Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Last Day on Set in Statesville, NC


This photo was taken on my last day of filming of Leatherheads in Statesville, NC. It was an interesting day as only about 25 extras were on set that day. We had a chance to move around and spend time actually talking with crew. Since it was filmed on the street in Statesville some crowds gathered and I was interviewed for the Statesville newspaper.

We took these pictures inside the Stateville Civic Center which was the area called "Extras Holding". This was also where the crew, actors and extras all had our meals.

The costume for this scene is a 1920's athletic club outfit. The costumers custom made my tan pants a few days prior to filming. After being around the set the entire day, only about 8 people were actually brought into the scene.

This was the 2nd day out of ten where I was able to see Renee Zellweger up close.

These are two flappers who were also on set that day in mid May 2007.
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Engaging Brand - Facebook Podcast

One of the great things about the world of social media and new media is how powerful it is and how individuals who work each day at it can brand themselves as experts in their fields.

In my two years using LinkedIn and Facebook, I have had the pleasure of meeting bloggers, podcasters and authors who freely gave advice to help others learn. Many of us collectively worked together to promote each other's shows and blogs both by linking to them from our own blogs or interviewing an individual in a podcast.

In July 2007, I decided to begin to spend hours a day reading about Facebook and doing what I always seem to do, track down the leaders and innovators who are making this one of the most visited sites on the internet.

With this in mind, I am announcing that tomorrow, The Engaging Brand Podcast will be featuring a segment where I will be discussing facebook. This podcast was recorded "over the pond" with host, Anna Farmery. Anna resides outside of London.

If you want to learn some interesting facts and lessons about Facebook, I encourage you to listen to the podcast.

Here is a bit about Anna.
Anna qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. She then joined the printing industry as a Financial Controller before being made Managing Director at the ripe old age of 25. She continued in industry with a growing reputation for motivating people, working for FMCG companies.

After 20 years of being a Group HR/Finance Director for major worldwide brands she decided to establish her own company - The Engaging Brand.

Please visit her website and feel free to engage her.

I look forward to hearing from many of you as well. You can reach me at ewarriorbizdev@gmail.com or on Skype as eWarrior.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leatherheads Trailer

This is the Leatherheads Movie Trailer. I was fortunate to have worked on this romantic football comedy directed and starring George Clooney...I will be interested to see how this trailer may become virally marketed on Facebook and how they use digital technology such as YouTube. It comes out April 2008 in the US.

My best holiday present - Leatherheads Trailer with George Clooney

Here is the trailer from the movie Leatherheads which I was an extra as a sideline photographer, sideline reporter, and fan. Leatherheads stars George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, and John Krasinski. I was fortunate to have worked on the film on 3 different locations, 3 different roles (costumes), including one which I was in an old time athletic club uniform...


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Jen-Zen Journey on Facebook

Back in May 2007, I joined facebook and by July, I had started a separate blog called www.facebookenthusiast.com for promoting my services as a facebook marketing expert.

Within facebook, I have started to gain clients who are part of the creative community. This includes authors and musicians.

Last week, I began to develop marketing strategies for the release of an independent novel which is a magical romance. The author, Julie Ann Shapiro, is relatively young, yet prolific in the writing of short stories and "flash novels".

This week we began to promote her first novel called "Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries" We began to promote the book both inside and outside of facebook including looking for tie-ins with shoe companies and retailers.

We also will be pursuing other media outlets for possible development of the book and other stories which could be developed into film or television projects.

This is already a fun and rewarding journey as I learn about the marketing of fiction in the new world of electronic publishing and its intersection with social networks.

Here is a link to the page within Facebook:


Gospel Hill - First Listing in NY Times

Just got an alert this morning for Gospel Hill's official listing in the NY Times movie list. This link will be great for tracking the film's progress for its anticipated mid-2008 release.


Hopefully, I will be seen for a few seconds in the movie with a scene where Danny Glover is giving an impassioned speech.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leatherheads - George and Renee in W Magazine

Conde Nast's W Magazine has a cover of George Clooney and Renee Zellweger. This is a nice little article that was coming out with the promotion of Leatherheads.

Here is a link to the article.

Leatherheads (which I was an extra (sideline photographer and reporter) in and hope not to be on the cutting room floor)... was to premier on Dec 7, 2007. Now it will be released for April 4th in time for some of the Easter/Passover/Spring Break time.

Leatherheads is a fun screwball comedy for the whole family.

Starring You is helping others reach for the stars

I have been working with Marta Tracy, author of Starring You with some promotion in social networks such as facebook and linkedin. Marta recently appeared on Small Business on MSNBC. Click here to see the segment

Marta was recently on a panel discussion on emerging technologies at her alma mater, Boston College. Marta and I collaborated on the development of the powerpoint portion of the presentation on emerging technologies as part of my executive coaching practice.

We anticipate bringing this presentation into businesses and to other venues including a webinar series.

Friday, November 02, 2007

RZA - Gospel Hill Mention

Here is a mention of one of the musicians, composers, actors, RZA in the film Gospel Hill, where I was an extra and on the set with Julia Stiles, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Adam Baldwin.


The film is scheduled for release in mid-2008.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BBC Radio Crossing Continents - Bill Law

I took some time off this summer to step away from technology and to recharge my "batteries". One of my friends, Bill Law, is a reporter for BBC radio and has been drawn into some of the most cutting edge reporting from the Islamic world.

As we departed in August, Bill said he would be heading to Pakistan. Over the last few days, Pakistan is now a major story with the return of Prime Minister Bhutto.

I had started to write this article and just a few minutes ago, it was reported that there was a bombing near her motorcade.

It does remind you how the BBC covers teh world and how important it is to get reporting first hand from the front lines.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Leatherheads Opening Moved to April 4, 2008

According to the Universal Pictures website and articles in the Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney's movie Leatherheads is moving from the December 7, 2008 release date to April 4, 2008. The move was due to an extremely busy schedule for the George Clooney with the movie Michael Clayton (Warner Bros), filming and his recent motorcycle accident.

The good news is that the trailers for Leatherheads will be heavily promoting the movie during the winter holiday season. Leatherheads is is intended to bring in a large audience with its romantic comedy and football themes. Just speculating here, but it looks like the DVD release would come right in the middle of the 2008 football season.

Well, in any event 2008 will be an interesting time as both films, I worked on will be out in theaters in mid-2008.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Starring You! - Do you want to appear on TV as an expert?

Over the last few years, I have spent time reconnecting with others in entertainment and media. One of the people I recently reconnected with was Marta Tracy. The last time Marta and I met in person, she was working in the production department at Home Box Office.

Now Marta has had a tremendous career including being part of a team which launched E! Entertainment television. Marta's passion has been working in the fashion world. She has helped to book guests on shows such as Tyra and Ellen.

In fact, Marta recently worked with a company which was launching a new line of jewelry. She worked with the creator and owner to prepare for a television appearance. Once the appearance on a national talk show happened, the companies sales increased by over 50% within a few months. This is incredibly powerful to an entrepreneur, author, musician, fashion designer or other person with a product or service.

This book is also of interest to bloggers, podcasters, and internet television producers who may want to learn some new tips and tricks.

The trick...if it was so easy everyone would be on a talk show. Marta has co-written a book called Starring You! which gives real world advice given her decades of experience in the field. The book includes excerpts from well known celebrities - The good, the bad and the ugly.

Marta's expertise, credibility and access to other producers gives her the unique ability to help others realize their dreams. Marta's book is worth a look.

On Facebook, we have also put together a "Discussion Group" in which we eventually will be promoting a teleclass.

(Note:If you are not a facebook user yet, then this is another way to promote yourself. You can find more information on this on my other blog called www.facebookenthusiast.com)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Charlie Rose: June 8, 1995

This is an older version of Charlie Rose with discussions of media and impact on society. Rachael Worby, leading female conductor discusses her life dream to become a conductor in the foot steps of Leonard Bernstein.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Leatherheads Group on Facebook

If you worked on the movie Leatherheads, I have set up a group on Facebook where we can meet and share experiences and keep in touch.

Here is the link to the group.


Integrating Media into Social Networks

The shift has been happening for a few years with MySpace leading the pack with the integration of media within social networks. Facebook is now gaining momentum with applications which allow members to list magazines, books, and music which they prefer on their profiles.

The music applications iLike even integrates into iTunes and YouTube where members can share music they like and recommend and their friends can listen to it and purchase the music from iTunes.

This is an important trend further adding to the viral natural of the internet and the way music becomes distributed. The question will be how do musicians and music publishng companies continue to keep up with these trends.

Will this trend mean that international music tastes will become more prevalent or will music become more like McDonalds, with heavier influences from larger global music publishing companies.

Does this trend mean that a listener will also personalize their music and music tastes so they receive only that music which matches up with their tastes.

What role with traditional media critics have in influencing recommendations.

If you are an publisher in media, how will you embrace these changes? What roles will you take reach your audience?

We live in interesting times.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Official Still Photo From Leatherheads


George Clooney, John Krasinski and Renee Zellweger in the Speakeasy for Leatherheads
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The On Ramp to Leatherheads Marketing

I happen to love marketing and public relations and the entertainment industry, so I am very excited to see the beginning of Universal Pictures starting to drip out the marketing for the Leatherheads movie.

In May, George Clooney, was in Oceans 13 and had a segment on Jay Leno's Tonight show where Leatherheads got a brief mention.

In mid June, John Krasinski, of "The Office" was the featured star in the movie "License to Wed".

Now this week, USA Today, had a still photo on its website of what looks like the "Speakeasy" scene in the Leatherheads movie with the three stars, Clooney, Krasinski and Renee Zellweger.

I continue to monitor the Universal Studios website to see when the movie trailers will be available. It looks as if Leatherheads is "on deck" to have its own website launched. My predication is that it will be up and running with the start of the NFL pre-season and that NBC (who is the sister company of Universal) will start promoting Leatherheads on its Sunday Night Football broadcast, since Leatherheads is a fictionalized account of the era when professional football was first organized.

This marketing will build to a crescendo around Thanksgiving when all the games are on and the most important NFL games of the week will be on Sunday Night on NBC.

Since Leatherheads has a few "fictional" teams, we may also see merchandising of sweatshirts, leather helmuts, and other movie paraphanalia.

And don't forget Universal Studios during the holiday season as well.

Leatherheads seems to be perfectly positioned for an exciting and creative promotional cascade over the next few months.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Simpsons and Me

Well, the Simpson Movie is about to be realeased this week and my home town of Springfield, NJ was in the running to host its world premiere. USA Today ran a contest to have each Springfield in the United States send in a video to let the producers know why their Springfield was the one where the Simpson's live.

My home town of Springfield, NJ had advertised for people to meet at my high school for the filming of the video. I was watching ABC's World News tonight last week and we were one of 3 Springfields featured on the story.

After the votes were compiled Springfield, VT was declared the winner to host the premiere. They had a guy rolling a giant donut down a hill in their video.

All the other Springfields will also have the movie shown at a special screening. Funny thing is, my Springfield doesn't even have a movie theatre.

Hmmmm....now that's something Bart Simpson may have to change.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Excerpt from Dickinson Magazine - Summer 2007
"Tangled Up in the New 'Net"

Such social-networking sites have exploded in the last five years. They range from “placeblogging” sites, where neighbors share gossip about the latest mugging, the new playground or house on the block, to broader, more long-distance networks, such as YouTube, where people share videos; LinkedIn, which connects employers and job seekers; and MySpace and Facebook, where users can create personal profiles of themselves, including photos and a “friends list” of those allowed to visit and post on their sites.

Andy Kaplan ’79 is a longtime entrepreneur in social media who has been in the forefront of several technology waves, beginning in the early 1980s. As a financial analyst at HBO, he sent the first spreadsheet electronically through a modem—then considered nothing short of miraculous. Later he helped popularize many forms of mass distribution, such as blast faxes.

Now from Charlotte, N.C., he runs his own company, eWarrior, which equips businesses for the world of social media. He helps transform companies so that they can compete in the modern marketplace, where Web 2.0 is increasingly important, by advising them about a variety of Web-based strategies and tools for pricing, selling and promoting their products.

“There are so many tools that companies can use to their competitive advantage,” says Kaplan. “For example, they can meet ‘connectors’ through a large professional and personal network such as LinkedIn, send personalized phone and video messages instead of e-mail to their customers or promote their products through blogging.”

Launching Facebook Enthusiast Brand

This is my 3rd day on Facebook and I have already realized how much this application is going to impact our lives. Facebook is passing eBay in daily usage and is on the growth curve to possibly catch up to Google one day.

In May, Mark Zuckerberg announced at his developers conference some incredible facts:
1) Facebook is growing by 100,000 users a day worldwide
2) Ten percent of Canada is on Facebook
3) Facebook is currently 60% non-college age and is projected to be 75% by year end.

With that in mind and a community growing quickly, I have decided to launch today a new brand called the "Facebook Enthusiast". With this brand, we have set up a group within Facebook with this name and an accompanying blog of the same name. Facebook Enthusiast

I look forward to meeting you on Facebook one day.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Facebook - My first 24 hours

Okay, I have to admit it. It was a lot of fun playing on Facebook. After a few years of LinkedIn, Facebook feels like a party. It leads to deeper relationships much more quickly and is not about your resume. It is really about relationships. I admit, I believe you must need a sense of humor and perhaps be somewhat liberal and creative in your thinking to really understand facebook.

What I think Facebook does extremely well in the "adult" world is to appeal to a demographic which LinkedIn sore misses, "The Creative Class". This class is not about recruiters and jobseekers and vc's. It is about creatively connecting with each other in ways, I could have believed to understand.

As much as there are 3 degrees of separation, somehow on day 1, I have become "friends" with Michael Moore, who I admire for his newest movie Sicko. His e-mail address happened to be in my address book, so when I first set up my profile in Facebook, it asked me if I wanted to invite people from my address books. I was able to go in and select people to invite to connect. It turned out that Michael Moore was in my address book. So instead of sending him a long and boring, why do I want to connect, once connected, I "sent him a drink"...yes, there is an add on that allowed me to send him a drink of my choice, in this case. a glass of champagne to toast his new movie. Also, as part of Facebook, you see what groups and other activities people are involved with so you can also join. There was a group for his movie Sicko, so I joined that. I also saw a group called "I love Michael Moore"....Do you know how I found out about it?...I was looking at my profile screen on LinkedIn and saw that Michael Moore (my Friend) had just joined this group. It was right there on my screen.

For an example: (click on the image below of my friends status updates)

This is somewhat voyeuristic, however, we have a real way to take a peek into other peoples lives. From this screen some friends are traveling by train into London, going to the gym, sleeping off a party, or finishing a project. Another, as found a new band to be a guest for her podcast.

A friend from New Orleans has invited me to join her humor club and also sent me a "bite" to become a "Zombie". Again, a funny way to say to someone, let's connect and have some fun while we are doing it.

To me, day one on Facebook has been a blast and actually has in some very unique way, helped me to become better friends or deepening relationships, by showing more of my life and personality online.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

SNL -- Weekend Update iPhone Special

Steve Jobs talking about the iPhone.

There is only one "i" in iPhone

Okay, it is out now, released into the world. Well, what has changed? What is the momentous shift in our lives we expected? Oh, yes an iPhone, hmmm, I always wondered about Steve Jobs and his naming of things with "i". is it really an "i"nternet phone or is it an "i" phone. An "i" phone meaning status, such as "i" have one of these cutting edge, change my life phones and "u" don't.

All you IBM PC'ers out there, okay, really, Mr. Jobs has tried to move you over to be Mac lovers for over 20 years and he was able to move most of your sons and daughters to thinking my way... the "i" way...like the phrase "my way or the highway". Oh, yes, I can see things from "u" on my phone such as "youtube". Mr. Jobs says --- Thank "u" for all the free content for the "i"phone.

And then promoting "i"Tunes is B "o" n "o" from the British rock group "u"2. He was in one of those "i"pod commercials, I can only think that all this money to pay for a simple phone could be used to help the poor in "A"frica. Wonder if those in Darfur, were lined up for the "i" products. Oh, yes, they were but it was r"i"ce.

As we approach, 07/07/07, just in time for the Live "e"arth day, where all the "i"phone users can watch some of the concerts from around the world, hoping they will change the world from global warming, I can only imagine, how all of these "i"phone "u"sers will be dumping and not rec"y"cling their phones in a "y"ear or so to get the one that actually runs on a better network from "A"T&T.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

So, you want to be an actor - my first acting class

Vince Paul, casting director of Gospel Hiil, called me this week to tell me how much he liked the mediamensch blog and the stories and photos from my nascent acting career. Vince is not only casting director, but an actor,author, producer, agent, and entrepreneur.

We began to discuss his business and background. Vince authored a book and DVD called "The Talent Guide" which is a beginners guide to acting and modeling. He wanted my advice on how to create some awareness and sales momentum on the internet. I told him about my "real job" as a sales and marketing technology strategist for my company called eWarrior LLC and my knowledge of these cutting edge areas such as "Blogging and Social Networks (www.linktocharlotte.com is one of my ventures)

Vince invited me to his beginning class class for actors called "Launching your Career", so that I could get a better idea of who he was and what type of information would be on the DVD.

I arrived Saturday morning, to his offices and led to the back where he had a classroom with about 25 students watching part of a DVD about acting and modeling career. As in any industry, sometimes the smallest advantages in moving forward and getting ahead quickly comes with being prepared. That is what this 3 hour class taught us.

The first subject was regarding how to put together your head shot and resume. We saw various "before and after" headshots, which were the ones that were originally submitted or used by the actor and the after, showing how makeup, clothing, lighting and background. We clearly understood now that actors come in all ages, shapes and sizes from babies to senior citizens. For different ages there are different ways to handle the photo or headshot submission.

On the resume side, I found this to be very informative and asked a few questions because now I actually have experience with over 10 days on a film production. An actor resume is basically three columns, the show you were in the role you had and the director, production company or location. The resume unlike your regular business resume includes you height, weight (we were told not to lie), age, hair color and eye color.

For the basic beginning actor, many times an extras casting director, will choose you because he sees you have experience on a set and know what is called "set etiquette". Also because most days of filming are long (12 to 14 hours), they like to see that you stayed on the set all day and didn't leave. This is so important because once you are in a movie or scene, if you leave and the need to shoot anothe part of the scene, for continuity of the film you need to be in the shot, no matter how small your role.

The other thing I learned was the difference between applying for a modeling or print ad job and an acting job. For the modeling jobs, your picture IS your resume. The trick with your picture in this case would be to make you picture look like an ad you might see in magazine. He showed us an example of a child's photo resume or what is known as "composite card", where it was posed like a GAP store advertisement.

We also learned about the difference between theater, commercials, television and film. There are many differences in being in each medium and success in one does not guarantee success in another.

One thing I did learn and was not clear about, was the difference between an agent and a casting director. The agent represents the actor and the casting director works for the production company working calling on agents to find specific talent they need.

The last part we discussed was pay and what would be realistic pay for work. For jobs that were professionally shot and where an agent was involved an actor with some experience might expect $500 per day or more for a corporate training film or commercial. In some cases, agents may also be able to negotiate "residuals" for an actor in which an actor would be paid for each time the commercial is shown. I had a flashback to my first job at WNBC radio where a few of the other interns I worked with were in roles in "Milk is a Natural" and "Coca Cola" commercials. I didn't realize how much they were making....If I only new then what I know now.

Now, go "Break a Leg"

Friday, June 29, 2007

King Louis Narcisse - This Little Light Of Mine

This is real footage in church of "This Little Light of Mine". A version of this song will be in the movie "Gospel Hill".

This Little Light Of Mine

This is Springsteen's version of the old spiritual called "This Little Light of Mine". We sang this in the park scene with a 5 person gospel group in Gsopel Hill movie. Found this vefsion on Youtube.

Sicko - Letter I Recieved from Michael Moore - Director

Today is the Day for "Sicko"

June 29, 2007


This is it! Two years in the making! The day that our new film, "Sicko," arrives in theaters all across North America! Click here to see where the nearest one is to you.

After you go, let me know what you think. Oh, and send us a photo or a video from your cell phone to show us what it looked like at your theater. We'd love to post a photo from each of the 440 movie theaters showing "Sicko."

To read more about the movie, you can go to www.michaelmoore.com.

Here's what this morning's review in the L.A. Times said: "It's likely his most important, most impressive, and most provocative film." Okay, what do they know? I prefer to trust the assessment of E! Television Online: " 'Sicko' - the best movie ever? Maybe." Maybe? MAYBE?! When will they ever give me a break?

It's been a weirdly funny week. First Larry King bumped me for Paris Hilton. Then today, when CNBC invited me to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for an interview, the stock exchange said I was barred from the building. On top of that, Tony Blair is gone, Cheney says he's no longer answerable to anyone's elected government, and I simply don't want an iPhone. Just another week in America.

Hope you enjoy the movie!

Michael Moore

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gospel Hill - Movie Poster


Movie Poster for Gospel Hill
Starring Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Julia Stiles
Directed by Giancarlo Exposito

Toward the middle of filming, I had a chance to shake hands and thankGiancarlo.
The movie is expected to be released in mid-2008.
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Gospel Hill - "Singin' in the Heat"


In this scene, were are at a memorial service or celebration for the civil rights activist in this small southern town. Hundreds of people turn out to celebrate his life in ths scenee including in real life Nia Long, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Julia Stiles. There is a stage set up in this park. (the park was recreated for this film including a large commercial swing set that you find in city parks). In this scene a Gospel Group is singing a beautiful song celebrating his life. The crowd is singing along as well including me!...The singing was beautiful and inspirational even though this was pretend, it also felt real. I guess the tell actors to "be in the moment".

The other part which you do not see in this scene is that I am one of handful of people that actually had to wear a corporate dress suit. Even though this was taken at around 2 in the morning, I had to stand in 80 degree heat for 3 hours. (you can click on the photo to really see me sweat) There was not water available or what is known as "craft service" in the lingo. So I did what I learned from Leatherheads, (where everyone had to wear heavy winter clothes in 70 degree weather)...I boldly walked over to a production truck and asked them if I could have a bottle from the cooler set aside for the "crew".

See, on film set there is sort of a pecking order, or what I call a caste system. From bottom to top in terms of your power or position on the film it seems to be as follows

Non-paid extras to paid extras to crew to featured actors to directors to producers. (If anyone wants to correct me or add to this please leave a comment).

Well that is a long story for just one picture. We were "Singin' in the Heat' Not so glamourous is it?
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fort Mill (SC) Times Article about Filming "Gospel Hill"

This is an article with background of how Fort Mill, SC was chosen as one of the locations for filming the movie, Gospel Hlll and a detailed description of the first night of filming there with stars, Danny Glover, Julia Stiles, and Angela Bassett.

Gospel Hill - Waiting in Extra's Holding at Midnight


From L to R Frank West, Kricket Morton, Dianne Gallagher, Andy Kaplan waiting in "extra's holding" for the movie "Gospel Hill" (Photo by freelance photographer Wade Nash) Frank West and Dianne Gallagher are videographer and field reporter, respectively for CN2 News in Rock Hill, NC. Kricket Morton is former sports anchor for WBTV, Charlotte, NC. Wade Nash is one of the top freelance sports photographers in the country. Frank and Wade play their real life roles in the movie. Dianne Gallagher and I play as "memorializers" for at a celebration for a civil rights activists death in a city park.
We finally went out to the set at around 1 am and filmed until the film "wrapped" at 4 am.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gospel Hill - Picking out my "Costume"

I was told to arrive at 7 pm in Fort Mill, SC, just outside of Charlotte. This was my first night shoot for the film Gospel Hill. I drove about 30 minutes to Fort Mill after I left a business meeting where I was wearing my grey pinstriped business suit.

