A DOUBLE DIP’s pretty darn cool.
But a TRIPLE DIP!??
That's 3 Way cool! That's 3 Amigos cool! That's Trifecta cool! It’s cooler than the Heat’s Big 3 in Miami. And almost as cool as the original Celtic Big 3 in Boston.
JOHNNY CARSON said you should only do 3 references for the same bit. I just broke that rule. Sorry.
This will be the MENAGE A TROIS of stunt days.
Is it just me or have we been MENAGE A TROISED to death?
Girls kissing now a days seems kinda...
But I digress.
Yer talkin 3 PAYCHEQUES for 1 days work. Although, a pretty long day.
DIP #1- STUNT COORDINATOR STARGATE SG1
DIP#2- STUNT DOUBLE STARGATE SG1
DIP#3- ND STUNT DRIVER FANTASTIC FOUR SILVER SURFER.
STARGATE’s a 10 foot HAND PULL into a wall!
FANTASTIC FOUR’s a driving sequence in the CASSIAR TUNNEL 5 min from the BRIDGE STUDIOS.
We only have the CASSIAR TUNNEL from 10 pm - 6am.
The CASSIAR TUNNEL is the main thoroughfare for commuters to get into the city.
So no hanging blacks to extend the night.
We WRAP at 6am.
STARGATE has an 9 am call and a 2 page scene after my scene. So a 12 hour day wraps us at 930 pm minus 2 hours for the 2 page scene gets me outta there at 730 pm ish.
My CALL for FANTASTIC FOUR is 930 pm.
CREW PARK for FANTASTIC FOUR is at the PNE. A 5 min drive from the BRIDGE even obeying most traffic laws.
I have a 2 hour margin of error.
Or is it?
I didn’t have a choice. Either get established on FANTASTIC FOUR or lose the next 5 GRAVY nights with that tasty 130 o/o buyout CAKE.
On the TECH SURVEY for STARGATE, it’s determined that I will stand beside the BED. The BAD GUY will BLAST me back into the wall!
The BED is about 10 feet from the wall.
So we PREP the PULL.
It’s gonna be a HAND JERK.
But I don’t mean anything by that.
For REHEARSAL I wear all my PADS, LID, MOUTH GUARD and a JERK VEST over everything.
They hook me up to a PICK point on my VEST.
I prefer a slightly lower PICK POINT somewhere between my shoulder blades. The higher PICK POINT gets you into a rotation where your C-6 could slam into the wall.
We then run a wire up to a SHIV/PULLEY/PICK POINT up in the rafters.
The HIGHER THE ANGLE OF THE WIRE the better.
You want the PULL to be exciting. You want to EXPLODE off your mark but start to DECELERATE before you smash into the wall. This DECELERATION is undetectable to the naked eye. But very detectable to your SPINE. And any future plans to walk again.
So an angle ABOVE 45...
Angle BELOW 45...
NOT SO GOOD!!!
The wire then goes down and attaches to a RATCHET. Which is a machine that uses compressed air to PULL a body great distances in a heart beat and land them precisely on a mark.
But in this case we are using a HUMAN RATCHET!!
The HUMAN RATCHET is a 6’ 5’’ 280 lb ANGRY ASIAN DUDE known simply as,
Little is known about DQ.
He is a Zen like creature who we believe was raised by BUDAPEST MONKS high in the HIMALAYAS.
They practiced the mystique art of rope pulling 20 hours a day for 20 years.
Many speculate that is the reason he is so ANGRY. But that cannot be confirmed nor denied.
Whenever DQ enters a room he is surrounded by smoke. That makes him seem even more mystical. No one knows how he does it. Some say that he has an FX Dude behind him with a PUFFER. But again that cannot be confirmed or denied.
His technique is to go to the top of a 12’ ladder.
He slowly lets out the rope until there’s the perfect circular pile of rope on the ground like a rodeo cowboy.
No one knows where he gets his rope.
HAND WOVEN from Llamas from ASGARD it is rumored.
