Day Three

I learned something today: having no lines can be just as exhausting as talking until your throat is sore in every scene.
It’s surprisingly hard to just sit there for hours, trying to focus on the other actors, react to what they are doing, and not get bored.
Oh man, is it easy to get bored…because of the lights, it’s close to 85 degrees on the set, and the air is very still. We spend a lot of time on each scene, so we get to hear the same lines over and over again, and it’s easy for the mind to wander and the eyelids to fall down.
Now I understand why Levar fell asleep on the bridge behind his VISOR so many times in the early years of TNG.
I didn’t expect to feel wiped out when I got home, you know? I expected it to be a really easy day…but I am beat right now. To be honest, it feels really good.
The lack of dialogue did give me some free time during the day…I watched some Simpsons on DVD on the iBook, and played a few games on MacMAME.
My day started at 5AM, and we shot nearly nine pages, which is really, really, really a lot in films. When I was on Trek, we’d average about 6.5 pages per day, and when I was working on Mr. Stitch, I once managed something like 15 pages in one day.
So now that you know more about page count than you ever wanted, I can give up some details:

  • This project is a Movie Of The Week for the PAX network, and it will air at the end of January in 2003. When my friend Keith found out that it was on PAX, he teased me that I was in one of those stupid “Left Behind” piles of crap…but I assured him, and I can assure you, that it’s actually a pretty cool story. =]
  • Included in the cast is an actor you may have heard of…”Chef” himself, Isaac Hayes! He plays a mysterious guy who give me this mysterious, ancient, powerful book. The story is about how I deal with it.
  • Also in the cast is my friend Richard Grieco. We’ve done three movies together before this one, and it’s the first time he’s not kicking my ass. I really like Richard. He’s one of the sweetest guys who ever lived, he’s very generous and funny…and it bugs me that he has this image as a real cheeze*wiz.
  • The actor who is playing my best friend in the movie is Maureen Flannigan. Mo and I have been friends since forever, and I absolutely adore her. I think that our personal history will cascade into our performances, and make the film that much deeper and richer. The cool thing is, the producers didn’t know that we knew each other when they cast us.

Tomorrow I talk and talk and talk, so it will be the polar opposite of today. Should be interesting to contrast the two.
I’m having a really good time. It feels good to be on a set where people know what they’re doing, and there aren’t any incompetent a-holes with huge egos farking things up. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed that.
Time to learn lines.

86 thoughts on “Day Three”

  1. Yeah, Wil, it’s surprisingly hard to do nothing. Actually, you’re not doing nothing. Active listening takes a lot of effort. And that’s when you don’t know what’s going to be said.
    Folks, this isn’t Wil’s first foray to the PAX network. He appeared on an episode of “Twice in a Lifetime” which just repeated this past Sunday. And he’ll be on PAX again on Nov 5 at 10pm on an episode of “Diagnosis: Murder”. Trek trivia aka Six Degrees of Separation – that “Diagnosis” episode was directed by Lou Antonio, who played “Lokai” in an original Star Trek episode (the one with Frank Gorshin and the black and white faces).
    For something spooky, Wil is on an episode of “Tales from the Crypt” on Wed Oct 30 at 5pm on SciFi.
    Let’s hear it for reruns. Wil did “Twice” in 1999, but he did the other 2 shows in 1993! Hope he’s getting residuals.

  2. I used to watch PAX all the time… it was the only place that had Remington Steele reruns on daily… (Shut up. It WAS SO the greatest show ever.)
    Then I moved, and the affiliate here doesn’t carry them… GRRR! Bastards!

  3. To paraphrase Dennis Miller:
    Richard Grieco starred in “If Looks Could Kill”
    Somebody get this guy a mirror!!
    And about the movie, Wil…
    My brother is a huge trekkie (trekker?) and he says “I’d rather watch a bad Star Trek movie than a good any-other movie”
    (He obviously never saw “The Final Frontier”) but what I’m saying, even though it’s a PAX movie, it beats not working at all.
    And I have NO idea what “Left Behind” is and I still think Angelwwolf sounds crazy!

  4. Wil, congratulation to the movie!!:))….What is PAX? I want to see your movie!! A new movie with you!!! I just watching the TNG on one of the hungarian channels…and today was the Haven….I WANT A NEW MOVIE WITH YOU, WIL HERE IN HUNGARY!!!!!! OK…it is not your fault that I can’t see that kind of movie!:(

  5. Wil, congratulation to your new movie!!:) What is PAX? I want to see your movie, but here in Hungary and specially here in my town (Karcag) I can’t go to the cinema and see a film with you!:( And in one of the channels there is going the TNG today was Haven. ….no comment Have a nice weekend everybody!!

  6. At first I couldn’t remember what Left Behind was, then I remembered reading about it in a pamphlet a local corner evangelist handed to me when I walked through downtown.
    Ah, yes, the novel series based on the Revelation to John.
    I didn’t realize that had been made into a movie. When I read about the novels, though, I thought the concept was interesting, if not downright clever.
    I’ll have to pick one up and read it now. Thanks Wil, thanks Angelwwolf.

  7. For those wondering what PAX is, check out
    From its About page – “PAX TV reaches 86% of U.S. television households via nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Paxson owns and operates 65 stations. PAX airs its own original programming including dramatic series, movies, sports and special events.”
    It also airs programs in syndication that originally ran on other networks, like “Diagnosis: Murder”, which I believe was a CBS show.