To prepare for the film, I spent an hour earlier in the day organizing and selecting four or five different "casual outfits" that included jeans, tan khaki pants, blue dress pants and about 5 different combinations of shirts from polo to dress. The suit was definitely too formal, so I expected to change when I arrived.

After driving through a torrential downpour on the Interstate, I arrived at the location in Fort Mill. It was an beautiful old church. The extra's holding was in the main social hall in the church. As I walked into the room, over 200 people were sitting on black plastic folding chairs. I carried my 10 lbs of clothes on hangers into to room and checked in at the desk. They handed me a legal release from that says, they can use my likeness in the movie however they want and I won't sue them. I then met Vince who was the casting director who had called me the day before. Vince is a tall, good looking charismatic executive. He collected my release form and then directed me over to see the costumer to see which "outfit" would fit the part I needed to play.

As I looked over, the costumer, was Ginger, who I had worked on with at Leatherheads. As soon as she saw me get in her line, she exclaimed good naturedly with a big smile - "Here comes trouble". Ginger had been one of the friendliest and most meticulous costmers on Leatherheads.(On leatherheads she was straightening my hat, fixing my tie, tieing my overcoat belt in a square not...an lifting up our trousers to almost wedgie proportions to so we had the 1920's look of showing our socks).

She took one look at me in my pinstripe suit and said "Perfect, you can wear what you have on." I replied somewhat pleadingly "Do you want to see my other ties?", hoping at least my hour of preparation of choosing the outfits was not totally wasted, She smiled and said "No, what you have on is fine. Go put the reat of your clothes back in your car." I walked back out into the light drizzle, put the clothes in the trunk of my car.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Gospel Hill" Movie - I'm going to a funeral

I got a call today from the casting director (Vince) for Gospel Hill. He told me to bring 4 different outfits mostly casual and possibly a suit. We are going to be in a scene at a funeral. As a "paid" extra, he wanted me to arrive earlier than the "unpaid" extras. I was told all of the stars of the film will be in the scene including Danny Glover, Julia Stiles and Angela Bassett.

This will be my first "night shoot". It will be an interesting experience to see how the lighting and directors will work at night. I googled the directions to the shoot and the place I am to arrive at is down the street from a cemetary, so I imagine that's where it will be shot.

The exciting part is that I had a chance to work with George Clooney, John Kasinski and Renee Zellweger in Leatherheads in April and May and a month later, I am in a role with these other major actors.

Charlotte, NC and South Carolina are now attracting more movie and television production. The Legend of Ricky Bobby was filmed here and the tv show about Nascar Reality racing show called Gillette Young Guns was filmed here at Lowes Motor Speedway. Last year, the movie Cars by Disney made its debut here and Regis and Kelly did a live show from here.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Billboard in Cannes for the film called "Gospel Hill". The film started production today just outside of Charlotte, NC (in South Carolina). I received a call today from the casting company and will be filming as an "extra" next week. This is exciting as I was exposed directly to the civil rights movement and marches.
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Media Evolved - How Millions of CD's and DVD's are made

I had the opportunity to visit Bill Walker, CEO and founder of Media Evolved last week. His offices are in a converted "big box" where a Target store once existed. I parked in the parking lot with a chain link fence surrounding the cars.

Here was a non-descript white building. I walked in the door and read some articles on how MediaEvolved found this space.

Bill had met me via LinkedIn and also just joined my new social network called www.linktocharlotte.com. Bill's background had been in media and music so I looked forward to learning more about his business.

I thought I was going to find some machines that could mass copy cd's and dvd's. Instead when Bill gave me the tour of his factory, I actually watched machines make CD's and DVD's from scratch, piecing together the layers of a CD, digitizing with bits and bytes within a thin layer, then copying these. Media Evolved runs 7 by 24 and produces CD's and DVD's for movie companies, corporations, and record companies.
Some clients included Microsoft and Bank of America.

Not only does he make the cd's and dvd's but he has a warehouse of all the marketing materials and covers need to surround the DVD so it can be shipped directly to stores or to distributors.

I was amazed to watch this football field size facility create so much product simultaneously. At the time I visited he was expanding the space to include two new state of the art DVD machines at over $1 million each. I now have an appreciation to the amount of technology it takes to create millions of digital media.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Civil Rights movie "Gospel Hill"

After taking a one month "hiatus" from acting, I decided to apply for another role in the movie called "Gospel Hill" being filmed in South Carolina starting the end of June. This is a $6mm film with a cast including Julia Styles, Danny Glover, and Angela Bassett It is directed by Giancarlo Esposito.

According to IMDB.com, Gospel Hill is about the “former sheriff of the southern town dealing with past sins, and the former civil rights worker withdrawn since the martyrdom of his brother thirty years before".

Monday, June 11, 2007

End of Race Week


This was a photo taken by a photographer for Coca Cola and Food Lion. This was the last hour of racing for the Coca Cola 600 and I look a little hot and tired in the picture for the 14 hour days.
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dickinson College Alumni Weekend 2007

Well, for the second year in a row, I was awarded an alumni award from my college and was not able to attend to receive the awards due to other personal celebrations. Last year, I was awarded the alumni volunteer of the year award in June 2006. This year, the alumni club of Charlotte which I chair was awarded the most improved alumni club in just our second year.

Although I could not make the ceremony our college has a "virtual reunion" on its website with photographers posting pictures in chronological order of todays events.
Here is the snapshots in order: http://www.dickinson.edu/alumni/vr07/vr.cfm

Here is are a few photos shots from today's ceremonies. Brian Kamoie, President of the alumni council introducing the alumni awards and Julie Wise McClure of the Baltimore Club receiving her alumni volunteer of the year award. Photos our our beautiful campus in front of "Old West"

Dickinson College under the leadership of President Bill Durden is on its way to becoming one of the more prestigious liberal arts colleges in the country.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cindy Sheehan, Bree Walker and Me

This article caught my eye as I logged onto AOL this morning.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/09/sheehan.land.ap/index.html and realized there was a connection. Bree Walker (see picture) and I worked together at NBC Radio early in our careers.

Okay, I have to admit, I have admired the guts of Cindy Sheehan and the campaign she ran against the Iraqi War. I know that she has had good intentions all along about the destruction that war brings.

Most of us remember that in the midst of her anti-war efforts, she bought a parcel of land in Crawford, TX, just down the road from George Bush's "ranch". She named it after her son who was killed in the Iraqi War, "Camp Casey". Her main intention of doing that was to create a way for her to meet with George Bush and create worldwide publicity for that meeting. George Bush and his "Carl Rovian" handlers would have none of that.

Last week I read about Cindy Sheehan's resignation from leading the anti war group because she wanted to get back to her life and family. The article mentioned that she also was upset with some of the new congressional democrats recently elected because they compromised with George Bush and continue to fund the war without deadlines. The story also mentioned that she was going to sell the parcel of land on e-bay starting at about $50,000.

Well, to my surprise, I saw a headline today as I logged into my AOL account, that a West Coast reporter offered to buy the land from her for around $80,000 and there would be no auction. This Los Angeles based reporter had interviewed Cindy Sheehan a few times over the years and supported her position. The reporters name was Bree Walker.

Okay, now here is the connection...In 2nd summer working my college job at WNBC radio at 30 Rock as the "N-Car" driver and in the music promotion and programming area, there was a smart beautiful young disk jockey named Bree Bushaw. A few years later she was married and moved to San Diego and then went on to LA. Her name is Bree Walker and I have not seen her in person for over 30 years. I remember how she was a fighter and a person who didn't let her disabilities get in her way.

Funny how our views of the world still coincide. Congrats Bree! You are fearless.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

NASCAR - Coca Cola 600 - An Insiders View

I arrived at the race track at 11 am. Gates opened at noon for the fans and the race start time is about 5 pm. Already getting to the track you sit in traffic where the last mile took me about 15 minutes even though I had VIP parking passes. I quickly parked my car and made my way up the express elevator to the Diamond Tower Suites. I met with the team of other "concierges", medical personal, security, cleaning, catering and corporate hosts already preparing the suites for the day.

