Leap Year, S2, Ep4, Ep5 – Fun Facts

So… I had a busy week and didn’t do any fun facts — which is why you may have noticed a significant lack of fun in your life.

But I’m back now.

Fun is back and you get two for the price of one!

Episode 4:

1. The Flour Explosion was originally written a little differently in the script. Originally, it was supposed to be red paint — the idea being that everyone looked like they were bloody and hilarious. However, shooting 8-12 pages a day for 25 days made our amazing production manager, Hillary Bergmann, have a mild panic attack. Please, she implored, think of something that doesn’t require us to throw paint all over a rented office.

Thank God for our Phoenix. Jeremy Phoenix, more specifically, our AD. Who walked by during the conversation and said, “Hey, how about you use flour?” To which our minds exploded.

So that’s how that happened.

2. When Derek asks Aaron about the guy setting up the cameras, the camera guy is not only played by our very own production coordinator, Brett Sims, he’s also wearing a shirt that says “CAG.” This is a reference to Break a Leg, where “CAG” stood for Child Actor’s Guild, a union that lived in the sewers and was generally… creepy.

3. Derek’s boyfriend is played by Drew Baldwin — who, as you probably know, runs a site called Tubefilter. He’s also an actor — and a good one at that! Him, Wilson and Julie Warner are very fun in this scene. Recursive cuisine, by the way? My brother’s genius creation. I can’t wait for it to become a real thing.

4. The rickshaw scene was originally written to be a horse-drawn carriage — but we realized that would be way too expensive. I think the rickshaw is far funnier though.

5. One of my favorite lines in the episode is Olivia yelling at Bryn, “See?! This is why I hate robots!”

6. Doesn’t that last shot look like it’s from some old Hitchcock film or something? I can’t put my finger on it. Anyone recognize it? Justin just thought of it kind of on the go, but it triggers a memory I can’t quite identify..

Episode 5

1. I love making Dustin play guitar poorly in scenes. Him sing-improvising always makes me laugh. