Q: What’s the flat-out weirdest production problem you ever had to solve?
Jeanette DePatie, Producer, Garfield 2
: Pet Pampering Procedures
I was doing a feature on "pet pampering” for a major DVD release. We had a shot where a limo pulled up to the front of the pet-pampering palace, with a cat in a bling collar looking out the window. After a few takes, the tiny cat decided she wanted nothing to do with the process and climbed into the insulation inside the door of the limo. And did I mention the limo was due at a wedding in an hour? Needless to say there was a lot of wheedling and pleading and waving of kitty treats (and not just by the trainer) to get feline Garbo out of her hiding place and onto her mark! But she came out, we got the shot and the limo even got to the chapel on time.
Michael Bellavia, Executive Producer, Work Horse
We were shooting a video where we needed a female extra to wear a horse head. Thing is, she took the role very seriously, to the point of requesting oats and hay at lunch and that we only whinny at her. Of course we obliged. One of the guys on the production team even asked her out on a date, and she accepted by pawing the ground with her "hoof” twice. We let her keep the head after the shoot, and yes, she wore it the night of that date ...
Barry Kaplan, Consulting Producer, The 55th Annual L. A. County Holiday Celebration
So back in the day, I was handling production and AD duties on a Quiet Riot music video. We got to the studio on a tight schedule. The director wanted our extras (playing the band’s fans) to be standing in front of the band onstage, concert-style, waving their arms in the air. But the performance stage for the band had only been built at 2 feet high … a real Spinal Tap moment. So I called for a fog machine and filled the studio with ground fog and had the fans get on their knees in front of the stage. As they disappeared into the fog, nobody could tell the difference on film.