The suites and companies I worked with this year were a little different from the fall race season. I worked with a suite from Deloitte, Speedways Children's Charities, Carolinas Medical Center, Anheuser Busch, CT Communications, The Charlotte Observer Newspaper, and a suite called "The Pit Crew". Most of these are sponsors or closely connected with Lowes Motor Speedway.

I had worked with some of the "hosts" for the fall Bank of America races, so it was easier this time to anticipate issues and things they needed. Most of the suites are given "Pit Passes" so that their guests can visit the pit area prior to the race. Some of these suites will hire a guide for an "official tour".

At 4:15, one of the most interesting things happened. The army was presenting a 30 minute program that included blackhawk helicopters flying around suite level inside the stadium, army rangers rappelling into the track, and they even fired explosives from a large cannon. This was memorial day, so it was really time to reflect and honor the troops. I had met an army ranger the previous day and had a long discussion about Iraq and our exit strategy. He had served 3 tours in Iraq and really provided a different perspective than what I had grasped from reading newspapers and magazines and watching tv and youtube.

Most of this race was mixed with crashes as the heat on the track was around 140 degrees at race time and the track would be cooling down on until darkness fell. Top racers such as Jeff Gordon were eliminated early from the race. With about 50 laps to go it looked as if Tony Stewart would be wrapping up the win.

Also, at lap 50, in one of my suites was a winner of the Food Lion/Coca Cola Sweepstakes. He had been entertained all week, got a ride in the pace car prior to the race and now was heading down with a photographer, his host from Coca Cola to ride a stretch hummer to Victory Lane. I was close to tagging along as things were quiet at that point and there was plenty of room. I settled for the photographer taking my picture in the suite. (I hope to get a copy to post here).

Also during the race, there is lots of food and drinks being served from fruit plates to chicken, to cheesecake. There is also a bar in each suite with two bartenders who make sure that the food and drinks are plentiful.

At the end of the race, I was able to pick up a gift basket from the Pit Crew Suite from Cabarrus County Visitor Bureau. I also was able to bring home a giant bag of popcorn for my kids.

At the end of the night, I did have a bit of an insiders view of the track. I had the opportunity to drive my car around from Turn 2 to the corporate area near Turn 4 as I had to report in. It was interesting weaving in and out of the sea of fans leaving the race. It was only my car and the official golf carts in that area.

I did get to meet some people this week from NASCAR, Lowes Motor Speedway, Speedway Children's Charities, and

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cannes - Headhunter debuts as "Riding with Elvis"

I received a note of a change of the films name as it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. G. Edward Stanley's autobiographical production with had the title "Headhunter" changed its name to "Riding with Elvis". I actually like that name better as it is a clearer description of the impact that Elvis Presley had on G. David Stanley's life.

Nextel All Star Challenge

The Nextel All Star Challenge is somewhat of a homecoming for many of the NASCAR drivers and it is a "permanent" all-star game "race" which is held every year of Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, just outside of Charlotte.

The top Nascar drivers in the world compete for a $1 million dollar prize. It is an exciting night usually filled with some tight racing and wrecks as there are three segments of 20 laps each, so it is more like a sprint to win.

The week here in Charlotte in the Spring that includes the Nextel Cup and the Coca Cola 600 is called Speed Week. We have a "Speed Street" in downtown Charlotte that includes most of the major sponsors of NASCAR and three stages of musci.

This year, I was working at the race handling the suites for NASCAR, Speed Channel/Fox Sports, Purina, CarQuest, and others. The suites were along turn 4 which is the last turn before the finish line. It is an exciting place to be sitting. The suites are glass enclosed with seating for about 50 people and come with their own bartenders and buffet.

Being a concierge is about a 10 hour day. This job is part host, part security, and part maintenance. In addition to playing host, things go on in the suites from fixing the air conditioning systems to painting and putting up logos and artwork, to setting up the televisions (and handling the remote controls) for each suite.

I had a chance to meet and mingle within most of these suites this week and got to meet some of the event planners and sports marketing people who are responsibile for making sure their company's clients are having a great experience.

Cannes - D. Edward Stanley and The Headhunter

While I was working on the film Leatherheads (George Clooney - December 2007 release) and working my way beck to contacts within the film industry, I received a call from a friend from San Francisco that I needed to talk to a business associate and mentor of hers, named D. Edward Stanley.

I was not really familiar with him or his name. She told me to go to his website, www.impellofilms.com and to look at some of the projects he was working on and to give him a call to introduce myself. I was somewhat busy with filming "Leatherheads" and in the midst of working on working on this blog, so I did not get a chance to call right away. David was heading out on a long motorcycle ride. About 10 days later, as I was sitting in Starbucks, I called him and spoke to him for about thirty minutes about film production and business plans, building teams and executioin of those plans.

David turned out to be one of the sharpest people I have spoken too. He also turned out to be the step brother of Elvis Presley and had actually grown up in Graceland since the age of four and being one of Elvis's bodyguards at age 16. He had just completed ab autobiographical movie called "Headhunter" which he was promoting at the May 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was a movie about his life as Elvis' bodyguard and the experiences he encountered on tour with Elvis. D. Edward Stanley was "The Headhunter".

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cannes - Michael Moore - Sicko is Socko!

I just received this letter from Michael Moore, director and creator of the movie Sicko, about our health care system in the United States. It debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this past week to tears and a 15 minute standing ovation.

Here is the letter from Michael Moore:

A Letter from Michael Moore: 'Sicko' is Socko in Cannes!

May 23rd, 2007


Well, as you may have read by now, our premiere of "Sicko" at the Cannes Film Festival has been an overwhelming success. The 2,000 people inside the Lumiere Theater were alternately in tears and laughing during the two-hour film -- and when it was over, they gave it a standing ovation that seemed to go on for nearly 15 minutes! Many came up to me and said (and critics seem to agree) that this is my best film yet. I don't know about that, and it seems weird to compare any of these movies in the first place. But I do feel safe in saying that I am very, very happy with this film and I can't wait to show it to you when it opens on June 29th.

Cannes is a crazy place. There are film lovers here from nearly every country in the world. And then there are the people in "show business." These dark forces have virtually ruined this art form (invented by the French and nurtured to brilliance by the country I call home). There are so many bad, awful films now and less and less people are going to the movies. Many who run Hollywood believe that the American people are too stupid to enjoy a film that respects their intelligence.

At the press screening for "Sicko," the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved. Aside from my stated desire that "Sicko" ignite a fire for free, universal health care (and a larger wish that we, as Americans, do a better job of treating each other with a true sense of solidarity and respect), I continue to hope that I can make a contribution to the art of cinema and give people a good reason to get out of the house for a few hours.

At my festival press conference, the only negative word came from the Canadians. Two critics didn't like all the nice things I said about their health care system. Yes, Canadian health care has its flaws, but when I asked the two critics if they would exchange their health care cards for mine, they said "No!" Of course they wouldn't. Canadians live longer than we do and their infant mortality is not as high as ours. Their system is underfunded because their leaders have been trying to push for more American-style health care.

The rest of the week has been good and I am now on my way back to the U.S. The New York Post reported Sunday that the Bush administration, in addition to going after me for filming scenes in or near Cuba, may now go after the 9/11 rescue workers I took with me to get the medical care they were denied by our own government. I couldn't make up irony like this if I wanted to, and I will do whatever is necessary to defend the human right of these true American heroes to receive the medical attention they deserve.

We've also received word that the HMO and pharmaceutical industries are gearing up to fight "Sicko." We received so many great whistleblower letters while we were making the movie from employees of these companies. We'd like to hear from you again! Send us the internal memos and any other plans you run across at the company copying machine or internet server. It will help to stay ahead of whatever they are up to, and it will also give us a chance for a bit of fun at the industry's expense.

I will soon have a special section of my website devoted to "Sicko." Until then, we'll move forward toward our June 29th release date. Hope to see you all there that weekend!

