Week 34: Bill Pullman’s Celebrity Meltdown

[Watch in HD if you have the bandwidth]

{Thank yous: First off, enormous thanks to my friend Mr. Bill Pullman for his time, energy, and for his willingness to go with such a crazy concept — incredibly generous.  Thanks big time to Ms. Lindsay Campbell for playing a bizzaro-world version of herself.  Major thanks also to A.J. Handegard for the principal photography, and to Aaron Nauta for shooting the B cam.}

Well, well, what can I say about this one?  First off, it bears stating outright (though I think it should be pretty obvious) that no celebrities actually melted-down in the making of this episode.  Bill is a friend of mine, and we have worked together off-and-on for roughly six years now.  He is a wickedly funny guy, and I’d love to see him do more comedy, because he’s so damn good at it.  Credit where credit is due: the leaves/garbage cans were entirely his idea, and that was a stroke of genius.

Also, it was so good to get Lindsay in an episode.  Lindsay was the one who brought me to the world of webvideo (via Wallstrip back in 2006, which later sold to CBS), and it would be accurate to say that without her there would be no 50in50.  She is, in fact, preggers, but there is no doubt as to the paternity (nice one, Aaron!).

This was one of those hybrid episodes.  I’d written a script for it, but the plan was always to use that as a sort of frame-work, and to improvise around it.  The final result was about half scripted and half improv.  Everything we did with Bill was a total of four takes.  We did the first half twice, then did a little bit of improv in the middle (which didn’t make this cut), then shot the final sequence once (from where Lindsay comes in until the end), and we were done.  This could have easily been a ten-minute episode, there was so much fun stuff.  Cutting it down to four and a half minutes was pretty brutal.  I had to kill a ton of babies (jokes, funny moments, more celebrity references), but I wanted the first version to be as lean as possible while still maintaining the arc and flow of it.  Eventually I’ll put up an extended version (or maybe I’ll have that as a DVD exclusive).

In this instance, I got the idea for the episode first, then the character followed pretty directly.  I’d be lying if I told you I knew where the concept came from, I just remember that I was standing on a standing on a subway platform when it did, and I started rattling it off into a voice recorder.  As for the character itself, I give full credit to the moustache.  I was just riding that thing’s coattails.

For those who have been following along, I’ve been on the road for the past two weeks.  In fact, much of this episode was edited while sitting in a parked car (not such an ergonomic setup).  The trip has been going well.  I’ve been shooting faster than I can release, and I’ve been having a good time on the road.  Thanks to everyone who has lent me a couch to sleep on, and special thanks to Katrina V. who lent me her car and made all of this possible.

I won’t be able to put out a new episode next week because I will be in an internet-less location, but I’ll be back with a new one the week after.  If this is your first visit to 50in50 and you want to see a little more, check out my Favorites, or, if you’re in it for the long haul and want to catch up, visit the All Videos page.  It’s interesting to see how this project has evolved, I think.

I’ll be back on the grid soon.  ’till then…


Brent  3.26.10  6.14am

P.S.  Bill really does rake his own leaves.  He’s about as down to earth a guy as you could hope to meet.

~ by 50in50 on March 26, 2010.

3 Responses to “Week 34: Bill Pullman’s Celebrity Meltdown”

  1. his meltdown was better in Igby goes down

  2. Thank you for featuring Bill Pullman, he is an amazing actor who flies so often under the radar. Really enjoyed it.

  3. that was fantastic. Bill Pullman is the best and you are so natural…God bless you. I have seen this four times, and every time BP threw the garbage can at YOu I laugh even more than the previous time. well, thanks for putting it together. it does not surprise me that BP rake his own leaves, because it is obvious that he is down to earth kind of guy…Thanks for sharing…

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