Saturday, July 14, 2012

Captain's Log, Day 85: Enemy Territory

          Phew! Phew!
          I tore down the hall, sounds of laser fire echoing past me. The soldier was obviously getting closer. I rounded the corner into a room and wham!
          My feet slipped out from under me and I collapsed with a building-rattling thud. My friend Colonel burst out laughing as I scrambled back to my feet and tried (unsuccessfully) to keep my dignity as I scrambled out of the room. It was pointless, anyway; Colonel's brother Thomson (or maybe it was Thompson--I could never tell the twins apart) was doing some weird war dance behind me, just another successful soldier who got a promotion due to his opponent's clumsiness.
          "I think we need to re-shoot that," I suggested dryly.
          "Soldier chasing the captain, take three!" Colonel announced. (It was take three now, due to my forgetfulness--I had neglected to turn on the battery-operated toy laser gun that I was supposed to shoot back at Thompson with.)
          There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life where he obtains a raging desire to become a movie star. Interestingly enough, that time never occurred for me. The only reason I was currently tripping in front of the camera was due to severe coercion from Colonel.
          The whole saga started during one Christmas break several years ago. My parents had bought me a camera for Christmas--a DIGITAL camera!!!--so when Colonel and the twins came over for our annual Christmas note-comparing, I was dying to use it and suggested a spoof of the dice scene from the second Pirates of the Caribbean. It was amazingly fun to film, and left both Colonel and myself locked in dreams of becoming directors. (The film itself was nausea-inducing, and leaves me both convulsed with laughter and flushing with embarrassment every time I see it. I refuse to put it online; don't even ask.) However, Colonel and I both wanted to be the guy BEHIND the camera, not in front. Colonel pointed out that he had starred in the Pirates spoof, though, so it was my turn to be out in front. I reluctantly agreed, on the condition that he would share the lens with me for part of the new film.
          It got a bit out of hand.
          Pirates was a 6-minute-long film. The new "movie," entitled Black Ops, Enemy Territory, was 8 minutes long and growing ever more complicated when we finally threw in the towel, three years and 4 hours of film later. (We have QUITE the blooper reel.) Difficulties erupted due to poor communication and ad-libbing; since we never bothered to write a script, we relied on the genius and inspiration of the actors. (Since the wording changed scene to scene, I caused a pretty epic blooper when I jumped the gun and "shot" Thomson in the middle of his speech. Instead of collapsing, he yelled, "I WASN'T DONE YET!!!!")
           I can't speak for the others, but I usually sounded like someone out of a bad novel, although I did pretty well in any scenes that required me to kick butt. Due to my Taekwondo training, I had excellent control of my kicks and punches, and was usually able to make fights look convincing without dealing major harm to the other actors.
           There was one notable exception where one of the twins barreled around a corner a bit faster than I was expecting. My punch to the stomach actually connected pretty solidly, leading to one of the most convincing collapses ever to be recorded on camera. My apologies!!!!
          Other issues were due to the equipment...we used cap pistols and guns from a laser tag set. The cap guns malfunctioned more often than not, and since the laser guns of myself and the bad guys differed only in color (red versus blue), issues arose when trying to keep the weapons straight. This culminated in one notable blooper where Thomson forgot which gun was his...when he was supposed to toss my gun to his Russian commander, Thompson, he panicked and threw both guns at him.
          I had a sonic device (an old cell phone of my dad's) that, when I pushed a button and threw it at soldiers, would cause them to collapse and pass out. We had endless issues with this scene, due to the twins never being able to collapse at the same time. I had my share of failures, too; due to the inherent clumsiness I possessed at that time of rapid growth spurts (and never completely got rid of), I was constantly tripping and falling over things. My "favorite" mistake was when I missed a grab for a doorknob. Colonel and one of the twins were filming on the other side; they expected me to come exploding through the door and begin fighting Thompson (or maybe Thomson--I CAN'T TELL THEM APART). What they got was an almighty *THUD* as I slammed at full speed into the other side of the door.
          Smooth, I know.
          The movie plot was supposed to go something like this...I was an agent of a top-secret organization. My boss (Colonel) sent me to go check on the Russians, who had made contact with aliens was had formed an alliance with the aliens' leader, a being by the name of "Evil Overlord." (Very original, I know.) Colonel was supposed to eventually join me and together we would take down the Russian/alien base and stroll off casually into the sunset, which meant we'd have to have a sleepover scheduled at some point to finish it because we usually departed each other's homes before 5pm, under extreme parental duress.
          Now, in exchange for requests to see what we have of the film (which is not only unfinished, but also rather lame), I shall instead provide the link to the bloopers. It's at
          I bear no responsibility for laughter-related injuries.

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