He then LEAPS off the ladder letting out a blood curdling,
He actually flies through the air in SLO MO and at the PERFECT MOMENT he SNAPS the rope like a SAMURAI swings his sword and the body at the end of the rope in this case, my body EXPLODES through the air and Smashes into the WALL in a heart beat.
Under NO circumstances do you let on that it DOESN’T HURT.
Because it always does.
And because that would be like questioning his manhood.
NO ONE DARES TO QUESTION DQ’s MANHOOD.
That would make him more angry. And you wouldn’t like TAKE 2 if he was more angry.
Because DQ snaps his Rope the way ZORRO the FOX snaps his WHIP.
DQ jerked me in short increments onto pads.
But I don’t mean anything by that.
We did one at speed into pads.
IT REALLY HURT.
We made safe and walked away.
We were READY.
We showed up on SET a week later to do the GAG and...
THEY MOVED THE BED!!
The BED was no longer 10 feet away from the wall.
The BED was 30 feet away from the wall!!
I asked if we could move the BED back to it’s original position, the position we had prepped for but I was told they had been shooting on that set for days and the BEDS position had been established.
And if there’s one thing that is FORBIDDEN on Episodic TV is that you don’t change PICK POINTS.
I had been on the feature PAYCHECK. They had rehearsed a multiple RATCHET for 3 weeks. When the DIRECTOR showed up on set and didn’t like it they sent the Crew away for hours while the STUNT RIGGERS scurried around in the rafters changing pick points.
On Episodic you can change the length of the wire. You can make the wire shorter or longer.
And thank God for that because changing pick points is time consuming. And I have to be on the set of FANTASTIC FOUR to be established for that FEATURE FILM,
AND, they are hopelessly, wait for it,...
My 2 hour margin of error has shrunk considerably.
STUNT COORDINATORS have zero tolerance for DOUBLE DIPPERS who are late.
Don’t even think about it!
If you remember our Physics lesson from earlier.
Any angle above 45...
Anything BELOW 45...
NOT SO GOOD!!
Because the bed was now so far away from the wall the angle was...
WAY BELOW 45!!
So it was...
In fact the wire was almost parallel to the ground.
VERY VERY BAD!!
But in the immortal words of TOM BERENGER from PLATOON, I was gonna have to..
TAKE THE PAIN!!
We rehearsed once into the huge soft porta pits and it,
I can’t imagine what that wall’s gonna feel like.
Back in the day we’d actually lay some high density foamy pads against the wall to take the curse out of the hit and construction would paint it.
Time and money.
I knew I only had ONE in me.
So I did the unthinkable!
I looked DQ in the eye and said,
“That all ya got pussy?”
It was the equivalent of telling the FX COORDINATOR that his explosion wasn’t big enough. You knew the next one was going to be bigger than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined!
I had done what no human had ever dared to do before,
I had questioned DQ’s MANHOOD!!
And now I was about to pay the ultimate price!!
I did that for the same reason DENNIS HOPPER told CHRISTOPHER WALKEN the origins of the Black Irish in TRUE ROMANCE.
And the same reason the dude from BREAKER MORANT wearing the blindfold told the firing squad to,
“Shoot straight ya buggers!”
So that I could have a
QUICK AND MERCIFUL DEATH!
AND ONE TAKE ONLY.
The look on DQ’s face was frightening!
He looked at me the way the SAMURAI’s looked at TOM CRUISE in THE LAST SAMURAI when he fell off the wagon.
Like I was a DEAD MAN!
He immediately got rid of the 12 step ladder and replaced it with a 16 step.
He climbed to the very top.
I jammed as many pads under my jerk vest as humanly possible. I cinched up the vest as tight as humanly possible and put my wardrobe on over top.
There was absolutely no room for the Twins.
And actors complain about their shoes being uncomfortable.
DQ slowly let out more rope without taking his eyes off of me. He even put powder on his hands for an even better grip. He’d never done that before.
They hooked me up. I pulled hard on the wire. Getting it as tight as humanly possible. The classic,
We rehearsed the timing with the actor a couple of times. When he raised his hand thats when the Alien beam was gonna hit me and I was gonna fly.