  8. You know PAX isn’t, necessarily a cable show. I live in Orange County (Southern California), and we don’t have cable, but we do get PAX. I think it’s channel 17, or something like that. Check out your public access channels.
    And for those who don’t know, PAX is somewhat of a Christian channel. They play re-runs of Seventh Heaven, Touched By An Angel, Diagnois Murder, and things of that nature. Wholesome family shows! :)

  9. Wil,
    I am glad to hear that you are having a good time. You sound so excited and enthusiastic. I wish only the best for ya man.
    Best to you and your family……

  10. Tell Richard what a bummer it is that Booker got cancelled!
    Yes. I actually remember the show and saw it a few times.
    Wil Wheaton Psychogroupie, Llama Caretaker and watcher of early Fox TV

  11. I’m soooo excited!
    This entry is really cool. I love it when you take us onstage with you and behind the scenes. My favorite part of performing is the blocking and rehearsals (well, we’re speaking mainly theatre here). I would love to have been able to get into film acting to test out the difference. I always thought it would be easier in a way… easier to be natural without over doing it. Camera is closer than a live audience, you can make more subtle expressions… gestures… but with no dialogue?? That WOULD be exhausting I imagine! I can’t wait to see this.

  12. Wow, 9 pages? I script supervise for student films sometimes, and we usually shot about 2 5/8 to 3 on a good day. And I thought that was long!

  13. i love evie from out of this world!! can she still stop time?
    your friend richard is HOT. tell him sarah says hey.

  14. I always thought that Maureen Flannigan was cool. I actually remember Out of This World even though it was short lived 15 years ago. I also saw her in Last Resort with the Coreys and 7th Heaven (That show is bad but I can’t seem to stop watching).
    And Richard Grieco- 21 Jump Street.
    Congrats on the gig, Wil. I don’t know if we’ll get to see it in Canada but I’ll be looking forward to the updates.

  15. OK, OK. I didn’t realize that Wil was talking about the movie. I never saw it quite honestly. I thought he was dissing Christian beliefs. I should have known that that is not like Wil. Apologies…

  16. The scary thing is, a friend of mine mentioned “Left Behind” the other day. I can’t remember if he liked it, but one of the girls who was talking about it with him said she hated the cliffhanger ending and that she really enjoyed… what was it… well, I can’t remember what it was, but it was an AWFUL movie.
    The gist being, it’s a small world, and even hardcore Catholics thought it was an amusing piece of fiction.
    You WILL get laughter the PAX Network bit, but at least you’re not making something with Bill Shatner and Cher.

  17. As another Canuck, i really doubt that we’ll be seeing that movie, so if we don’t, someone who gets Pax, should update those who don’t. I say that in a very nice please?

  18. Dude, I’m curious to see how Maureen looks now. I was totally into when I was young and she was on that show where her dad was an alien. I’ll have to check her out!

  19. Well, Wil, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that last paragraph was referring to ME!! ME, Chuck DeBus, the first and last name in quality film-making. Long Live me, Chuck DeBus.

  20. Hey Wil, Incase I missed it…are you actually in Boise? If that is the case…I would love to have an interview with you for the launch of a new news site. Let us know. (we are just outside of Boise)

  21. 5 pages is work. It is a good thing that the kids got you to run around and play with them not so long ago. I dare you to hollar something now. Do a good job and have fun without hurting yourself.

  22. Well, I didn’t see you bash a religion. I saw you bash some poorly written books that have been “bandwagoned” (no it’s not a word) so much that they are now best sellers. It is almost as if you are not Christian if you don’t buy them. Can you guess that I haven’t bought them and had one nearly forced down my throat by my own sister? Go get ’em. I loved you on STNG. But then… grin.

  23. Let’s get back to the subject of Wil’s post. It’s only fair…
    Wil, I’m glad you are having such a good, if not tiring time. We can’t wait to hear the next update!

  24. You can make fun of Keith for being host of beat the geeks. That show was worse than Win Bin Steins Acting Ability. I even tried to like it, ’cause I’m a geek…. yuck.

  25. Well, as a thinking pre-mil fundamentalist Christian (yes, believe it or not, we exist!) who appreciates well-written literature and well-made films, I have to say for the record that I could not get past the first, very poorly written and characterized chapter of the first LEFT BEHIND book, and that I’ve absolutely no desire to see the movie. In my experience, Sturgeon’s Law applies even more to the “Christian” book, video and music market than it does to the secular world (I don’t know *why* this is, but it’s true). So, far from taking Wil’s comment about “stupid LEFT BEHIND piles of crap” as an assault on my faith or an attack on the Bible, I thought it a pretty savvy aesthetic judgment. :)
    And after watching last week’s abysmal ENTERPRISE, I have to say that I really, really miss TNG. Including you, Wil. I can honestly say that you were never one of the TNG characters I wanted to throw out the airlock, and a couple of the Wesleycentric episodes were actually quite terrific. Which is better than anything ENTERPRISE has managed to produce to this point, though I keep hanging on in the hopes that it will suddenly become brilliant…

  26. Dear Wil and Angelwwolf,
    Actually, I really hated the Left Behind movie. The books are interesting but totally blasphemous because there is no scriptural basis for the series. It’s all conjecture and myth about what might happen if the prophecies in the book of Revelations were to come to reality right now. I think of the books as a kind religious fantasy/sci fi. Interesting, but not what I was intending when I wrote the bible. I have no proof but I think Satan is behind the whole Left Behind series. I mean, he admitted to creating revisionist World War II books that are hugely popular in Japan. In case you haven’t heard – these are fantasy books where Japan wins WWII and is the world’s super power now.
    Bless You.
    (#1 Fan of Wil Wheaton, never existed as a primate with a typewriter, only as a celestial power)

  27. I reckon you can be a very devout Christian and still think of “Left Behind” as shear nonsense…just because lots of people buy it and relate to it does not make it good literature…or movie material, at that

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