Friday, February 15, 2013

Next Die Hard Scene

I don't think my scenes are 'big' enough to be considered spoilers, but just in case, if you haven't seen the film yet and don't want to know anything about it, don't read on.

Again due to the non-disclosure agreement, I had to wait all this time to talk about what happened. So, today I am writing about filming of Die Hard 5 on August 6 of last year. The scene was near the end of the movie, when John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his son are arriving in New York from Moscow. I play one of the five CIA agents waiting near the vehicles to escort them to Langley. When the scene wrapped (it was a long day, starting at 9:30 a.m.; I didn't arrive back home until 10 p.m.), I also got to drive one of the vehicles around the airport while they filmed it, though they told us they weren't sure that scene would be used or not.
The best part for me, though, was getting to work with the actress who played McClane's daughter, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I've thought she was awesome ever since seeing her as the lead actress in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. She has been in a number of other movies I've seen, such as the new version of The Thing, Death Proof by Quentin Tarantino, and Final Destination 3.
If you see the movie, most of the CIA guys are in combat gear with automatic rifles. I'm the one in the dark suit. Hopefully I can find a way to do some screen captures and post them.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Die Hard 5

This post was written way back, on June 4 of last year, but I couldn't post it until the movie came out. So I will be writing about 'today' but it is actually about June 4. I don't think my scenes are 'big' enough to be considered spoilers, but just in case, if you haven't seen the film yet and don't want to know anything about it, don't read on. It's too bad that the reviews are pretty bad for the movie itself, but I'll still go see it, of course.

Edit to add: It looks like this scene didn't make the movie, according to some friends who saw it. Maybe it will be in Deleted Scenes when the DVD comes out.

Today was awesome. Better than I ever expected. I was told to dress up as elegantly as I could, so I wore a nice suit. I like another of my suits better, but I went with the one my wife liked best, because I know that wives are always right!

I had to be at the base camp by 5 am, which meant getting up at 4. I'm not a morning person, but this is exciting stuff, so I was fine. It didn't look like a scene I would get a chance to stand out in, because there were what looked to be two hundred extras there, all decked out in their finest.

We were told about the day's shoot, filming behind the Kempinsi Hotel in downtown Budapest. It was meant to be a high-end shopping street in Moscow. Only two buildings on the street had their signs changed into Cyrillic characters, one a bar and the other a gun shop. Don't ask me why a high-end shopping street in Moscow would have a bar and a gun shop on it. I lived there for four years and I don't think such a thing exists unless things have changed a lot since I left!
The street where it was filmed
In the scene, Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney (McClane's son), and another actor are walking down the street, past the bar, and into the gun shop. A choreographer began placing extras in various places and telling them what to do during the scene. This mainly involved simply walking along the street. Many of the extras were placed in positions where they would almost certainly not even get on film.

I got lucky, since Mike Papac, the guy who has done the weapons for all the Die Hard movies, was there dealing with the gun shop. I had met Mike a number of times and even spent quite a bit of time talking with him, as mentioned in this post. He was gracious enough to introduce me to an assistant director, who in turn introduced me to the director. They decided to put me in a place where I would be pretty much guaranteed to show up in the film, standing right by the door of the bar that the guys walk by on their way to the gun shop. So, I'm in a light-gray suit and am holding a briefcase.

I ended up working right near Bruce Willis for almost three hours. We're told not to speak with the actors, so I didn't, even though he met my eyes a few times and looked down-to-earth enough to have talked, but I'm not one to get myself kicked off a set. When they tore apart the set one time in order to rearrange the cameras for another angle, he hung out about four feet from me--he even sang a bit once. I sure wanted someone to take a picture of me with him, but that wasn't going to happen, of course. Anyway, we did around eight or nine takes in all with the real actors (more takes with their stand-ins) over about four hours, and they even paid us. You can't beat that.

I hope I will be able to pick myself out in the film, even if it is just for a second or so! Tomorrow I'll post about the last scene I worked on in the film, and include a photo taken on the set.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Book to Read, a Movie to See

This book has been a bestseller in Europe for the past couple of years. I only heard about it when I was called in to play a small part in the movie when it was filmed in Budapest. I can't go into details on what I did yet due to a non-disclosure agreement, but I have a post ready to put up once the movie is released (supposedly next December).

My wife bought the book for Christmas and she read it first. It's the first time I ever recall hearing her laugh out loud while reading, and she did it often. I read it next, and though I never laughed out loud (comedy books have never much appealed to me), it was certainly amusing. My youngest son just read it this week and pronounced it very good, insisting that his brother needs to read it.

So, in case any of you might like to read the book that will shortly be a movie with me in it, here's the link!

By the way, this coming week on Valentine's Day, the movie A Good Day to Die Hard will arrive in theaters, and you may be able to spot me in that, too, if only in the background. If you wait a day or so after it comes out, I'll put up some posts telling you where you may be able to see me. Again, due to non-disclusure agreements, I can't really get into it in detail until after the movie is released.

Friday, February 8, 2013

All Dressed Up

I realized that I had posted these photos only on Facebook, when I've always meant to use this blog as a form of online 'diary', to a degree, so that I can recall interesting things that have happened to my family. We don't get to dress up often, so these photos were kind of nice. Each year at every post with a marine security guard detachment they host a marine birthday ball. Everyone gets to dress up and have a nice meal and a dance.
The most gorgeous wife ever!
I took the photo of my lovely wife just before we left the apartment, and the second photo was snapped by an offiicial photographer at the ball.
My wife checks out the night's program.