge to jump around and shout. I let the others know, and was too excited to get back to sleep.
Right now we are scheduled to tape the week of June 4. More details as we learn them.
We leave for London Friday evening, 2 June 2000. While the construction taping isn't until Wednesday, we are allowing an an ample buffer to hopefully get over some of the jet lag.
Practice. Since the primary welding technology used on-set appears
to be MIG, those of us that normally practice other welding disciplines.
decided to borrow a machine and give it a go. Crash supplied the
venue, Phil kindly brought over his machine, dp supplied the scrap metal
to practice on and automatic welding helmets to play with. Also in attendance
was Alex. Crash taught her how to use a cutting torch, and the basics of
gas welding. I suspect both Phil and Crash will be purchasing auto-darkening
welding helmets very soon. (the picture isn't of MIG, but I like the fireball)