Behind the scenes: Making the Todd and Miel Lappin video series
Shooting at Todd’s gorgeous rehabbed San Francisco home was the very first video series we scheduled for Totally Unprepared. It being the first shoot we did everything extra careful: we worked carefully with the SF Film office to get our permits, and since we had the Big Shaker coming, blocked off a section of Todd’s street to allow us to park and run the shake simulator. We reviewed the regulations about film crews eating outdoors on the set (not allowed).
The Big Shaker, being outside, would require us to do an outdoor shoot with a lot of dialogue. Todd lives on a quiet street without a lot of traffic so we didn’t think it would be a problem. We got there that morning and noticed that we were next to a Catholic school with a parking lot. A parking lot full of Low Rider custom cars.
It turns out the Low Rider club does a fundraiser once a year for the school. They bring in their cars, lots of amplified music, and a number of live bands to play. They were starting from 9am and going until well after 5pm, when we should have already been done.
We sent Sarah, our line producer and winner of our “prettiest smile” vote to negotiate with the school’s boosters. Turns out that “line producer” in film-industry-speak translates to “Person too important to get coffee, but not important enough to delegate away every last problem on set”.
When she went down into the parking lot they talked quietly. At one point someone shouted “Hey movie lady!” and we all looked to see if she needed help, but Sarah proved she can get almost anyone to agree to anything reasonable.
The Low Riders agreed to let us shoot with their music turned all the way down for a half an hour at the beginning of the day. Since the Big Shaker is in fact a giant Low Rider itself, we had a lot of friendly gawkers.
So we shot Todd and Miel’s ride in the Big Shaker first, and then went back in their house and shot the rest of the material for the three episodes in their series. As a bonus we went down to the fundraiser and bought lunch for the entire cast and crew from the fundraiser. It was FABULOUS.
by Shabbir Safdar