That was the scariest part, trusting the actor to get the timing right. Cause if it wasn’t I was going again.
I was face to face with the actor. It”s funny when you’re doing a Ratchet or hand pull. One second you’re face to face with the actor and a split second later you’re 30 feet away smashed up against a very unforgiving wall.
Wonder if the actor would mind switching places!
Like an angry SAMURAI he jumped off the ladder! He flew through the air in
SUPER SLO MO!!
He angrily SNAPPED the ROPE halfway down like a SAMURAI swings his sword and...
I flew through the air in
SUPER FAST MO!!
It was your classic, your-body-goes-but-your-head-stays-and-your-neck-stretches-and-your-eyeballs-come-out-of-their-sockets-and-they-all-snap-back-at-once-like-an-elastic-band CARTOON moment.
My body flew 30 feet faster than it takes an electric impulse to cross the neuromuscular junction!
Something about POTENTIAL ENERGY being transferred to KINETIC ENERGY!
And when a body slams into a wall the air leaving the body makes a particular sound.
My feet never left the ground!
It was like a cat sliding on linoleum.
I remember laying there in the fetal position feeling incredibly warm. Usually if I do a GAG I will pretend to lay on the floor and do the LEG TWITCH like my body is convulsing uncontrollably.
This usually gets a laugh from the CREW.
This time I looked up and saw the CREW laughing because my leg
WAS TWITCHING UNCONTROLLABLY!
But I wasn’t PRETENDING!
It was kinda like TOM HANKS in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN after the bomb exploded near him. I could SEE CREW members laughing.
But I couldn’t HEAR anything.
And everyone seemed to be moving in SLOMO.
I felt so good. So warm.
I felt like BOY from the old black and white TARZAN movies with JOHNNY WEISSMULLER and MAUREEN O’SULLIVAN. I felt free, loved and scantily clad in a tree house in the JUNGLE.
I saw my boyhood hockey idol BOBBY HULL The Golden Jet. But not the present day over weight racist old geezer with the cheesey rug. The BOBBY HULL from that STAR WEEKLY pictorial of him haying on the farm with his shirt off suntanned with the pitch fork from when I was a kid.
I felt like I was laying in my grave looking up and all the CREW had shovels and were about to throw dirt on me.
Also I saw DQ the 6’5” 280 LB ANGRY ASIAN DUDE running towards me with a very concerned look on his face.
NOT SO GOOD!
Suddenly everything sped up and returned to normal speed. I could hear everything but everything was incredibly
Why was everyone
The SCRIPT SUPERVISOR kept tapping her pen. And it sounded like her pen was a pot and the paper was a symbol from a kids drum set.
The DIRECTOR luved the GAG. He kept touching the wall where’d I’d hit checking for the thick high dense foamy. But there was no thick high dense foamy.
The wall was real.
After the obligatory applause. The CREW kept looking at each other.
DID HE MEAN TO DO THAT?
I realized that,
I HAD TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!
Something about HONORING OUR AGREEMENT.
No that was an INCEPTION reference.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR FEATURE,
I was booked for 5 nights. And I had to be there tonight to get established or there would be,
But the PRODUCERS wouldn’t let me leave. They didn’t think I was fit or capable.
Something about if they found me on the side of a road somewhere dead later on, they’d be liable.
But as the HEAD of the SAFETY DEPARTMENT I proclaimed myself 100 o/o.
I then proceeded to turn and walk right back into the same wall!
DOWN GOES SHEA!
Which was the equivalent of a boxer going to the wrong corner after a KO.
NOT A GOOD SIGN!
Now there might be a PRODUCER out there at this point who might find a case against DOUBLE or TRIPLE DIPPING because of that very reason.
But I digress.
They didn’t buy it. They weren’t going to let me leave.
But I told them my wife was gonna pick me up and take me home and I would phone from home and they could tell from CALL DISPLAY that I was indeed at home getting some TLC.
Then before The FIRST AID guy could notice that my pupils were fixed and dilated I booked it outta there!
I then hopped in my car and booted it.
But instead of turning Right + driving 5 min to the FANTASTIC FOUR set. I turned LEFT and drove all the way home.
