Date:  5/2/2001
Subject:  Eberts File: TIOBM
 

Hello all!

My file is a little late this week, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t answer any questions people had before the chat. BTW, for all of you who made it (and I heard it was a lot!) thanks so much!

Well, obviously we here at I-Man try our hardest to deliver quality product every week to you. Unfortunately, we occasionally fail to live up to that standard and disappoint. I’m afraid this week proved to be one of those.
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OH WHO AM I KIDDING! I THOUGH IT WAS FREAKN’ AWESOME!

But that’s just me.

All right, so it is a little unfair for me to even attempt to critique an Ep that has my name on it. So I won’t even try. I will say that that week was one of the hardest, most challenging and most exhilarating weeks of shooting I’ve ever had.

And now since I was actually there every day but one that week (and that day I had some painful dental work!) we better get down to the voluminous ‘tidbits’. Here we go.

First things first: some folk have compared this Episode to "The Sixth Sense" in that you kind of need to watch it again to catch all the "Arnaud clues". Here are some of the giveaways…

! The ties. Careful inspection will show that the ties are actually slightly different. Originally, the suits were also to be different however on the first day of shooting they forgot to take the "bad Eberts" suit to location. I was going to bring up this point but thought better of it. The next day when they wanted me to completely change suits every time I switched characters, I pointed out that we were already committed to one suit. That saved me a lot of time. Still, I ended up changing tie about 45 times during the show – 20 times alone for the two Eberts fight sequence!

! Bad Eberts gives just a half-second look as they leave. Just enough to see a little Arnaud in him!

! No watch on bad Eberts.

! The most obvious giveaway had to be bad Eberts’ behavior in the official’s office. His inability to shut up is the key.

! Listen closely to Eberts’ speech. You’ll note a slight change in the accent. Arnaud probably listened to voice recordings from voice print in the computers but still needed to refine it. Probably after he went to Eberts office and accessed a personal recording did he get better at it.

! Watch the way bad Eberts throws the "Alerted them" line at the official. This whole speech is essentially a taunt for them to discover him. Arnaud is a little too cocky!

! Eberts pushes his chair away exactly like the hacker in the teaser.

! Throughout the episode, bad Eberts calls Darien and Robert by their last names. This is something that would never be reflected differently in any records or files so Arnaud would never know.

! Bad Eberts doesn’t want The Keeper poking around on his head. She’d literally see right through him!

! Bad Eberts has his jacket unbuttoned a lot!

Now back to some of the other bits.

Joel Bissonette had the easiest job in this episode! He simply went to a sound stage some where and recorded his couple of lines! All that work I did and he ends up with the credit!

I ended up having to do a lifecast for the mask at the end. The process involves placing about 10 pounds of goo on your entire head except for two holes at your nostrils to breathe. You sit there for about 25 minutes in complete darkness and silence (and claustrophobia!) until it semi-hardens. Then they use that to made a bust of your head from which they then make the mask.

I also had a 360-degree computer scan made of my head for the invisibility. I drove to a place in Orange County where a machine that looks like a dentist’s x-ray machine stands. You sit very still and the machine circles you for about 30 seconds. The result is a 360-degree digital map of your head. They also used it when I tear off the Eberts mask.

To reveal I was the invisible Arnaud I had to completely dress in a green spandex body under my clothes. I also had to wear a green hood over my face and then have the mask placed on that. Finally Michael Grossman, the director, told me my simple task was to run the corridor as fast as I could and at a certain spot, rip off the mask. All fine and dandy except that I couldn’t see! I all I could see between the green haze and two tiny eye slits was a small light about 50 feet away in the darkness attached to the camera. Michael told me to run to that light. "But what if I run into the camera?" I asked. "Someone will catch you" he replied. Of course, I couldn’t see anything so how would I know if they were there to catch me! Fortunately, I made it and the 30 minutes of discomfort turned into 3 seconds of film!

The construction area I was found in was actually the site of the new ballpark for the San Diego Padres!

The alleyway behind the World Wide Well was also featured in cat and Mouse.

During the final voiceover, the gang behind me talked about silly putty and slinkys. It was hard to concentrate and not laugh while they’re all completely engrossed in silly putty talk.

Michael Grossman wanted it stated for the record that in his cut of the episode, Eberts completely pulls down his pants in his apartment. TPTB had the presence of mind to make the right decision and cut before that. Boxers.

In the script, Eberts’ apartment was to be a bland, bare apartment. Credit Grossman for demanding that it look "like your grandma’s house". It’s usually not that messy (spoiler?).

The name game! Many of you noticed that the website reported Eberts’ first name as Eustace. Well, for a time it was. Every time a character name or place is used the legal department checks to make sure they aren’t any other places or people with that name. This prevents any lawsuits. Three names were tried, Eugene, Edgar and Eustace but all were found to have someone with that name. There are actually two versions of Hobbes’ name in "The Camp" that we filmed. A "Robert A. Hobbes", and an unused "Robert E. Hobbes". It looked like Eustace was going to be the winner until the day we shot the tag scene when we received a new version of the script with the single change of Eberts’ name. All that just to find my first name!

I had not one but three guys dressed like me one day. The day of the Two Eberts I had my stunt double (Carol Shuman) a photo double and some other guy who to this day I had no idea what he was there for. Still, there they were, three other guys dressed like me and looking like me. It was creepy! I wish I had taken a picture. Then again, maybe not.

Bonus scene! A scene that was in the script but was cut for time was actually one of my favorites. After the lab scene with my wink at Hobbes, Fawkes and Hobbes meet at a bar. The discussion is similar to the one they had at on the street. Clare and bad Eberts show up, giggling and happy. Bad Eberts apologizes to everyone for his behavior and buys them a bottle of wine. As he flirts with Claire he suddenly spits out the wine and yells at the waitress for bringing such a poor year. He regains his composure and walks with her to the wine cellar. This is what prompts Darien to investigate Eberts Apartment.

The Eberts vs. Eberts scene reminded me of the original Star Trek show. About every third episode Kirk would run into a his double (think I’m kidding? "Mirror, Mirror", "What Are Little Girls Made Of", "Whom Gods Destroy", "Turnabout Intruder (sort of)", "The Enemy Within", "Star Trek 6") and either fight or outwit him. The scene between the two Eberts is especially similar to "Whom Gods Destroy" as Spock puzzles which is the real Kirk. As a true Trek man this was a nice homage to pay to the show.

Was it just me, or were there also two Critons on Farscape last week? Hmm.

Well, that’s what I remember from that wild, wonderful episode. Looks like we now cloak to hide from the evil network sweeps for a while, That’s probably okay for me because between the episode, the chat, the file and the magazine articles coming out, I think I’m a little over exposed! Time to find my nice niche in the corner of the office and stay humble. But before that, I say thank you. You guys are also wild and wonderful and we are more than thrilled to have you along for the ride!

So on behalf of Eugene, Edgar and Eustace Eberts (Where ever they are!) see you next time.

Mike