Monday, March 10, 2008

The World Of WD - With Photos And Video

Such a sunshiny feeling having a pocket full of money

Sorry so late! Was waiting on the set photographer to get me some cool pictures for you.

Okay so new week, new music video, new artist. We’ll call this artist SM for Smiley Music. She seems to always have upbeat happy-making music and this new song is no exception.

Same director as the PS shoot. He’s a wonderful, gentle, brilliantly creative man. For real. I’m really excited to get this gig. Making money is always a good thing, unless it’s through prostitution. That would not be my ideal. The thing with music videos is they don’t let you know they are shooting until 5 days before. Then they tend to move the date up at the last second. So they call me and asked me to
do it.

Right off the bat they say “jump from window in office building something something 15-30 feet (big difference esp in a fall) something something parachute jumper.” Hmmmm stunts isn’t so much a “something something” type a gig. You pretty need much need to know “exactly exactly” How high is the actual fall? What is the jumper wearing? Who does it need to be? A double of the artist or an character in the video? Parachute huh? Like a real one or one that we can cheat? Sky scraper downtown LA huh? Interesting. The good news this team was all pro. They arranged a location scout. I couldn’t go so I sent stunt man extraordinaire John Dixon.

So before John calls me, this is what I know. 1. It’s supposed to be the artist jumping so I’ll be doubling her. (I’m actually a great match for her for this) 2. It’s a 15 foot jump. 3. We are shooting on Thurs. 3a. Which means I have Weds to practice (it’s been a couple of months since I’ve done a jump) So far so good. John calls from the location. NOW 1. I’m still doubling SM 2. It’s a 25 foot fall
3. We are shooting weds. 3a. No practice for a jump that I’ve never done that high. Awesome.

Here’s what’s keeping me from running. 1. I already got myself into it. I’m not a big fan of flaking. 2. John knows what I can do and he thought I could do it. 3. The guy bringing the air bag I was falling into, Scot, won an Academy Award for his air bag design....wow I just noticed...I’m being very list-y today. 1.2.3.

We are shooting on the stop of skyscraper in downtown LA on the PERFECT day. You can barely see the Hollywood sign but it’s there.

I get to set at 6 AM. Everyone is so cool and friendly. We set up the airbag. John and Scot give me a little coaching and I go up to give it a try. I try a “suicide” first, called that because that’s what it looks like. You step off facing out and fall straight down and at the last minute flip your feet out and land on your back. Those I feel pretty comfortable with. But I wanted it to look more like I was doing a parachute jump since that’s the premise of the video. So I tried something new for me. I stood on the ledge and leapt out with my arms out and my chest parallel with the ground. Kinda like Superman, if he sank like a rock when he jumped off a building. That was it. That was what they wanted, and man, was it fun!

When we got to shooting it they put a parachute pack on, 10 pounds, a pencil skirt on me and wanted me to wear heels. Which I couldn’t with the air bag. That was a totally different experience. I was more top heavy than I expected and landed face first in the bag and managed to kick myself in the head from behind. Interesting. Didn’t know I could bend that way. Knocked the wind out of myself. Not pleasant. But I did it 2 more times after that. And got the hang of it. Neck is a little sore as I write this but that was one HECK of an air bag!

Here’s a clip but it stops before I land.

Then on to SM in a harness. They had to give me hair extensions since my hair was shorter than hers. So when I walked up to her dressed like with my hair styled like her her face lit up and she said “You’re me!“ In her wonderful accent. She was such a cool person. Totally up for anything. The harness was not a comfortable one. But we had to use it because it had to fit under her outfit. She was a trooper. No snark her about her. Here she is in the harness.
Then I was wrapped for the day and went straight to acting class until 11PM.

Thursday.

Later call time. Thank God. Today we are supposed to harness a few dancers to land with the parachute and I’m to double SM in the harness to get a little extra footage of that. But first we had an unexpected job. So there is this really cool moment when SM lands on the roof with other dancers. All still in their packs with the parachutes out. Have I mentioned that we are on a heli-landing pad on top of a sky
scraper in downtown LA?
And it’s windy. And they are wearing packs with open parachutes...see where I’m going with this? So John and I were tethered to the dancers “just in case”. There one point after the dancers dropped their packs and the wind picked up. John and I were dragged a couple of feet across the roof. Thankfully we were far from the edge and the crew jumped on the chutes to squash them.

Next on to the harness work. So much fun. The dancers picked it up right away. And I got to do some fun things.
Here is some of the graffiti art that is featured in the video.
All in all great day. SM was cool. She is clearly someone who is living her dream, not someone else’s. Her face lights up when she sings and I found myself smiling when I was watching her.

38 comments:

brendalove@gmail.com said...

as someone who is deathly scared of heights, I admire your courage. And if you do happen to get killed, at least you'll die in hot boots. ;-)

Reese said...

Natasha Beddingfield (sp.) for the singer? Don't know if she's "smiley", but she is a blonde with an accent. Haven't heard anything nasty about her.

Good post; enjoyed all of the pictures and the video. The jump looked fun!

Twisted Sister said...

I have no idea who the singer is, but this is one of the best posts I've ever read here. It's so detailed that I felt like I was there. I pictured all of it.

If you ever decide to leave all the things you're doing, you could write.

