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DBA in Space: Behind the Scenes—Question 10

This is a continuation of my DBA in Space journal.

Alien Brad is not looking very well (more boils), or very happy (there are tears on his face if you look closely). This is because he realizes that he has been “outed” by Miss Friday, and because of this, probably won’t make it home back to Mars. Then alien Brad tells the audience that Miss Friday won’t be joining them today because Miss Friday has Rigelian fever. In fact, we are left with the impression that perhaps alien Brad has permanently gotten rid of Miss Friday. Alien Brad continues to talk about the competition, where the winner will be able to “escape this rain-soaked planet, away from the constant noise, the damp smells, and the awful food. A chance to drift in the tranquility of space.” On that last sentence, Alien Brad’s voice becomes high-pitched and his eyes turn black. Apparently, for a moment, he forgot he was before the camera and reverted partially to his Martian self. After he catches his lapse, he continues to provide the week’s question.

Other than the very first scene of the episodes, this was the most difficult for me. First of all, there were a lot of lines to memorize; second, I did the scene all by myself; third, I was supposed to act sad; fourth, I had to have tears; and last of all, the scene was one, long take. So that meant that every time I goofed up, the camera would have to be reset (it was set to truck into me throughout my monologue). I guess that Will, the director, knew this would be a difficult scene for me, so they allocated 2.5 hours to do it in. But I surprised myself and everyone else, as it only took me 4 takes to get it right, well, as right as it will ever get for a non-actor. In fact, we were done so fast that we ended up being able to shoot an extra scene that day that had been planned for the following day.

IMG_2669_web

When I smile, the makeup just doesn’t seem to have the same alien effect. This was taken shortly before this episode was filmed.

Of all the scenes I did, I think one of my best “acting” performances was after my voice raised in pitch, and my eyes went black, and then I realized I had drifted off, and then shook it off, and then continued on with the question. I thought this particular action was actually believable. Well, sort of.

Originally, this scene had some additional complexity, but it was cut from the script at the last moment. In the original script, I was supposed to take a tissue and eat it (as alien Brad did not know what to do with a tissue). In addition, alien Brad was supposed to wipe his tearing eyes with his hand, and in doing so, tear off some of his human skin, but then reform it back onto his face once he realized what had happened. While these would have been funny gags, not doing them made the scene much easier to do. Oh, how did I cry? Using a glycerin and water mixture that was placed on my eyes just before each take, and thinking about how bad an actor I was. Unfortunately, unless you play the videos at a high resolution, the tears are hard to see.

 

In my next installment, I will talk about filming question eleven.

Comments

Posted by Brent Ozar on 3 December 2011

HAHAHA, thinking about what a bad actor you are, nice.  You did good!

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