Thursday, December 13, 2007

The World Of WD

Can't get that damn song out of my head.

Ok. So last Thursday and Friday I stunt coordinated on the newest music video of a pop star. Since I know how much you guys love your sleuthing I won't tell you who. But I've already given you a HUGE clue and the more I tell you about the day, the less I'll be able to keep from you.

The first day was out in the desert. Soledad Canyon. It was 5:30 AM and the sun wasn't anywhere near up. Below is the first picture of the day when the sun was starting to rise. You can see the grip truck also in the picture. A couple of hours pass...nothing happens. I know she's here with her mother but they aren't filming. I walk over to set and see they are trying to filming everything they can without her in it. Since she is the star of the video and in practically every frame, there's not a lot that can be shot without her.

One of the things I'm there for is a fight scene between her and 3 stunt people. To keep things moving I offer to teach her Stand In the fight so we could shoot that without her. The director was excited about the option and had me do so. Her stand in was wonderful. Really sweet and grounded and a musician herself. She picked the fight right up, but as it turns out Pop Star (PS for short) was on her way to set. 3.5 hours after arriving.

Now set is a little like high school. So many rumors. The first one I heard was that PS refused to come out of her trailer for 3.5 hours. The second one I heard was the trailers weren't ready when PS and her team got there so that's why they were so late. The 3rd I heard was that the trailers were ready. Who knows. The only sure fact was that the day had just started and we were already 3.5 hours behind schedule. Because it was such an ambitious shooting schedule, that 3.5 hours is going to be tough to get back.

The producer and director are both very good at what they do, and have worked on a number of other huge videos. PS walks over the rock terrain with the help of her hair stylist on one arm and her mother on the other. At first I inwardly roll my eyes because she had someone on either arm helping her. Then I see the shoes she's wearing and I understand. They are really cool, bright orange docks but with heels, and not at all practical for this terrain.

Once on set she's really sweet. Open and friendly. And when I am showing her how to trip and fall she's all ears and excited to learn. She is not a diva. She is not a bitch. She's just never had to struggle for what she wanted like we have. Hell, I don't know if this is even what she wants. It might just be what her parents want.

The day continues. Banging out shots. I overhear her mother say to her "Are you sure you like how that jacket fits you?" Within 30 minutes of that comment, PS decides she hates her outfit and can't shoot anymore. Again not out of diva, but out of anxiety. Production is on hold for 2.5 more hours while they find a better outfit. It's cold out. There is a perpetual dust storm and she's the only one with a trailer. We were not happy. PS finally comes back to set in an AWESOME outfit, black and white dress with red tights. Looking great. Gets into place, starts to sing to the playback, and a gust of wind knocks over the sets. We have to wrap for the night.

The next morning we were at a sound stage. So much more comfortable. This was my big day. For stunts we have wire work with PS flying around a padded cell; the fight of her vs. 3 stunt people and 2 eight foot falls for 2 stunt people. I have John Dixon as my rigger. He's amazing. He just got off set with Indiana Jones VI (gave me a hat) and is Steve Martin's stunt double in Pink Panther 2.

I take the harness PS is going to wear to her dressing room and ask her to try it on. We put it on her. I leave to go check on the rigging and I hear them shouting my name. I go running back. PS is freaking out because it's too tight. She is having a panic attack and everyone is feeding into it.

I just walk up and say "What's wrong?" She's freaking out and says "I can't breathe". I say "Oh, did you want to be conscious for this next scene?" She just looks at me, then says "yes." I say "Oh. Then we can fix that right away. I clearly misunderstood". She started to laugh. Instantly the panic went away.

I fixed her harness and we were good. We had no more panic moments after that. The thing is every time the director yelled cut, there were instantly 7 people around her. I figured out that one was her make-up, one was hair, one was her clothing stylist, one was her wardrobe, one was her mother and the other 2 I still don't know. Maybe their jobs were just to tell her how amazing she was.

She has one scene where she is crazy. She is in a straight jacket bouncing around a padded cell. She did a great job. After I walk up to her and say "Man, you really looked crazy," one of those people added in quickly "But in a good way."

The rest of the day went well. PS's boyfriend stopped by. He's also a famous musician. They were cute how much they liked each other. The falls got cut due to time but everything else went well. PS rocked the fight. It looked so good that after we shot it, the video guy put it on a loop so that it played over and over on all the monitors in the studio.

Pictures are below. PS isn't in any of them, but it's the sets from the video so you'll get a glimpse of them before you see the video!

A bunch of music label big wigs watching PS on the monitor.

The Art Department (who created some amazing sets for this video) setting up Freud's office.



These are the other performers in the vid. They are playing PS's family, news reporters, fans and paparazzi. Oh, and Dr Freud.


Her bed for a dream sequence. Not the clearest picture.



Another set on her video. Her parents are sitting to the left in the picture. Her dad actually makes a cameo in the video. I think he's the driving force of her career...and everyone else in her family.

57 comments:

surfer said...

Could the pop star be Miley Cyrus? She must be young if her parents were there.

Cho said...

yay, a WD post! i always love these. thanks so much for the insight!

vamp said...

and doesnt miley date a jonas brother?

Khemenu said...

ashlee simpson?

Nicklas said...

Ashlee Simpson

steve said...

TRASHLEE SIMPSON. DONE.

Chatty said...

That does sort of look like Joe Simpson in the last picture, and I'd say he's he driving force in Ashlee's career...and the family comment gets me too. Something about the way WD says that makes me lean towards an overbearing Dad (Joe), and away from someone who seems sweet and down to earth like Billy Ray Cyrus.

Chatty said...

Ah ha!
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1576229/20071211/simpson_ashlee.jhtml

It's a video for her song "Out of my Head" (clever WD)

parissucksliterally said...

after Dominique Swain was such a disappointment, who cares who WD is?
at least have a guest poster be someone interesting and important.
WD is probably another DLister- big whoop.

jax said...

(eye roll)

Leslie said...

Good one, Chatty!

xxo Ashley said...

I like Olivia Wilde, hopefully WD is her. I never would have guessed Ashlee Simpson is so paranoid and anxiety ridden...kind of weird.

Cho said...

i'm not an ashlee simpson fan, but i do think its nice that she and wentz actually like each other, and arent just doing all that for the cameras.

surfer said...

great detective work Chatty!

classy_stoner said...

God I hate any and all of the Simpson clan.

jax said...

Bless you WD from what i've heard Asslee is a complete nightmare and a rude lil biotch to everyone.
Spoiled brat comes to mind.

Member that drunken Mcdonalds video?

donna said...

wd .. thanks for the cool insider view into hollyweird .. you did a good job of making us put our detective hats on and hats off to chatty ... columbo would be proud!

Sharon said...

Awesome, I love the kind of technical/organizational insight you give in your stories.

Is it common for music video filming to be like two days or so or is this considered a "big" production?

Also, what do you think of the future of music videos in general? With the reduction in video rotation on television and a migration of viewers to the internet are these kinds of productions in danger of extinction?

Thanks for your stories! I look forward to them.

Kory said...

Great work Chatty.

I don't care who WD or AP is, as long as they provide interesting stories.

If you were disappointed by DS, then you haven't learned the key to happiness is lower expectations.

DNfromMN said...

Hey WD, it really sounds like you love what you do. And thanks are due, just for giving us some insight into that.

Just FYI, if there are straight-jackets and a padded room, NAMI (national alliance for the mentally ill) are going to be all up in arms. Straightjackets aren't used anymore, and it's stigmatizing. They got all up in JC Chasez's face because of the cover art for his CD.

parisss said...

dnfrommn- are you sure this isn't america young? I've tried to look for another candidate, but she is the only one. The latest news (listed on her website) is:
11/06/07 - Launch party for Assassin’s Creed with the cast of Heroes. What a party as only MAXIM could throw!

11/01/07 - We won the Assassin’s Creed/IFC contest! “While the top 10 entries were all very solid, video game and film fans alike voted Greg Reid’s ‘The Ultimate Weapon’ the clear winner,” said Tony Key, vice president of marketing You can check it out at http://medialab.ifc.com/assassinscontest


10/15/07 - Episode 2 of General Elevator is out! Check it out at http://www.nationalbanana.com.

10/08/07 - The video for Queens of the Stone Age that I was in and did fight choreography for is out! 3’s and 7’s You can see it on Youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=VqUiPtG_Rdw


10/04/07 - Did Motion Capture for the new James Bond Video at Activision. Love doing that!

And in WD's last post she writes:
" The music video work was because I did a favor for the production company fight coordinating the Queens of the Stone Age music video, 3's and 7's, a couple of months ago practically for free. "

parisss said...

*Cast of Heroes (possible ENT connection?)
*Queens of the stoned age video connection, and even mentions the production company
*Mentions doing Motion capture for James bond video game
*Has a Jennifer Garner connection (trainer guy I think)

Irishstayc said...

Thanks for another great insight into the biz WD. And chatty - awesome detective work!! I too am surprised that asslee wasn't a diva beeatch on set. Now WD... what can you tell us about my imaginary boyfriend Timabaland??? come on spill it!

curious_cailyn said...

parissucksliterally: Your post was RUDE. ...Ent made it VERY clear upfront that WD was not a "big name." Some of us are capable of finding a person interesting even if she's NOT one of those overexposed, drug-addled fame whores we're all so familiar with.

Play nice.

ana said...

I think videos with the whole crazy in a padded room thing are so DUMB.

parisss said...

Curious Cailyn- you did the DS research, didn't you? Any thoughts on the identity? I love hearing what the life of an actress is- but I like the mystery more.

DNfromMN said...

pariss: y'know. I didn't look at all of America young's news. The Queens of the Stone Age thing kinda clinches it, doesn't it.

When WD addressed it, she said it was a "close call". I'm wondering if Ent knows her under one of her different names? And didn't recognize her as America Young. This is what EL said: "not even close".

Between this (QotSA video), the movie with Josh Alba, and the training by Jen Garner's martial arts person. I really think this has to be her.

But I recall we were really sure on who ZX/DS was before curious_cailyn kept digging.