Michael Moore

Monday, May 21, 2007

Leatherheads - YouTube and an "Authentic" Leatherhead - Ernie Nevers

I was doing a search on YouTube this morning for Leatherheads to see if there were and video clips from the movie. There were a couple of them. However, I found this "vintage" (or is it?) footage of a real Leatherhead from the 1925 era who played on Duluth and Chicago. His name is Ernie Nevers. This Youtube video is footage of a workout with subtitles explaining about Nevers and the beginning of professional football. According to the video Ernie Nevers became the highest paid player of his era

and here is a Wikipedia entry:

Ernie Nevers
Date of birth June 11, 1902
Place of birth Willow River, Minnesota
Date of death May 3, 1976
Place of death San Rafael, California
Position(s) Fullback
Head Coach
College Stanford
Career Highlights
Awards 1925 Rose Bowl MVP
Honors NFL 1920s All-Decade Team
Career Record 12-26-2
Playing Stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching Stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1929-1931 Duluth Eskimos
Chicago Cardinals
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1939 Duluth Eskimos
Chicago Cardinals
Chicago Cardinals
College Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1963
Ernest Alonzo Nevers (June 11, 1902 - May 3, 1976) was an American football fullback who played for the Duluth Eskimos and the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League.

Nevers attended Santa Rosa High School, in Santa Rosa, California, where he excelled in football. In 1920, as a senior, he led the team to the NCS Championships. In 1925 the football field at Santa Rosa High School was renamed Nevers Field in his honor. In 2004, just in time for the homecoming game, a $2 million dollar refurbishment of Nevers Field was completed. The improvements included an artificial turf, an all-weather 8-lane track, new bleachers, a snack bar and ticket booth, restrooms, and lights for night games.

Nevers went on to attend Stanford University, where he was an All-American, and played in the 1925 Rose Bowl. Former coach Pop Warner called Nevers "the football player without a fault", and he was often compared to Jim Thorpe. Although Nevers excelled in several sports, including basketball and baseball (as a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, he gave up two home runs to Babe Ruth in his 60-homer season of 1927), he signed a contract with the Eskimos. The Eskimos were a unique team, as they had no actual home, and played all their games on the road. After two seasons for Duluth during which he played almost every minute on offense and defense, he did not play in the 1928 season. However, he returned to the NFL to play fullback and coach the Chicago Cardinals from 1929 to 1931. During one game in 1929, Nevers set a record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon. Not only did Nevers score every touchdown (6), but he kicked four extra points, giving the Cardinals 40 points over the cross-town rival Chicago Bears. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lowes Motor Speedway - My first brush with NASCAR

Each year in Charlotte in May we have a two week period of racing with the Busch Truck Series race, the Nextel All Star Challenge and the Coca Cola 600.

Last year one of my clients became the Director of Group and Club sales for Lowes Motor Speedway. I have worked with many of the major sports teams in the group sales area helping them with database marketing, customer relationship management and web strategy.

Since I live in the midst of NASCAR, I decided to learn as much as I could about it and began to look for ways to learn about it customers and the marketing of the sport.

Last spring, I helped with Lowes Motor Speedways booth at a carnival like event called "Speed Street" and helped to manage their booth. Hundreds of thousands of fans come to downtown Charlotte to be entertained by companies (Kellogg's, GM, Ford, Tide, Cheerios, Home Depot,and any others you would find on the hood of a race car.

For the Fall 2006 race, the Bank of America 500, there was a new opportunity to work with the Corporate Sales area as a concierge for their corporate suites. This was the perfect fit as I really had a way to see how the corporate side of NASCAR entertains their clients. I was responsible for suites for Bank of America (who was the race sponsor), Budweiser (Dale Jr.), 3M, and The Wallace Family (Kenny and Rusty's family).

This week, year I will be working for the races on the suite level and also working to help with areas of the Speedway Club (the dining club and area for its members). The Speedway Club a beautiful dining facility overlooking the track with a large ballroom and meeting rooms as well.

Since I enjoyed looking at the inside of making a film with Leatherheads, I decided to do a simliar thing my experiences working with Lowes Motor Speedway and Race Week when over 200,000 fans descend upon the track.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Some ideas for our screens and logos for LinkedtoCharlotte. This is a new local social networking site which is in private Beta right now. We expect the official launch in June
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That's a Wrap --- Ginger (Costumer and fellow Charlottean) and Andy Kaplan on my last day in Leatherheads. Ginger had been working with me, helping with my costumes since my first day in Charlotte. Ginger worked tirelessly and with a smile helping extras to look authentic. This included such attention to detail as to how your scarf was set, whether your hat was being worn properly, etc. Ginger also was watching that our pants were pulled up, as back in the 1920's they were worn up a bit with the socks showing. When the movie comes out, take a look for those details. Thanks, Ginger
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Leatherheads - Greensboro Spectators watching filming

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Leatherheads - The Clooney Project and MediaMensch Link Up

One of the interesting things about writing a blog and being on this journey are some of the unexpected opportunities to meet people you would not ordinarily come in contact with.

One my blog and in my e-mail, I decided to experiment and create an automatic search for news on George Clooney or Leatherheads. Every few days, I would see an alert with a posting coming from a website called "The Clooney Project". The Clooney Project is a site which seems to do a great deal of research to blog or write about anything related to George Clooney.

After filming in Statesville, NC. I was quoted in an article regarding the film "Leatherheads". Also in the article were pictures from the film set from the newspaper of a police officer in the movie in authentic 1920's uniform.

When I went to The Clooney Project to read the article, it occurred to me that I have a great picture of George Clooney directing the film in Greensboro, NC. The shot has him looking through a camera to set up a shot where the fans are entering the stadium for a championship football game.

I contacted the editor/owner of "The Clooney Project" and told her it would be great if we could "cross-promote" each others blogs. One of my goals when I started blogging about six weeks ago, was to become a well known professional blogger. One of the secrets of doing this is gaining credibility from being linked to credible sites.

An article was posted on The Clooney Project with a link back...

Another step in the journey is complete.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Leatherheads - Blogging and NBC Universal PR/Marketing Strategy

My blogging life actually started with my company blog called www.eWarrior.com. At the beginning of 2007, I thought about raising my expertise and profile as a blogger. I set upon a journey to work hard to learn as much about blogging as possible.

At the beginning of the filming of Leatherheads, I decided to work hard to blog about my experience as a first time extra on the set of a major motion picture production. My inspiration came from a blogger and friend named Mindy Roberts who writes The Mommy Blog. Earlier this year, Mindy was invited to CBS for a blogger "press" visit to the set of the "New Adventures of Old Christine. They followed Mindy for the day and videotaped her visit and those of the other bloggers. Much of it was of all the bloggers, but some was specific interviews with Mindy. Soon after her visit, Mindy was presented with a video of her visit.

Wait hold the presses....I just visited her blog today and found this post -called "Scoff if you like, but we made the front page of the wall street journal". This idea was written up on the front page of the WSJ". about the bloggers trip.
Here is a link to the article itself on the WSJ website.

So with this strategy in mind, I am working to see if Universal Studios PR and Marketing folks may be interested in having us blog through the release date on December 7th. I would love to have permission to have the trailer and possibly some film of my experience in leatherheads on my blog. That's my vision.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Leatherheads - George Clooney Directing Outside Greensboro War Memorial Stadium May 3, 2007


Most of my blog has been about my experiences. However, I owe my experiences to the one and only George Clooney. George epitomizes leadership. He is focussed, surrounds himself with a talented world class production team and somehow keeps an even keel under what many would think would be extreme pressure.

This was one of the most positive experiences I have ever had in my life. For me, it was not just about filmmaking, it was really watching one of the most talented young directors early in his career. George Clooney has the ability to find humor and use humor not only within the film, but on the set as well. The people he hires are so positive and warm and make you feel like part of this professional team.

With my financial acumen, I was figuring on large shoots the 500+extra's alone must cost about $60,000 a day or about $5000 an hour. Camera's, cranes, special effects, costumes, rental of props and antique cars adds on to that. I don't really know anything about what the top actors and actresses are paid, but without those salaries, I am guessing we are talking about a budget of $300,000 to $500,000 a day. So having worked 9 days on the film, I probably saw between three to five million dollars spent.

