Baywatch Diary – Day 20

Today I swam in the ocean because I had to for a scene. We are shooting at Pipeline, a very famous and gnarly (in surf parlance) surf spot. The waves are big for a southern Californian non-surfer, but they are breaking farther off shore and there is not as much coral as back at the hotel, so I am very comfortable going in. For the shot, I have to swim parallel to shore for a bit, then see Mitch on the beach, stop and wave, come to shore, run up the beach. I am fine with the swimming, but I am worried that I will get pounded by surf on the way in and not look graceful getting out of the water. Grace is not something that comes easily to me. Luckily on the second take, I catch a wave and bodysurf right up onto the sand. Woo Hoo! I am very proud of myself. I hope it was in focus and they can use it…

I am lucky as this morning the two scenes I am shooting are right after I get out of the water, so I get spritzed before each take to keep the wet look going, or I jump in the ocean. It is boiling hot outside and everyone else is uncomfortable, trying to stay out of the sun on the beach, but all we have is a small white tent erected where the craft service and the actors’ chairs are (craft service is the snack department – I dont know why it is called craft service, but more on it later). I took a photo of all these people huddled under it (I am, by the way, taking photos with this website in mind, so you will be seeing some more going up on this site in the next couple weeks), trying to stay cool. We have alot of work today, and as there are only 2 days on the shoot after this, we dont have the leisure of pushing what we cant get done today to another day. There is a bit of tension on the set because of this, but actually as of today we are on schedule and only miniscule-y over budget, which is amazing considering that we are filming a 2 hour television movie, with such a large cast, in only 14 days. Our director, Doug Schwartz, and the assistant directors and office staff deserve big kudos for this.

I am shooting with David and Jeremy, and then a second scene with the three of us plus Gena and Nicole. It takes until 3 pm for us to get these two scenes (my call time was 5:45am), and then I am wrapped. 2nd Unit is shooting 100 yards away, and I take a photo of the production, which looks, from afar, like 2 nomadic tribes set up on the desert sand as each has a tent with people actively working. I am hoping that, with this diary and the accompanying photos, you will have a better idea of how movies are made.

By now, our script has gone through so many changes big and small that I received 6 “cherry” pages last night (see the first week of the diary to understand what colored pages in a script mean). I have never seen cherry pages before, and I kidded Michael Berk, our writer, that Baywatch was changing age-old Hollywood rules by using new colors to show script changes. We had already used “salmon” pages that were really “buff” colored, therefore we skipped the “buff” pages that come after salmon. He said that “cherry” was in his scriptwritng program. Hmmm. Cherry seems like a pretty dark color to print on – why not Lavender, or light grey? Who decides these things, anyway?

I mentioned craft service earlier in this entry. Craft service is a table on the set that always has food on it, mostly snacks my mother never let us have, like chips, crackers, and assorted candy. Sandwiches, fruit and hors d’oeuvres also are often at craft service. Now, on alot of productions (including this one), it has evolved to not only a table, but a truck that has a fully stocked fridge and freezer, a microwave, and a coffeemaker. Oh and shelves full of everything you would find in a 7-11. All this makes it hard to not gain weight at work, because we are also fed a full breakfast (muffins, cereal, eggs, burritos, sausages) and a hot lunch (at least 4 choices of main dishes, a salad bar, and several dessert. I do fine at the meals as I dont like to eat alot at once during a workday because it makes me sluggish, but as an inveterate snacker, I am very drawn to craft service! I notice that these last few days my diet has deteriorated a bit, so I need to eat a bit more healthily. And Gena’s brother Michael just brought over some chocolate covered macadamias (I ate 5, and gave him back the box), and the maids left six chocolates on my bed. I am going to turn into a piece of chocolate! I am glad there are only 2 more days in a bathing suit…

Speaking of 2 more days, I have been enjoying writing this journal for you. When I get home, I shall go back to my private life, but it has been fun keeping a diary on this shoot. Will I do another daily diary when I next shoot a film? Hmmm. What do you think? Would you be as interested if there wasnt a cast the likes of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson? Webmaster Vietly and I would be interested in your feedback on this…

There were 50 Hawaiian Tropic girls (I feel weird calling them girls, as they are definitely women) – Hawaiian Tropic Women – on the set today after lunch (very good chocolate brownies today, by the way – yikes! I really will turn into chocolate!). I wasnt sure why they were there, but I think they were extras for the beach scenes later in the afternoon. Although I have nothing personally against the Hawaiian Tropic look, I was a bit disappointed that they were going to be in the show, for two reasons: it overloads the show with a disproportionate number of female beachgoers (none of whom are African American or over 29); it overloads the show with a number of female beachgoers who are unnaturally disproportionate, if you get my drift. Maybe I have been off the show so long I forgot what the Baywatch world is, but actually now that I think about it, in Los Angeles we did have a more diverse crowd of background actors (nobody over 30 or overweight, but at least there were more body types and colors). I was able to have a nice chat with Ron Rice, the inventor of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotions, owner of the company, and mastermind behind these beauty contests. He is actually a lives a few houses up from me in Malibu, but he mostly lives in Florida, so we have never run into each other. He said he saw me in the grocery store once and he was surprised to see me shopping – like I would have an assistant do it or something. I told him I do my own laundry too and that he was shopping in the store too, business magnate that he is!

My work was done soon after lunch, so I came home and did yoga and talked to my beloved Ian twice. I also went to the grocery store to pick up some postcards. In the evening I went to Gena’s room to go over a long scene she has tomorrow, and ended up staying 2 hours. Her sister Sheila came in from dinner and we had girl talk. We laughed and laughed. Very fun.

Very fun and only 2 more days left.

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