My head was spinning like that Episode of Faulty Towers where John Cleese really got his bell rung.
The drive home was fun.
I didn’t realize this before but my car could actually levitate!
So if the guy driving in front of me was too slow or if someone was turning LEFT I could just,...
FLY OVER TOP OF THEM!!
Guess I got hit harder than I thought.
When I got home I immediately phoned the PRODUCERS to tell them that I was safe and sound at home and the call display confirmed that.
No more liability issues.
I then loaded up a huge cooler with tons of ice packs and 24 freezing cold coke classics.
The ice packs were to be put up and down my spine while I sat in the STUNT CAR. And the coke classics were to keep me AWAKE.
The night before one of the STUNT MOOKS from FANTASTIC FOUR had fallen asleep behind the wheel of his STUNT CAR.
On ACTION all the other vehicles GUNNED IT!
50 vehicles, STUNT BUSES, TRANSPORT TRUCKS, SPORTS CARS, MOTORCYCLES were blasting along a warp speed when all of a sudden they had to all slam on their brakes a la Fred Flintstone because ONE STUNT GUY was calmly sawing logs in his STUNT CAR stopped curled up with his Teddy.
So he was so TOTALLY FIRED AND NEVER WORKED A DAY IN THIS TOWN AGAIN.
So NOBODY COULD FALL ASLEEP,
OR THEY WERE SO TOTALLY FIRED!
Which was good because you weren’t supposed to fall asleep with a concussion anyways.
So I hopped in my car which had suddenly been turned into a DeLorean from the movie BACK TO THE FUTURE. The wheels were actually tucked in under the car to act as blasters and I literally FLEW back towards the studio.
MUSTA GOT HIT HARDER THAN I THOUGHT.
When I got back to the STUDIO right back to where I had started I turned LEFT and drove 5 min to the PNE parking lot for crew park for FANTASTIC FOUR.
I wondered why none of the LOCATION PA’s thought it odd that I was driving an actual DeLorean, from BACK TO THE FUTURE which hovered 4 feet off the ground.
I threw my huge cooler of ice packs and 24 coke classics into my nifty STUNT CAR. A BLACK HUMMER.
I put 5 icepacks up and down my spine and pulled the seat belt tight so they wouldn’t go anywhere.
AHHH. It felt great. The burning hot throbbing in my spine stopped. But I had to sit up straight and rigid like someone had taped REEBAR to my spine.
We had 50 STUNT VEHICLES of every shape and size traveling from the CIRCUS to SET in the CASSIAR tunnel.
We got ourselves a CONVOY!
The STUNT COORDINATOR was a maestro getting us there.
I was surprised no one noticed that my STUNT BLACK HUMMER could also hover a couple of feet off the ground. But I kept it low so as not to draw attention.
We were all SET at ONES in the tunnel ready to go.
I scarfed down about 10 coke classics so I wouldn’t fall asleep and be so
I suddenly realized,
I HAD TO GO PEE.
Unfortunately the Honey wagon is at the far end of the tunnel. And there’s only,
I rushed down to the end of the tunnel with my head exploding with every step to discover,
There were 30 STUNT PEEPS all waiting in line to use it. Bouncing up and down on their toes because they all had to
I guess they didn’t want to be SO TOTALLY FIRED either so they’ve been scarfing down cans of JOLT and every type of energy drink imaginable to stay awake.
But suddenly over the radio the STUNT COORDINATOR screams for the STUNT PEEPS to get back in their CARS!
There’s a mad dash back into the tunnel! STUNT PEEPS are pulling up zippers very quickly and dangerously if you know what I mean. Cell phones are flying through the air crashing on the hard concrete!
Once we are safely back in our vehicles the STUNT COORDINATOR reads the RIOT act. Because this is such a Special location and because we ONLY have it for 8 hours and because we have lots to do,...
NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO LEAVE THEIR VEHICLES FOR WHATEVER REASON!!
I was sitting in my STUNT CAR with the ice packs up and down my spine looking at all the empty cans of coke.
I HAD TO GO BAD!