George's directors whom I had a chance to meet were very accessible as well, Ian Calip and John Saunders were able to spend some time speaking with me as well on topics such as where they travel to next for their film to how to get a script or book made into a movie.

As I have written before, the casting director,the costomers, hairstylists, makeup, set designers, animal warngler, and sound engineers were accessible and provided such interesting insight about this film and other films they have been in.

Going back to George. In this shot, it was basically walking into the stadium...a few hundred extras, two dozen cars, about a houndred crew makes this happen. There is such an attention to detail to keep this authentic. I'll predict now there will be some academy award nominations for custumes for this movie.

Can't wait until we see the previews trailers in the movie theatres later this year.
Remember, I do believe just as you can taste or feel love in a home cooked meal, you will feel the energy of love and humor come from the screen.

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Leatherheads - Day 9 - The Athletic Club Scene

Today we arrived relatively late at 10 am to check in. Today, I am one of about 20 extras who are here to work on the scene in the athletic club. We drive about 50 minutes to Statesville to the Statesville Civic Center. Inside is a large room which is the extras holding area. On each side of the corridor outside the room are the men's changing rooms, women's changing rooms, and hair and makeup.

Today, I am for the first time a real constumed extra from head to toe. I arrive at at wardrobe and see my familiar faces including Ginger who I have worked with since Charlotte. She is an amazing costumer with a great style, sense of fashion and always a smile on her face...(tough to do with all these long days). In my wardrobe I have a "onesie" or scivvy which is a white t-shirt except it also has the pants in it.. You actually step into it to put it on and then bring the top over and button the left strap. I also was given very thin 1920's era vintage socks and a pair of white suede shoes with red rubber soles. I was also given a pair of golden brown sweatpants.

Then we were taken to hair and makeup. A bench was outside the room

Leatherheads - Statesville with Makeup Artist Kristen

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Andy Kaplan in 1920's athletic gear called a "onesie" with Kristen R. after completing hair and makeup. Haircuts and makeup are precise for all actors for the 1920's period.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Leatherheads - It ain't over till its over

Monday, May 14th, 2007 - Last week, the phone rang. It was Dan from the casting office. I had spoken to Dan a few weeks back to let him know of my cousin's Kosher Restaurant and Deli as some of the NY and LA types working on the movie may be missing some "ethnic" food like a good corned beef sandwich and a knish. (Most of these items come from companies in the heart of the Jewish community in Brooklyn).

We started talking about my blog and how it would be really great if I could get more work after the Charlotte filming. After I missed getting a part as a "fireman" in Statesville and finished Greensboro filming, I had called back to see if I could get any other role to just be a part of the Statesville, NC filming.

Well, a few days later (last Wednesday) my phone rang and he said there was a part as in a 1920's athletic club scene which called for some "larger" men. He said I would be working out and might be featured on camera including doing something like riding an exercise bike (I didn't know they had them back then). He also told me that George Clooney and Renee Zellweger would be in the scene. I had only scene Renee Z once back in Charlotte, so I am looking forward to this opportunity.

On Thursday, I went back up to the Casting HQ in Statesville, got my hair styled and trimmed even shorter since I won't have a hat on for this scene and the top which was kept longer needs now to be realistic. My eleven year old son took the trip up there with me as well. I met with Deborah B. again, one of the main costume designers who works in this expansive wardrobe warehouse. (She also comes on the set for part of the day also).

She took me back first to a box of "sneakers" from that period. Unfortunately, they ones in the box were Men's size 6 to 8. I wear a 10 to 11 size. I thought for a minute again. Well, I won't be in this scene now...however she said wait a minute and came back with a box of white shoes which look like golf shoes with rubber soles. She took out a pair and told me to try them on. My son was watching me try them on and saw the smile come back on my face when they fit.

I then was taken to a dressing room area where there was a table to the left and a rack with some clothes hangin on it. A white tee-shirt with thing arms that also had a bottom which looked a like the old bathing suits of that day. There was then a pair of tan pants (I guess we can call them sweat pants) to go over this.

The t-shirt which I asked Deborah about is called a scivvy or an all-in-one. The scivvy fit fine and again, I felt a sense of relief that I would be in the scene. Then Deborah took off the tan pants for me to try on...I noticed the tag that they were a lot smaller than my waist size. We tried two different styles. The length was perfect, the waist was about 4 inches too small.

Again, Deborah, took some measurements and then left for about 10 minutes. I thought she would be coming back with another pair of pants. Instead she came back with Maria V., the seamstress. I guess I had seen people sewing as I walked in earlier, but I thought they were repairing costumes or creating special costumes.

I put on the tan pants again, an Deborah took a scissor and cut the back of the pants about 8 inches down so they opened up in the back and then I could button them in the front. The seamstress, Maria, then looked at it took some measurements and then also looked and said we need to also drop the pants about 1 1/2 inches in the crotch too (phew I was glad about that..it would have been a very uncomfortable day)..She took them away and I believe she did her magic. I will find out later today when I show up on set at the Statesville Civic Center.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Passover Story and the Charlotte Observer

For the past few years I have been hanging out at my cousin's store and deli called Gleiberman's Kosher Mart. Turned out when I moved to Charlotte over a dozen years ago, I had some relatives I had never met. My grandfather came over from Poland (near Bialystock) in the early part of the 1900's as a teenager. He made the voyage on the Aquitania (the same ship, JFK took to England just prior to WWII to see his father who was ambassador the England). He had a sister...but somehow there was a rift and the family grew apart.

Well, I took an interest in Kosher Mart. It was a unique business, getting foods shipped on trucks from Brookly twice a week. He was the only Kosher Market between Atlanta and Richmond, VA. My cousin Jeffrey is like an old Jewish man even though he is about 40 years old. He is brilliant about kosher foods and distribution and lvoes to talk to the customers.

After my first few years of visiting his store, when the internet/ecommerce time came I wanted to study and find out how one day this might be turned into an online store. Well this year after about $1 million dollar renovation of a new store near Shalom Park they opened up a beautiful deli and market with a full service restaurant. Passover is their busiest time of year as the kosher customers need to clear their homes of food that is not kosher for Passover and purchase food for the family dinners called Sedars which typically take place on the first and second nights. It is the celebration of the Jewish People's Exodus from Egypt.

Well, somewhere back in February I had told Robert (who manages the business), that I could help out if they needed it. Due to my flexible schedule I decided I could help from 10 am to about 2 pm each day. I basically ran the cashier and was Maitre d' for the restaurant on the days leading up to Passover.

I learned so much. Each day the orthodox rabbis would appear from the local synagogue to make sure every thing there was Glatt Kosher, the strictest dietary rules followed.

I learned things I never knew before. For example, when bagging groceries, dairy had to go into separate grocery bags from meat items, even though they were in their packaging. For some strict followers, food that was kosher (but NOT kosher for Passover) could not touch areas where the Kosher for Passover food was. I learned this when one customer held the grocery items over the counter and would not put them down..and asked me to scan them and put them in a bag.

I also learned I needed to wash my hands if I was stocking shelves in the area of regular kosher foods that were not Kosher for Paasover so again I didn't taint the Passover foods.

A few days before Passover, a reporter and photographer from the Charlotte Observer Newspaper came in and was following one of kosher marts customers for nearly a week to see how she prepared for Passover and what recipes they used. The reporter happened to be the food editor (I found out later). They snapped a few pictures and then there was one of the grocery cart overflowing with items ready for checkout at my cashier. They told us that the article would be in the newspaper on April 4th. I figured it would be a n article inside the paper somewhere tucked inside a lifestyle section.

On the morning of April 4th, I went outside to retrieve my newspaper and brought it in and put it on the kitchen table. I usually skim the front page, read the sports section and then look at the editorial pages and letters to the editor. I never saw the article. I started my work day and made some calls and did some writing. At lunchtime, I made a sandwich and sat at the kitchen table. I flipped open th newspaper to see what sections I hadn't read. To my surprise, their was a complete section called "Food" and the picture of the customer with me at the register was taking up about one third of the front page. This was publicity I never sought and never thought about...most of Charlotte must have seen the picture because friends from all over town told me for weeks thay saw me.

As I tell my children and most people I meet, Take a road less travelled and enjoy the journey. (Notes of interest: By the way, what cashier has a high definition television 6 feet from where they work...and that was approximately $450.00 worth of groceries.)

Is there "Space Available"?

I have been pursuing the idea of helping some friends and associates with producing their books, screenplays, treatments and other concepts into film, radio, internet tv, and anything else appropriate.

One of my fellow Lake Norman Toastmasters has had an interesting journey of his own. Sid Davis showed up at one of our meetings at the old Holiday Inn in Cornelius, NC one Wednesday night a few years ago. He was a USAirways airline mechanic during the day and a writer and former radio disc jockey. He also is a low handicap golfer, something that helps in the land of golf courses of North Carolina.

In Toastmasters, it in so many ways becomes the catalyst or foundation for a new life's journey. In Sid's case, he started to take on the role of JokeMaster to warm up our club at the meetings and then ended up giving some very funny and well written speeches while moving through the basic manual speeches of the ice breaker, organize your speech, using your voice, show what you mean, etc. Sid also worked hard and stepped up to the plate to help the club.

Over time he began to give "humor workshops" to our fellow Toastmasters both in our club and at other clubs in the region. He then due to some unforeseen situation with health issues and career issues of our current leaders, became the President of our club (after only being a member for less than a year).
He came in just after me which at the time were tough shoes to fill as I had just been awarded the Helen Yandle award for being the Top Club President in the state.

Over the next year, Sid started to take comedy classes at the Comedy Zone downtown. The combination of his training in Toastmasters and now in comedy made him the perfect candidate to emcee the comedy zone shows. (He started the weekday shows).

At the same time, he began to write a book about his experiences based upon his behind-the-scenes experiences as an airline employee and the concept of identity theft. The book he wrote was called "Space Available"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Leatherheads - Day 8 - How Filming is done out of order

May 3, 2007 - We are now in the parking lot filled with old cars. The stadium is adorned with the red white and blue banners you see hanging in stadiums during the world series. In front is a banner that says the name of the teams playing in this game.

Even though this is 5 days later in Greensboro, the filming is actually the beginning of the game we filmed in Charlotte. The scene we will film shows the fans walking into the stadium. The stadium looks so realistic with the 1920's cars in the parking lot and all the extras in costume.

We do shots from a few different angles walking into the stadium. I am walking with my buddy Rick and we learned from Charlotte that walking slower gives you more camera time and more time to react and create different gestures for the scene.

George Clooney in in his white t-shirt and pants as director this morning. He is not in this scene. As the directors tell the production assistants, you hear the familiar loud refrain "Pictures up, Rolling, Action, Background Action". When they say background action, that is when the extras start their movement. We then move to the edge of the road to walk in from the street. I am about 20 feet from George Clooney as he peers into the camera to make sure he has the right shot.

After this we go to break and head back to the Extras Holding area in the white tent.
Before we get in, Michelle, one of the production assistants says "I need nine men, for the next scene". Again, this is sort of a being in the right place at the right time. Christian K. and I volunteer for this and we are led back to the stadium.
Now we see a contraption of pipes that makes rain and we are told we will get umbrellas and walk under the water. However at the last moment a decision is made to hold off on that scene and we are told to hangout in the stadium There are the 9 men, the "vendors", and a family.

Now we walk into the stadium and are told to take a seat anywhere. Surprise!....this is a baseball stadium with a beautiful green manicured infield. We realize no football plays will be filmed here.

We wait around for about an hour or so and nothing is happening. We realize they are filming scenes outside the stadium There is a giant construction crane. We understand now that it has a hose and somehow is dumping water on the top of the stadium to make it look like its raining outside. I wonder if computer graphics are going to put people in the scene.

We then wait around even longer and then we see activity inside the "tunnel" leading into our section of the stadium. Cameras are being set up on te concourse area and also looking down our gate area where you enter to get to your seats. We now see George Clooney in a tuxedo and John Krasinski also. They are filming their entrance into the big game. They both are again about 20 feet away. This is really the first time I saw John Krasinski close up. The basic scene are the two stars of the football game signing autographs.

We watch as the production crew raises a white background. It is a giant sail inside a rectangular metal structure about 20 feet by 20 feet. It is held down and tied down by four technical workers. I ask what it is used for. They tell me it helps to cut down the wind so the wind does not get into the microphone. I thought it was a background for filming so you wouldn't see the baseball field. I just learned another new detail of production

Now finally after waiting for about 2 hours, we are told to come back down toward the front of the stadium. However, when we reach the end of our area, we are told to hang out by the concession stand. They line us up to buy the old peanuts, souvenirs and other paraphanalia. they give some of us replica One dollar bills from that era.
They put us in three lines to make our way to buy our conccessions. However, when they set up the shot, the assistant director and George Clooney realize they can't get a clear shot of the souvenirs and food and other replica items.

They then tell my line to move out of the scene and down out of camera range. So we then think again, we missed the shot or scene after sitting around for 2 hours. After about 5 minutes of the director and cameraman setting up the shot. Ian Calip, the Asst Director, is at my shoulder and then George Clooney walks up to the other side of me and turns and tells our group he wants us to cut through the line to make our way to other sections of the stadium. Well, to me it seems like what happens as you push your way onto a New York City Subway car. They adjust the people in line to put a little space between them and at that point when action is said, we push our way through the line and make it past them. We are about 5 to 10 ft from the camera. We are talking and saying "excuse me", "coming through", "trying to get to my seats", etc. some are pushing back or blocking us to make it look realistic. When we finally make it through they are still rolling so some of us are sent back into the scene and told to get in line and try to buy some concessions. We do about 5 takes of this scene. On the last take, I get in line and still have the dollar bills in my coat pocket, so I then get back in line and wave my bill in the air as I try to get the vendor to sell me some peanuts. I grap my bag of peanuts. The conccession vendor takes my dollar an they yell "Cut". (By the way George Clooney was directing from behind us to the left of the concession stand. He was about an inch from me on about 5 different occasions)...He even jokingly said to Ian "Your fired" and was also joking with a young boy who is a main part of the scene.

As we walk out of the stadium to go back to Extras Holding George Clooney is walking past us. A women who has been shooting since Charlotte says to George "You are so much better looking in person", George turns and smiles, I then say to her within earshot of George "What about me?", he smiles again.

Time for the lunch tables. They are setup outside the tent...chicken, macaroni and cheese, lasagna and vegetables. We grab our stuff and walk into the tent to take our seats.

At the end of lunch, the casting director's production assistant Michelle starts to yell that we are "wrapping" for the day for many of the extras. She calls out different groups, woman and children "Get dressed , time to go home, thank you for coming today", all self dressed actors "Get dressed, time to go". Press people "stay". Well, I consider myself "press" from the other scenes in Charlotte so I wait around. It is now about 3 pm. I am torn about leaving and staying...hundreds of extras make it through the lines outside back in their regular close...the transistion for the woman are the most drastic as they go from bobbed hair hat and elegant clothes to jeans and a t-shirt.

Well, we think we are going to get one last scene as press for the day. However they finaly say "Press, time to go home, thanks." Well, this means a lean payday today since every hour past 8 hours we get paid overtime (time and a half)...I figure with gas and my two hour drive time, I probably have made about twenty bucks net for 12 hours of work and drive time..."Great work if you can get it" (lol).

Well I guess this is the end of the road for my leatherheads career. I was not able to fit into the fireman's outfit they wanted for the night time filming in Statesville, NC. This day turned out to be fun and interesting. Almost like a reunion since I didn't think I was coming back after Charlotte. I was able to get some great pictures with the costumers, hair and makeup and the "concession vendors".

Well that's a wrap!! It was a great ride. I guess George Clooney is getting ready for the Cannes Film fesitval. He also just signed on to do a comedy with the Coen Brothers.

It is now about 2 pm and we head back to the extras tent to eat lunch