This was written by our friend, Karen Swanson. She and her daughter, Tori — a dear friend of Bex’s from NYFA — went to stay with Bex in Vancouver during the difficult scene with Goldie in Ep. 2. We’ve been saving it as a special treat for after the season…sorry for the delay, folk, but we’re sure you’ll understand why we held it. THANKs, Karen and Tori, for being such great friends to Bex!
Friday afternoon, 3 pm, Episode 2
The afternoon began with the usual hair and makeup. Lunch was at 4 pm, after which Bex’s hair was re-done. We waited until the trucks arrived and the work began, closer to 6:30.
We walked about a half a block down a very old street, in front of a very old building. We happened upon some fresh wood 2 x 4s on our way. Looking up we realized we were seeing the window that Bex would climb through. The crew had built supports for the old fire escape.
Heading into the building we walked up steep old stairs and were immediately transported into Goldie’s home. The set was built up inside a huge open old brick building. Above us was a beautiful wooden railing, the bar area for the hotel that used to be in the building.
There were 3 rooms with a hall and a kitchen — there in case the cameras caught it while Bullet was entering to search for Callie. The back of the apartment, Goldie’s room/living area, was set up to look like a mess. Brendan (Goldie) and I laughed when we noticed the empty bottle of Oban single malt scotch. Apparently, Goldie is one expensive Pimp.
While the crew arrived and set up, blocking occurred. Then there was a bit more waiting while all the lighting was installed and other finishing touches were put on. This included rearranging the bed to allow light that was coming in from a cherry picker outside the window. Bex’s chair, with her name on it, was delivered to the area we would all sit in with heaters.
Once the Cast was wired for sound, it was time to shoot. Bex was on first. Her entrance from the window and the search and subsequent banging on doors was heard from everywhere. All the doors to the apartment had to be closed so that no one could see the crew. This took so many takes I lost count. We waited, talked with Brendan, and basically enjoyed the scenery – which was the back half of the beautiful old building. The building was so old there was a pile of what we finally realized were the weights used to keep the windows operating.
A little aside: Brendan’s original plan upon meeting Bex was to be really nice the first day, and then stay in character after that and be a total jerk to Bex any time he saw her. He realized it was not a good idea because of the sensitivity he was feeling from Bex, and because of her age. For a jerk of a pimp, he’s actually a really nice guy!
Once the break-in and the filming of Bex trying to open a door and calling for Callie was finished, it was time to film the tough scene where Goldie comes up behind Bex, and well you know what happens next.
The Director and everyone in production was INCREDIBLY supportive and attentive to Bex around the filming of this difficult scene. From the writers, to the producers, to the crew, attention was taken at every step to assure Bex’s saftey and well-being. If a production is only as good as it’s staff, then this one is gold-medal quality!
Bex was to be shot from an angle through the door so you could see her throwing herself against the door, calling for Callie. There was a 2×6” that was nailed across the door so the cameras could film Bex and she could bounce up against something hard. (Don’t worry there was padding for Bex’s poor arm.) After many takes, we were able to stand and look into the room while Bex was filming the scene, just at the right moment for Bex to bang up against the “door” and break the wooden piece off the wall. Talk about a blooper. Bex had a bet with her stand-in that she would break it, so her first words, while still on camera, were “TEN BUCKS!!!” Cue the laughter. So fun!
The filming went on from many angles: from the side after entering the room, from above while Goldie is attacking Bullet (they had to get the “punch” to line up right), and from Bullet’s perspective while looking at Goldie. After quite the workout for the cast, it was time to film from the hall, panning through the hallway. We watched this on the screen. When the camera lands on the door at the end of the pan, about 30 of us were standing, silent, right behind that eerie looking door!
<posted by Karen Swanson>