Week 40: The Boxer
(Watch in HD)
[Thanks, once again, to Mr. C. Bay Milin for shooting all of the gym and park footage. Thanks to my tripod for shooting the rooftop interview. Thanks to the lovely and talented Mr. Greg Keller for doing the voiceover for the interviewer.]
Holy crap, WEEK FORTY! Only ten more to go! I’m not sure if you’d call it the home stretch, but I’m on the last lap, I think.
John Faison is named after my friend Eric Faison who made it to my birthday party despite being mute from having had throat surgery earlier that day. If that’s not a fighter, I don’t know what is.
This was an episode I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The concept the sparked my interest was, “A boxer preparing for a fight he can’t win.” There was something sad and poetic about that that I liked. The reason I postponed shooting it so long was training. I had to get back into practice with the speedbag, and I had to be in shape enough to get a bunch of heavybag footage. There were a couple things out of my real life that I used for this episode. When I was in 5th grade or so, my (step) Grandpa Jim really did get me a speedbag, and I really did love it. I loved it so much I got one at my mom’s and my dad’s houses, and eventually got a heavybag, too. They were my main form of exercise until I moved to New York when I was nineteen. I used to be really fast and consistent.
Speedbag is one of those things you never forget how to do, but you get slower. Heavybag, too. I have more power than I did when I was a kid, but I’m not as fast, especially not after several “rounds”… maybe I can work back up to that, though. I haven’t used a speedbag regularly since I was 19. I managed to get to the gym three times to prepare for this episode the week before we shot, but before that it had been well over a year since I’d even touched one. I felt properly beat-up by the end of the shoot, but I think I’d like to keep up the bag work, as it was just incredible exercise. Oh, and I really do count in eights.
We had to shoot this guerrilla-style. We used my tiny camera to get all of the footage inside the gym. We knew if we asked permission they’d say no, so we just went for it and tried to be discreet. While shooting like that adds an element of excitement… I’m over it. As an actor, wondering whether or not we’re going to get caught is just a distraction I could do without.
Also, I learned some important (but painful) lessons about audio this week. Specifically about audio-matching. I’ll go into the details if anyone asks in the comments, but for now, suffice to say, it sucked. But knowledge is good, even if (or perhaps especially when) acquired through adversity.
Anything else? Nah. I’ve got a cold, and I need some sleep. Got questions? Leave them in the comments. I’m pretty good about responding. Should have another one for you next week. Keep checking back.