My day on Mike Judge’s new film, “Extract”
I got a call form my agent saying that Mike Judge’s new film “Extract” was doing a few pickup shots and they were interested in me possibly being a double to stand in for Jason Bateman. I met with a couple of people on the production and they took some photos and asked if I would be willing to go get my hair cut to match Jason’s in the film.
Cut to the next week, when I went to the salon and let them use some screen shots from the movie to match my hair to Jason Bateman’s. After a long day of post-production on our own scenes that we’d shot the week before (wow, I really need to blog more…that’s a whole other story) I got home at 3 a.m. and I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m. to give me plenty of time to be at my 9:15 a.m. call time.
I awoke at 9 a.m. to realize that a soft relaxing static had apparently been going off since 8. At some point I had accidentally pushed a radio button that was not assigned to a station so when the alarm went off, instead of the radio waking me up, a soft static made sure I stayed asleep. I jumped out of bed, called them to tell them I’d be about 15 minutes late. I did a quick shave and headed out.
I arrived at the production offices and got into my first wardrobe change of the day. As we waited to head out, I saw someone someone walking from the parking lot toward the glass door. I quickly realized it was Mike Judge himself. I was introduced and shook hands and soon after we all headed out in two vans. I was in a van with the driver, Mike, the Director of Photography and several other crew members while the other van had the camera crew and equipment. It’s always important to me to remain professional on set but inside I was thinking “I’m riding around in a van with Mike Judge as Jason Bateman’s double…this is soooo awesome!” Beavis and Butthead! Office Space! Idiocracy! King of the Hill! I wondered what he would think of the photo tour I put together a while back of Office Space locations around Austin.
We arrived at the first location where they got some shots that didn’t involve me. Once we got to the next location we started my scenes. I would be driving an $80,000 BMW so they could get some distant shots of me driving by looking like Jason Bateman was driving. his car was awesome. Decked out with more features, gadgets and luxuries than I even knew existed. Our police escort stopped traffic in both directions so that I could drive down a stretch of road, turn and head down out of sight. I did my first pass and then before they got my pass going the other way they told me to drive faster. That’s when I knew this was really going to be a fun day. I was being directed by Mike Judge to dive the BMW faster. A few more shots of me hauling ass in various directions and through a subdivision gate and we were off to lunch.
We went to a barbecue place where we all sat at a long table eating “family style” from big communal plates of various meats, bread, beans, cole slaw and potato salad. I was sitting almost directly across from Mike Judge eating barbecue. At one point he was talking about watching King of the Hill translated into French and how it was strange hearing the French choice actors trying to get the voices and doing the equivalent of French redneck accents. I turned to the guy next to me and said “Le chat est tres grande, Bobby” in my best Hank Hill. I kind of said it under my breath as I didn’t want to seem like I was naturally a little self conscious.
We shot at several other locations, pretty much the same deal, me driving fast down various roads. The cops would then escort me back up the road, driving the wrong way to get me back in place quicker. As we would drive from one location to the other, we would have a cop on either end of our line of vehicles giving us the express police escort through intersections. I just sat in the can smiling, feeling like a movie star. I was in a van with MIKE JUDGE, pretending I was JASON BATEMAN (Arrested Development, people!), the lead in his new film, and having police escorts the wrong way down roads and through intersections.
As I was released to leave, I shook everyone’s hand and told Mike thanks for having me and I was looking forward to the new film. All in all he seemed like a totally cool, down to earth guy and I kind of wish I wasn’t so concerned with professionalism and had more guts to talk to the man but you never know how people will take that and I don’t like to bother people when they’re working. All in all it was an extremely cool and fun experience with a small crew of awesome people. Including Mike Frickin’ Judge! Go see “Extract” when it comes out. If you see a scene of Jason Bateman driving up to a motel, and getting out of his car from a distance to go in and get a key, that’s me!