Secret agents in my bed – the making of the video

Not as sexy as it looks.

When you’re spending a small fortune going to film school in the USA, nothing anybody says reassures you that you’re worth it. Trust me… nothing. Until, at least, you manage to finish your first project, someone sees it, and they don’t throw you out right away. The first project we had to turn in wasn’t even for grades, but I took it seriously. Seriously enough to spend the entire weekend making giant bed bug puppets from the contents of my recycling bin.

recycling to extremes

I even gave the bugs a manicure. How nice am I?

The brief for the video project was something like: “Introduce yourself in a two minute video, in which you may not appear. Have fun!” I didn’t have a clue what to do, so I was extremely relieved when my attack by vicious bed bugs on arrival in California resulted in an idea for a video… an idea that probably required not just a budget for effects, but also the help of a few other people. You don’t think the electrical, the gaffer, the grip or the AD are important until you see the shadows, screw up the sound, or trip over the wire from the desk lamp you’re using as lighting and hit your head on the desk you’re using as a puppet theatre.

Me and Mary, in happier times. As you can see, I also failed to hire an on-set photographer.

I managed to make a pretty cool bug, which I then defaced a bit so it looked like it had been in the wars.

Mary is now ready for her closeup.

Then I set the camera up on the tripod, succeeded in putting both bugs on my hands without breaking them, and shot a few different angles, using re-usable ingredients. V8 Juice was for blood (it saved me a week of making salads), toilet spray could be crudely disguised as poison, and the light switches in some of the shots are real light switches! I wore a pillow over my head and a sheet wrapped around me to help me blend in with the wall behind me. There’s a lot of footage of me being an idiot, hitting my head, tripping over stuff, appearing in the shot by accident, as well as blank footage of the wall, plus a few usable shots of the puppets, some of which also showed their eyes. Yeeeha!

On set with Mary and Bill.

A 2nd year student saved me (via facebook) by offering to do the voice for the Agent from Atlanta. Thanks Ed Moore. I will name you in my Oscars speech.

After I was done, the table was covered in a milky liquid and my living room smelled like a giant gladiola flower had repeatedly masturbated (to its own immense satisfaction) all over my dining room table/desk/props table/studio.

Hi-tech stuff man...

And the result? Well, this is it.


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