Date:  06/23/2001
Subject:  eberts' file: GP

Hey everybody Ė

Well this might be the fastest this file has ever hit the website! What the heck is wrong with me? Actually, Iíll be leaving for the week early tomorrow so it was either this or not post until next Saturday and I wouldnít do that to you. So hang on and be gentle with my spelling and grammar because Iím hunting and pecking on the keyboard here as fast as I can!

Every once in a while, a series will just drop all pretenses and do a fun, wacky episode. ST:TOS did and X-Files made it an art. I guess you can throw GP in with that lofty bunch as we settled in for a fun, three for one episode!

All right, now to those elusive ĎbitsíÖ.

The main part of GP takes place at the Naval Training Center. When the navy began to downsize its operations in the 90ís, this was one of the places that it hit. Itís a huge complex with about 50-70 buildings now mostly empty. The mess hall became the post office. Several other episodes have been shot there.

We get to use the neat new mirror on the camera for the shot where I pick up the bullet. I felt like I was on CSI!

What a great couple of actors we had this week! Mel and Vanessa (I think that was her name; remember, Iím tying quickly!) really added to the flavor of the show. Vanessa especially as she got to play three distinct roles. Vanessa is the daughter of diplomats, hence her French. She also speaks Chinese.

The French section was originally in English. When it was discovered on set that Vanessa could translate and speak it fluently, they shot a French version.

Give our Director, Bill Norton, a big hunk of credit for the tone of this episode. The Script (Written by our new Farscape transplants Harry and Gabrielle) simply had the three telling their perspectives of the events, a la Rashamon. Bill decided to go that one step further and give each of them a distinctive style. Additionally, he moved a few things in the plot around to accommodate this new idea. The results took a fabulous script and made it even better! Bravo Bill!

So hereís the farscape tie-in. I love when shows can reference each other; it really broadens the reality of both projects. I had decided a while back that it would be fun to acknowledge a sci-fi channel show. I really like Farscape (itís on as I type) and decided that Iíd throwing in a "Frell" somewhere as itís easy enough to imply that Eberts watches Farscape in the evenings and soaps in the days. Normal scripts didnít usually warrant that line (ĎHereís those Frelling file, sir!í) so I waited until this script. I figured that even if TPTB didnít want Eberts to watch the show, heís nuts at the time so anything that came out of his mouth didnít have to make sense. With that in mind, I made sure to say it when I had a chance.

Except I forgot!

I realized as I wrapped the scenes that I had forgotten to stick the line in there! I was devastated! I went home a pouted. About 4 weeks ago, we had to Ďloopí lines for the episode. Basically, they needed grunts (for when I hit the agent with a garbage can.) a line off camera and some filler dialogue for getting the bag put on me! I knew this was my big chance. I recorded the line and then took pains to explain to Paul Leonard, our associate producer and man of all effects why I said it and why they should do everything to keep it in there. To my surprise they did! I hope the Ďscapers donít take offense as it was pure homage.

That must have been a really heavy garbage can to knock that guy out, donít you think?

Paul gets to really strut his stuff in this episode. He put his ĎBogartí to good use. Of course, heís usually reading his lines off camera as Bogey, Christopher Walken or Al Pachino to try to break us on camera. And he usually does.

This was the first time Iíve ever fired a gun. I was going to shoot two blanks at the camera before I got knocked out. Everyone had to wear earplugs (myself included) as blanks were quite loud (and only half strength!). Although I was pretty scared the first time I fired it, it actually became quite a rush after a couple of takes (but Iím not joining the NRA). Regrettably, the live ammo takes are not used. Bummer!

The letters on in the mailroom were all dressed to various hilarious addressees. I canít remember them right no, but most of them I couldnít repeat in mixed company anyway ;-)

Well, I really have to get some sleep! You guys are absolutely fabulous and weíve got a great summer lined up for you.

In fact, I really think that Brothers Keeper maybe be a real winner. TPTB really love it and Vince turns in an amazing performance. If you want to introduce friends to I-man for the first time, you might want to pick next Friday to sit them in front of the set. Itís that good.

Anyway, Iíll be back next week to blab at you. Until then, thanks a million from all of us for tuning us in!

Mike