Melissa’s Trip to Wilmington, North Carolina
My spring break was March 3-7 2003 and my boyfriend and I were planning to go to Wilmy for the weekend on Friday. So I called Fincannon and Associates on Tues of last week to see if they would be filming on Friday. The best I was hoping for would be to see the cast filming outside somewhere. The guy told me that if I could be there Thursday morning he could guarantee that I could be an extra. So needless to say I rearranged my whole schedule so that I could be in Wilmy on Thursday.
(My boyfriend is the best he doesn’t even like the show, but he puts up with my obsession. We had been to Wilmington 2 years ago and didn’t get to see any of the cast. I took a million pictures of the locations that DC was filmed in. But, we did get to see a scene from Domestic Disturbance with John Travolta being filmed.)
We drove from Atlanta, GA to Wilmington, NC at 1:00am and got there at 7:00 am. We both had to work the day before, so we only had about 2 hours sleep, and on top of that I was sick, so the drive was pretty miserable. We were told to meet at a parking lot and a shuttle would take us to the filming location. The guy from Fincannon told us to bring a couple of changes of clothes. I had never been an extra before so I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought we would probably be there for maybe 2 or 3 hours. Then we could check into a hotel and get some sleep. Boy, was I wrong!
When we got there we had to go into a big tent without 30 tables. We had to fill out papers to get paid. (I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for something I would pay to do!) Eventually 200 people in ages from about 17-25 arrived. Then I started thinking they were going to choose people out of this group to be on the show. I figured with my luck, I just drove all this way to sit in a tent. I found out to my surprise that everyone was going to be an extra. I started asking around and I found out a lot of the people there do this all the time. They said it usually lasts for about 8-12 hours and it is mostly boring b/c you are sitting around waiting. When my sleep deprived boyfriend heard this he wanted to leave. I convinced him that we didn’t drive all this way for nothing, and we should at least stay until we find out a little more.
A little background on the episode with spoilers:
The episode being filmed is 619 were Loveline comes to Boston Bay and the cast goes to see the show. The actual location it was filmed in was some kind of a church with a big auditorium. The wardrobe people wanted everyone to wear light colors b/c the episode takes place during the spring. Spoiler alert: The episode is after Eddie comes back to town and he and Joey are together. Joshua Jackson is directing and doesn’t appear in the episode. Jack and David are together and Jen is hosting. Dr. Drew and Adam Corolla from Loveline are giving advice.
Arrival on the Set-Scene 1
We walked into an Auditorium that would seat about 300 people with a large stage. There were lights and cameras set up everywhere with about 15 crew people doing various things. The first person I saw when I walked in was Josh! He was sitting in a director’s chair with headphones on behind a TV monitor. He was wearing a “Firebelly’s” t-shirt (that is the bar he owns in Wilmington) jeans and work boots. His hair was kind of messy and he looked like he might be trying to grow back the goatee.
The first scene that was filmed on Thursday had 5 special extras asking questions to Dr. Drew and Adam. These were the typical questions that would be featured on Loveline. When they were filming this scene it was just the special extras, the audience, and the camera. Dr. Drew and Adam weren’t even there. Our job as an extra was to laugh or react as the audience. Josh was directing the actors and giving suggestions. It was so much fun to watch this scene b/c Josh was so enthusiastic and having so much fun. He would change the questions and die laughing at the outcome. (Side note: I listened to the episode of Loveline that Josh hosted and he said most of that stuff was improv by him and not scripted. He said he hopes his boss doesn’t see all the footage.) He really has a great sense of humor and everyone really had fun. I have no idea which questions will be in the actual episode. I don’t even know how it will be set up.
Some examples of the questions were: (Warning Mature Dialog)
- Girl 1: Is *it* good for the skin? (Josh told her to emphasize it and the act like she was rubbing something on her face.)
- Girl 2: Is it okay to use a vibrator? (Josh told her to look as innocent as possible)
- Girl 3: Sometimes I am so loud that I disturb the neighbors. (Josh told her to try it again and change little things likes I wake up the neighbors, they call the cops, etc.)
- Guy 1: Is it weird that I like to listen to “Pop goes the weasel” when I am with my girl? (Josh told him to do it again with different songs. He was really getting a kick out of this and so was everyone else.)
- Guy 2: How small is *too* small? (Josh told him to use hand gestures)
- Girl: How many partners are too many? At one time?
- Guy: Is it true that it happens to every guy at least once?
Near the end of this scene Busy Philipps and Dr. Drew came in the Auditorium to hang out. It was raining that day so Busy had a plastic shower cap over her hair. She was wearing jeans and a pink and white flowered shirt. She really looks thinner in real life.
