Saturday, October 02, 2004

XXX: State of the Union

Saturday, Alameda Naval Base, CA

I am suited up head to toe in Marine camouflage complete
with flak jacket (w/gear and fake grenades), helmet,
and decommissioned M-16 (meaning it used to be, and
still looks, fully operational, but will not fire).
the costume dept has people scanning us to make sure
we look proper. I am scolded because my pants are not
bloused properly with respect to my boots and my laces
are not tucked in. if you have OCD, I urge you to get
into this field. our set location is the second level
of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. Its size cannot be
overstated. if you materialized here, you would assume
you were in a military warehouse. concrete floors.
tanks. trucks. girders. Imagine a high school
gymnasium. triple the smell and imagine 9 of them laid
end-to-end lengthwise. The big scene I am in is where
the military is mobilizing for a _massive_ assault.
there are Marines and Navy boys scurrying around,
including numerous tanks, jeeps, and armored personnel
carriers. I am manning a 7mm turret gun on an APC.

we shoot for 15 hours and I never again wish to see
another mini bagel. funniest prop: waaaay at the end
of the ship where the camera can barely reach are
three tanks. From the camera's angle, these tanks look
menacing. they are 10 feet tall, drab green, with
impressive turrets on them. upon closer inspection
they are entirely plastic with no moving parts except
their over-sized shopping cart wheels to move them

setup for the cool shot of the day: Ice Cube, that
debonair XXX agent, steals one of our tanks and is
attempting to escape in it. The room is smoky. a
tank's rumble can be heard and suddenly Marines are
scattering in every direction. "Go! go! go!" they call
as the flaming tank bursts into the foreground and out
of frame. it was incredibly cool. they had to shoot it
4 times. the first two the timing was off for the
stunt men, the 3rd time the tank ran out of gas.

I did not get a chance to speak with Mr. Cube. He was
hustled off in his Town Car the instant his scenes
wrapped. He probably needs some time to warm up to me.

I'll be on set tomorrow and possibly other days this

I finally broke down and bought a digital camera and
will be posting publicly for all and sundry to point
and laugh at my hair cut.