Tracee said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this, BUT I after hearing WD's recap I feel sorry for Ashlee. It's one thing for handlers to make her neurotic, but her parents making her feel insecure in front of everyone? Creepy.

Thanks for the deets WD!

parisss said...

Pimpa has a cameo in her video. He's seems like such a perve.

some said...

speaking of DS, has any of the video from the CDANCON been posted anywhere? i've only seen the photos of DS and the other attendees on the CDANCON page.

parisss said...

Alternate Names:Danielle America Young / Danielle Young

parisss said...

America Young:
Miscellaneous Crew:
Spider-Man 3 (2007) (VG) (motion capture actress)

surfer said...

some--I think it's probably safe to say that you've heard the last about CDANCON. Not sure that there was any video shot. To say that Hez was disappointed in the way things went down would be an understatement, although not with the people who were there.

parisss said...

WD writes on 11/30 she had a:
"Writing session with my friend. We are producing a webisode together. I'm really excited about it.
On 11/20 America posts:
"11/20/07 - Episodes 4 & 5 of General Elevator are up at http://www.nationalbanana.com!!! "

anon said...

speaking of hez, can u guess her new screenname?

noel said...

Personally, I don't care what names people use.

I just take the comments for what they are

Love the posts

Thanks for writing about your work and good luck...

Twisted Sister said...

I just had a friend of mine post this enlarged, lightened version on her photobucket site. It's here if anyone is interested:

http://s78.photobucket.com/albums/j110/EmmieR1/?action=view¤t=Image2.jpg

jax said...

as for WD's identity..was there any guesses for Zoe Bell?

I had prior said the chick from DeathProof..who is Zoe.
apparently Quentin worked with her b4 and wrote the role for her as she is an actress AND a stuntwomen.

sorry if we've been down this road already.

jax said...

it's totally her..she worked on Alias with Jen Garner and did a lot of stunts for Tarantino/Kill Bill.

most of her work is listed in the last few years...AND she does look like a hotter younger version of Amy Poehler.

Kim said...

twisted sister, that link just takes me to the log in page of photobucket :(

Sharon said...

Jax, that would so rock if it was.

I just watched that (Deathproof) the other day and lurved the car chase scene where she is hanging on the front of the car with the belts! Woot! What a rush. And then totally giggled when she pops out of the bushes after being tossed from the car with "I'm okay! I'm totally okay!"

I became an instant fan.

Mooshki said...

I thought Ent said that WD lost the role on "Lost" to Zoe Bell. And Ent seemed pretty clear that she is not America.

Twisted Sister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arlene said...

More confirmation on Ashlee / Outta My Head; here's a pic in the desert with the rockin' orange boots.

Ashlee still from video shoot

RandomRamblings said...

I agree that the video shoot is Ashlee Simpson's latest video. Good work on finding out all of the information. Good finds.

I still think WD is Olivia Wilde. Until I get something that rules her out, that will be my guess. No need to change yet.

vamp said...

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/18404381.html


its ashley!

GammaGirl said...

I agree the pop star was ashlee. She literally JUST shot her video and as other commenter's have pointed out, pimpa and mama simpson are hella controlling.

AS usual, LOVE the post from WD. So much wit and insight...its refreshing!

parisss said...

WD said she didn't get the part on LOST, but she lost it to Zoe Bell

parisss said...

I've been looking for info on Olivia Wilde. I found this quote of hers, which leads me to believe she is not a stunt person:

Were you good swimmers before taking this film?

OW: I’ve always been a swimmer. It had been my sport. That helped me out. Josh and I really got better as time went on. By the end, we were so impressed with how long we could hold our breathe and we really took pride in the fact that we could some of the stuff that the stunt doubles layed on us.

parisss said...

Ok- my system is down at work, so I'm researching. Olivia Wilde doesn't do stunts, but for the movie Turistas her stunt double was Mehgan Heaney-Grier. She's an interesting choice to look at. I am not finding too much info on her other than she is World Cup free diver, and has many free-diving awards. She's 30. Shit. Nevermind. SHe was Jessica Alba's stunt double in Into the Blue.

parisss said...

And I found that Zoe Bell WILL be on Lost, for the part WD described. Zoe is also starring in 2 upcoming action films (according to an article about her being on Lost).

anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon said...

Thanks WD. I enjoy reading your posts. I was wondering your thoughts on reality tv stars who get opportunities most actors would die for including guest appearances on network shows, roles in big studio films and lots of media attention. I'm thinking especially of Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari who are essentially famous for being famous. How does it make you feel when you are working hard to establish your career when others are given opportunities they don't deserve or haven't worked hard for?

anon said...

WD,
In several of Ent's blind items he recounts how actresses have performed "favors" to land roles. From your experience and what you know of the industry is this a common occurrence?

shoko said...

i think this is ashley simpsons
but i dont know if thats her dad on the last pic... anyway it was my first thought cos i read an interview with pete saying ashley acted crazy on the video and other things that check out..

p m said...

now the ashley simpson video is out and it's a match!

Beth said...

Yeah for confirmation on Ashlee Simpson! I knew it as soon as I saw the video. Thanks for the insider info!