I started thinking of that scene from THE RIGHT STUFF where actor SCOTT GLENN who played ALAN SHEPARD was in his hospital PJs,..
HE HAD TO GO REAL BAD!
I remember when my wife was pregnant with our first daughter and she had to drink a lot of water so her bladder was full so it would show up on the ultra sound.
SHE HAD TO GO REAL BAD.
She had drank so much that her FETUS’s Bladder was full.
THE FETUS HAD TO GO REAL BAD.
You have to realize that when you’re my age you have to go,..
ALL THE TIME!
In fact when you go places you always GOOGLE MAP for the location of the nearest Urinals.
In fact when you’re actually “GOING” you GOOGLE MAP so you know where you’re gonna
I was even considering DIAPERS.
Not just any old DIAPERS mind you but,
For the OLD GEEZER with the elevated PSA levels who’s always on the go.
LACOSTE DIAPERS with a little alligator or,
You know for,
Cause chicks dig the guys with,
I could even dry my DESIGNER DIAPERS naturally on my hockey equipment RACK.
I picked up one of the empty coke cans and started to study it a bit.
I HAD AN IDEA.
Suddenly the DIRECTOR yells
The sounds of 50 STUNT VEHICLES laying rubber in a tunnel is,
In fact the way my head was feeling, a pillow smashing against cotton candy would seem,
My ANVIL and STIRRUP in my ears were vibrating BIG TIME!!
This certainly wasn’t the equivalent of the NHL’s CONCUSSION PROTOCOL QUIET ROOM
We blasted down the tunnel!
DRIVING GAGS are fun because you’re being paid to do things that would ordinarily get you arrested.
Come to think of it it’s probably more dangerous driving to work in this town than it is to do a DRIVING GAG.
Because at least we know how to drive.
But I don’t mean anything by that.
We call PEEPS that hurl themselves at cars,
This was a fairly easy GAG. A couple of guys were sliding cars. But most of us were just driving fast through the tunnel.
The hardest part of this GAG was,..
GETTING BACK TO ONES!
We had 50 STUNT CARS in a tight tunnel and we had to BACK UP the entire length of the tunnel to our START MARKS.
Everyone drove BACKWARDS twice as fast as they drove FORWARDS because
The veteran drivers took great delight in being inches away from the WANNA BE’s bumpers.
The WANNA BE’s had to turn around to back up so they could see where they were going.
The VETS used their mirrors.
The WANNABE’s looked PETRIFIED!
The VETS had shit eating grins on their faces!
I couldn’t have turned my head if I wanted to.
You could barely see out of the mirrors because the cars were supposed to be filthy and the mirrors were covered in dirt.
I have absolutely no idea how a SEMI and a BUS can back up that fast in a tunnel. Especially with a $ 100,000.00 PICTURE VEHICLE 2 inches BEHIND and 2 inches IN FRONT of them!
These guys must have seen a bunch of SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT movies growing up because they love nothing better than going as fast BACKWARD as someone going FORWARD and having a casual conversation between vehicles while doing it.
So whenever I made it back to ONES alive I figured I was living on borrowed time.
But I suppose if I had passed onto DAR ROBINSON’s land of the beyond at least it wouldn’t be,..
So there I was. Sitting in the BLACK HUMMER.
ICE PACKS up and down my spine.
Scarfing down Coke classics to stay awake.
ONLY 7 Hours to go.
AND I STILL HAD TO GO
Suddenly my attention returned to the EMPTY coke cans.
We couldn’t leave our vehicles
Desperate times and all that.
NAW!! I COULDN”T
Suddenly I saw an arm empty a glass out the window of the STUNT VEHICLE.
Suddenly all the STUNT CARS were emptying containers of some kind of liquid onto street
And those were the WOMEN!
I took one of the coke cans and studied the tiny opening. This wasn’t gonna be easy.
I remember back on the farm going to the well, to, fetch a pail of water. You would hook the pail onto the pump. A pail mind you, not an empty coke can. And you would pump the handle a few times to build up the pressure. Then the water would explode out of the pump into the pail! When the pail was almost full you had to anticipate when to stop pumping because there would be the inevitable OVERFLOW. If the can, pardon me pail, did overflow it would be onto the grass, not into the interior of a $100,000.00 PICTURE VEHICLE.
But I give you this example for absolutely no reason.
I first removed the pull tab. That gave me much needed more space.
But I don’t mean anything by that!
That thing was nasty looking. Edges still pretty sharp.
Now there’s a certain technique involved in RELIEVING ONES SELF in a vehicle. Especially a 100,000.00 vehicle. Now I don’t know if you’re aware but guys usually do this kinda stuff STANDING UP.
That’s how we learned how to write our names in the snow.
So what you need to do is push your feet against the brake to rise up in your seat to simulate a pseudo standing stance. Then grab the coke can and
AIM RELEASE STOP DUMP.
AIM RELEASE STOP DUMP.
Or in the case of the old GEEZERS like me,
AIM RELEASE TRY TO STOP OVERFLOW DUMP.
I noticed all the STUNT PEEPS in the STUNT CARS were doing it.
The brake lights would go on.
The heads would rise.
So to speak.
And those were the women.
This would continue on with all the STUNT VEHICLES until the OLD CRAFT SERVICE BIDDY surprised you by pulling up along side your vehicle asking you if you wanted a sandwich.
We all had turkey. That was smart. It should be even much easier to stay awake when that TRYPTOPHAN clicks in.
There was a run on paper cups with the wide openings.
They were going to do a WET DOWN.
But I guess with all the CARS blasting around,
for some reason a WET DOWN was no longer necessary
I know but don’t shoot the messenger.
I guess it wasn’t dissimilar to the GREAT ESCAPE when DAVID McCALLUM’s character got rid of the dirt from the tunnel by putting bags of dirt down his trousers and releasing the dirt in the compound and,
SPREADING IT AROUND.
With my icepacks now warm and the coke cans all empty and my head still throbbing I seemed to enter a state of KELNOREEM like TEALC in STARGATE.
Everything was very calm and dare I say,
Suddenly I heard,
I FIRED up my vehicle.
I SLAMMED IT INTO GEAR!
I WAS ABOUT TO HIT THE GAS!!
When I looked up to notice 2 stunt guys sitting calmly on the hood of my HUMMER playing cards.
THEY HADN’T YELLED ACTION!!
I HAD DREAMED IT!!
CAUSE I HAD
If I had hit the gas and went barreling down the tunnel at WARP speed with 2 STUNT PEEPS sitting on the hood of my HUMMER when we weren’t even ROLLING
I WOULD HAVE BEEN SO TOTALLY FIRED!
And the two STUNT PEEPS sitting on the hood of my HUMMER would have been,
SO TOTALLY DEAD!!
I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep again for the rest of the night.
I was covered in sweat.
Then I went into a deep freeze.
It was like wearing NOMEX covered in fire retardant jell that had been sitting in the freezer all night before a BURN. Only without the BURN BUMP.
For the rest of the night we did TAKE after TAKE.
A lot of HUMAN TORCH and SIVER SURFER POV’s with a camera vehicle called the RUSSIAN ARM.
Driving FAST FORWARD.
And driving even FASTER BACKWARDS!
AIM RELEASE STOP DUMP.
AIM RELEASE TRY TO STOP OVERFLOW DUMP.
THAT’S A WRAP!!
6 AM ON THE BUTTON!!
I still had tons of time to get to my STARGATE PRODUCTION MEETING.
Maybe even time to read the SCRIPT.
That means I can THREE PEAT it all again the for the next 4 nights!!
That morning during rush hour there had been some strange reports coming from motorists driving through the CASSIAR TUNNEL into VANCOUVER.
Ordinarily it would be raining and motorists would have their wind shield wipers ON approaching the tunnel but they would turn them OFF once inside.
But today it was sunny with total blue skies outside so they approached the tunnel with their windshield wipers OFF but for some reason had to turn them ON while inside.
The news report explained that apparently the night before there had been a STUNT driving sequence for the movie FANTASTIC FOUR in the tunnel and there had been a
THERE CERTAINLY WAS.