After the scene we were sent to the tent to wait while they filmed some scenes of the stars without the audience.
The whole Cast- Scene 2
We had to wait over an hour before we went back to the set. At this point I didn’t think we would see any of the other actors. To my surprise I was wrong. This time they were filming extra shots of the cast with the audience. The cameras were set up behind the couches on the stage to get a shot of the actors’ backs with the audience’s faces. I was very shocked when Kerr Smith (Jack) just walked in and took a seat in the audience a couple of rows behind me. Busy Philipps (Audrey) also sat in the audience and they both seemed very comfortable just hanging out with the extras between takes. Michelle Williams (Jen) was hosting the event so she was on stage. She seemed really uninterested in the whole filming process. She was reading a book in between takes.
Katie Holmes and Oliver Hudson (Joey and Eddie) had to film as scene where they were called up on stage. Joey and Eddie are in the audience and Eddie says loudly to Joey “Why is it so hard for you to talk about sex?” Then Adam Corolla says “I think we have a winner here.” And they bring them on the stage. I don’t really know what happens after that, but the whole process of Katie and Oliver going on stage took about 30 minutes to film. So I can see why it takes a whole week of 10 hour days to finish one episode.
I really couldn’t believe that I was only 5 feet away from Katie Holmes. She really is as beautiful in person as on TV. She was wearing jeans and a brown kind of see-through shirt. She is very tall and skinny. Katie and Michelle both had huge coats that they kept putting on between takes. (They must have been so cold b/c they don’t have any body fat). It was pretty funny b/c Katie was moving around a lot in her scene and she kept carrying around her coat. At one point between takes Katie asked Josh to hold her coat for her. He obeyed and a crew member came and took it from him so he could get on with directing. One thing I noticed about Katie was her diet Pepsi addiction. She was carrying around her drink and her coat. She was sipping on it in between takes also. Once everyone went out for a short break and she came back in, and opened a new Diet Pepsi.
Another cute thing about Katie was she was wearing slip on shoes while they were going over the directions for the scene. When it came time for them to actually film the part where Katie and Oliver go on stage, Katie asked Josh “Do I need to put my boots on now?” I don’t know if I am reading too much into it, but Katie and Josh seem to have a really close relationship. He was trying to be professional and direct the scene, and Katie was kind of nonchalantly asking him to hold her coat. When they were finished with this scene Josh said to everyone “That’s a rap on Katie and Oliver” And Katie and Josh hugged. That was a really great moment for me b/c Katie and Josh are my favorites. I wish I had my camera out!
After that they filmed a scene with Jack’s boyfriend, David, asking a question. He asked “What should a person do if they see their boyfriend openly flirting with another guy?” They filmed a few more shots of the audience, and then we were off to the tent again for “lunch” at 4:00. One thing I can say about being an extra is you get fed. We had to wait a pretty long time before we got called in again. By this time I was exhausted and determined to get pictures of the cast. I figured since we were almost finished filming I wouldn’t miss much if I did get kicked out for my camera. I just didn’t want to get scolded by Josh.
When we returned they were filming a scene with Jack and David. (I saw the actor that plays David walking around Downtown Wilmington. I was tempted to talk to him, but I don’t even know his real name so I figured that would be too rude. And the only thing I could think about asking was how does he like kissing Kerr, and that is a little inappropriate.) In that scene Jack is sitting with another guy. He was supposed to save David a seat but he is flirting with a guy that is interested in him instead. While they are talking David walks up…
Guy: To Jack- “You are going to get reamed for that.”
David: “For not saving your boyfriend a seat?”
Jack: David— You remember…
David: “Yeah, Nice to see you again. I thought we said the right side…. (The lights go off and the audience starts clapping)
There was a little more dialog during this scene were David gets very mad at the other guy. Josh was great at directing this scene. He was very helpful with comments and very funny as usual. After about 30 more minutes of this scene we were dismissed for the night.
During the Guy scene I was using my digital camera to try to take pictures of Josh and Kerr. The camera makes a clicking notice so most of the people around me knew what I was doing. This girl in front of me said she wanted copies of my pics. She tells me how she had been trying to get a picture with Josh. So we decide we will try to get a picture after we are finished filming. I really didn’t think we would be able to, but I couldn’t go home without trying. Right after we were dismissed we went to up Josh. I asked if we could get a quick picture with him and he said sure. I was so flabbergasted that I was standing next to a celebrity that I didn’t say much. But I have a pretty cool picture as a souvenir of my trip!!!