What fun!! Thanks for sharing.

captivagrl said...

wow, now that sounds like a fun job. sounds like it makes the slow/ bad times worth it. it's always nice to hear that some stars are decent talented people. please keep writing. i love your style of story telling. thank you and good luck!

Kathy said...

kylie minogue?

jindi said...

totally beddingfield imho.

most fun read ever!

Alpine Summer said...

I agree with Natasha Beddingfield. That's who I thought immediately, and it looks like her in the picture. I would definitely say she has smiley music. Though not my style, it always seems happy. Whoever it is, I'm glad they seem to genuinely enjoy what they do.

And you seem to as well. Frustrating though some of the people you work with may be, your interest in your work comes through in writing about it. As always, thanks for the insight and especially all the pictures this time. You're awesome.

lmm1969 said...

http://www.natashabedingfield.com/blog/video_blog_photo_shoot.html

Mooshki said...

That sounds like fun! I think I could do 15 feet, but 25 sounds awfully high.

NQ said...

It is definitely Natasha Bedingfield. Her new album is called Pocket Full of Sunshine - reread WD's first line. Awww, I've always loved Natasha - good to know the nice girl thing isn't just an act! :D

Kim said...

I lol'd at "Exactly, exactly".
Thanks for the fun read!

Dijea said...

Great to have work - looks like a lot of fun.

eileen said...

Just another day at the office for you, eh? :) It looks like it was a couple of rewarding days for you.

Anonymous said...

Love your stories, WD, keep talking with us.

tracee said...

Dontcha love it when you get paid? But don't it suck when you gotta pay almost 4 bucks to get a droplet of gas in your car? And then you pay 10 bucks for some bread and milk?

Yeah me too. But I love payday. For a moment you feel l like you can conquer the world. Thanks for the post. The video looks like it will be pretty cool.

lachickforever said...

I work in the next building over from where this shoot took place! We watched thru binoculars for two days! But I'm not sure if I would call the City of Hope building a "skyscraper" seeing as how at 15 or so stories it is one of the shorter buildings downtown. Looks like you all worked very hard though!

Anonymous said...

oh wow i admire you. theres no way i would be able to jump¡¡¡ it freaks me out just to think about it still it looks like a cool video i love the graffiti and i have to get a pair of boots like the ones on the last pic <3

Anonymous said...

lachick - arg! If only you'd taken pictures, then we could finally find out who WD is. :)

Twisted Sister said...

lachick, I'll bet you wish you had wandered over there during lunch!!!

Harriet Hellfire said...

Yep, I immediately thought of Natasha Bedingfield as well...not really mu cup of tea, but she does have a really natural upbeat feel to her which I like.

Your job sure as hell beats mine! *L*

schneefloeckli said...

Did no one watch the video with sound or are you guys just trying to keep WD's identity a secret? Because I swear I can hear someone shouting a name right at the beginning.

bionic bunny! said...

this is so cool! i've probably said a hundred times how i had wanted to do stuntwork. the asshole i WAS married to (not mr. bunny) wouldn't "allow" me to do anything- i thought maybe with the skating/track/swimming background, plus i used to have no fear.
i even tried to get my son to do it, there's somebody out here in lancaster that has/had a stunt school, but he wouldn't go for it.
guess i'll just have to live vicariously through you!!

Leslie Tennant said...

Sounds and looks cool, but the prose is awkward. Something about this whole entry seems off to me which leads me to question this whole blog. Sorry to be a downer!

dianeh said...

schneefloeckli, all I hear on the video sound is "roll camera," "speeding" (meaning the camera is at speed), and "action!" no names, just the usual camera cues. maybe I missed something?

bluegirl said...

Totally thinking Natasha B too. She's cool. Her music always makes me feel good...and..happy..and smiley. ha ha.

So does anyone know who WD is?

Twisted Sister said...

Schnee, of course the sound was on. I didn't hear a name. What are YOU hearing?

parisss said...

Schnee- I didn't hear any names either. I still am firm in my belief that this is America Young. You can look back at earlier WD posts and look for the back up I gave on it. No matter if it is her or not, it's neat to read "a day in the life".

jlb said...

It's always so cool to read your posts WD - Thank you as always for sharing bits of your life.

Twisted Sister said...

LMM - GREAT FIND, by the way. Thanks for posting the link.

lachickforever said...

They film so many things downtown it would be hard to go see them all. They do photo shoots on top of that building all the time. Another rooftop they filmed Daughtry's last video. Another rooftop they filmed Transformers.

Twisted Sister said...

lachick, what a great place to work!! It must be fun to see all the action, even if you're not close up.

Brenda22 said...

Pariss,
I agree with you. It is America Young. In more recent pics of America Young, she has short hair (remember how WD said she cut her hair and donated to Locks of Love).
Also, on her website, there is a link to the stunts she's done and it includes the Ashlee Simpson video.

Kim said...

I agree with the America Young guesses. On her website she says she did voice over work for Google. I remember reading that WD said she was going that, it stuck out to me cause my brother works for Google.

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Hey,

Its defintely Natasha Bedingfield. The world premiere of the Music Video was held last night in Toronto when Natasha dropped by Muchmusic (TRL for Canada).

Thought I would leave the update.
J

Molly said...

i just finished watching the music video on her website. i think its natashabedingfieldusa.com anyway great job WD. the combination of the high heels and bag looked painful.

Molly said...
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Molly said...
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