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Inside Everwood!
Season 4: Post Filming Report
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Sam's, Outside in the Freezing Cold, and the Piano Recital
Some Everwood gigs are more fun than others. Working in the interior of Nina's restaurant, "Sam's" was definitely a good time. First, we were warm--almost too warm. It took about 3 hours to do a five minute scene. The very best part for me was being chosen to stand in line at the counter of Nina's deli. I am holding a fake cup of coffee and a fake dollar bill. On the back of the bill, it reads, "For Motion Picture Use Only". Of course, even though the camera was about 3 feet away, it was my daughter standing next to me that probably got all the camera time. In the scene, Bright and the dark haired hottie that caught Amy's attention are talking. They are talking about sex and a law of man. We had to rehearse and shoot it over and over. You know how you move in a line, toward the cash register? Well, when cameras are rolling and you're standing next to movie stars, it's not so easy. We had to make it look realistic, and that took 2 hours for one angle alone. During one of the breaks (in which the camera men measure distance, reset, and focus), Chris Pratt kept singing part of the Kanye West, Jamie Foxx song, "Golddigger". He couldn't remember the words, so he turned to my daughter and rapped until she jumped in with the rest of the words. Imagine--my offspring and Chris Pratt rapping "Golddigger"!
I've mentioned that there are a lot of breaks in filming. While the crew messes with the camera, the director discusses things with his or her assistants. The makeup ladies retouch the powder on the stars. Someone gives them mints, and if they aren't done with them when it's time to start the scene, it's not uncommon to see half sucked upon mints in little baggies. Other crew members smooth out the creases in clothing, fix hair, bring water, or offer bathroom breaks.
Since the interior of Sam's is in a warehouse in Salt Lake City, you might notice the buildings outside the windows. And they look exactly like the same buildings you see when you see the exterior of Sam's, a nearly 30 mile distance. When we're filming inside, we're surrounded by giant blow ups on cloth screens of all those buildings. We kept tapping the huge cloth curtains while we filed in and out of the set.
And I'd rather work that way any day. We shot a scene outside, at the Radisson. A San Diego shuttle bus sat outside, and we had to dress as if it was warm. But we huddled under a heat lamp when we weren't walking by the hotel. I can't tell you what happens, only that Irv is doing a book signing in town. But then we went to the actual place where the exterior takes place, and for an entire day, we walked up and down the street. One scene is outside a jewelry shop, where Dr. Abbott has some trouble. It was 17 degrees outside. Heaters were everywhere, and there was hot coffee and chocolate flowing so we could stay warm. Still, when the wind blew, it was miserable. We went inside often--the crew takes good care of all of us--but whenever they called me after that day, I asked, "Are we working inside?"
A very pleasant scene in another episode involves Ephraim and Andy going to see a world renowed pianist. We had to dress up in our very best clothing and file out of a concert hall. I giggled once or twice, because I kept thinking about how, earlier that day, Chris Pratt had been rapping. The audience members were mostly senior citizens, but as a group, were as rowdy an hard to control as the earlier group of extras. I wondered aloud if they thought that being 50 and older, we'd be sedate and easy to control. That prompted laughter from the group and only made us feel sillier. We pulled pranks, made faces, told jokes, and generally cut up. The later in the day it gets, the harder it is to be serious. To boot, we have to overact--we have to exaggerate any movements and conversation. And that evening, it was quite a mixed bag of folks. One extra drove 3 hours each way to break into show business. Another drove from Pocatello, Idaho. Another had had a speaking part one time, and this time, she had a non speaking part. Remember the episode when Amy goes to a Halloween party, thinking that my dark haired invited her as his date? Then a pretty blond  dressed up like a mummy is hanging all over him and Amy is devastated? Well, that blond regalled us with what it was like to have a substantial scene, how many different ways she played it, until it all came together.
The Bistro


Call time was 3:30 p.m. Yes, you heard me right. Call time is almost ALWAYS in the morning. Even I was stunned when I got the call. How nice! I was able to get some errands done before I went in. We met at an Einstein’s Bagel shop in Salt Lake City. After check in, the hoard of extras were herded into a back room behind the restaurant. We all began laughing; there was a sign above the room that read: Bagel Technology, and then a small, enclosed glass room with a sign that read: War Room: Top Secret! We DIDN'T learn any secrets about making bagels, though . . .


Because it was later in the day, we weren’t treated to something to eat, as we normally were. So we began to entertain ourselves. One extra grabbed a dry erase marker, went to the front of the room, and began a game of hangman. She asked how many people watched the show, and then proceeded with the game. The answer? Dr. Brown. The person who guessed the puzzle got to choose the next one, so after a number of people found themselves baffled, I guess my Wheel of Fortune “expertise” kicked in. I looked at it and announced, “Extras Holding”, which is the name of any room or place we happen to be in while waiting to be called to the set.


Well, I declined doing the next puzzle, and it was good, because just then we got called onto the set. It was a few doors down. A number of us were positioned at the bar, at tables, customers just arriving, and customers being seated. I was meeting my "father", a nice gentleman of 73, and I had to walk past Hannah and her date toward our table.


As I’ve mentioned, waiting is the name of the game when you’re an extra. One guy made hand puppets with the projector light; another started a game of “toss the candy into the basket at the front of the room”, another took pictures with her camera phone in between making calls about other film projects in Utah, and several others read books.


The shoot took seven hours. At eleven o’clock, they were kind enough to bring in dozens of chicken and lamb gyros (also known as yeeros), Greek salad, lemon rice, and Greek pita bread. We gratefully stuffed ourselves, after restraining ourselves from eating the props at the Bistro. It’s usually very cold and dry from sitting for hours. But when you haven’t eaten for several hours, you stop caring what it looks like, especially when it’s a gourmet restaurant like The Paris Bistro in Salt Lake. If you’re ever in town, stop by and have a nice meal.



The Airport and The Wedding

Call time was at 9:30 a.m. in the South Towne Exposition Center. That’s located just 15 minutes south of Salt Lake City. We walked into an empty warehouse sized room, the kind you go into to see a car show or something similar. We extras were asked to bring a suitcase for an airport scene, casual clothes, and clothes for a black tie affair. After a sumptuous breakfast offering of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, donuts, bagels, friend potatoes, and fruit, wardrobe approved our duds for the all day shooting.


We began shooting in the long, carpeted hallway of the Exposition Center. The regular signs had been replaced by fake airport signs, and was bustling with people. Approximately 80 extras criss-crossed the halls, visited the coffee center, glanced at watches, ran to catch fake airplanes, and went through security. My job was to confer with a security officer while Bright meets the lovely Hannah as she lands at the Denver International Airport. Hannah appears, her hair in a series of corn rowed braids and beads. Five or six scenes later, I got a chance to rest and watch the scene, and boy was it worth it! Bright kissed Hannah, hot and passionately, right there in the middle of the airport! We wanted to clap and shout, but, remember, no noise during filming.


Only a few hours later, we were finished. We quickly changed from jeans and khakis into women in evening gowns and men in suits and tuxes. Hairdos went up, curling irons came out, fancy bobby pins went in, and jewelry went on. We were all transformed into glittering, stunning ladies and gents in a matter of minutes. We quickly rushed to the set in the warehouse sized room. There was a huge white tent, decorated with white Christmas lights inside and out. We filed into the tent, gasping at the magnificently decorated silk tablecloths, shining dishes, and food table the length of one of the tent walls. The food you will see when the episode airs is real--honey barbecue wings, key lime tarts, cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, and more. Some TV shows spray food with WD 40 to make the food shine and last longer, but not “Everwood”. And so, stomachs growling, it became a little game of with some extras to snatch up culinary delights from the food table when the crew wasn’t looking.


Every member of the cast was there, in gorgeous clothing. There was music and dancing, love and laughter, togetherness, and lots of love. Now, you might be wondering…who got married?


Well…Irv and Edna are renewing their vows. I can’t tell you anything else right now, but that much information should hold you until the episode airs. It’s a beautiful episode that you’ll definitely want to record to watch again and again.


But the filming was long, long, long…we were in the tent, except for a break at lunch time, for more than 7 hours. The most exciting moment for me was when I was seated at a table, chatting. I was telling some of the extras who was who, and filling them in on the season finale. I was telling them that the extremely handsome Scott Wolf had moved in with Nina, but that Andy Brown had proposed to her, and now it was a very tense love triangle. Suddenly, I hear someone say, “You know the show. What else?” I look up, and Scott Wolf is standing six inches from me. I turned RED! I started giggling like a child, and somehow managed to keep talking about the show. I asked him what was going to happen next, and he said that he didn’t know. Then he laughed and patted my shoulder. I squealed like a little girl and then said that I wasn’t going to wash my shoulder ever again!


Well, I did, because there was another scene the next day. We had to return in the same clothes, because they were shooting the wedding scene, so I had to wash my evening gown. Alas…at least I have the memory.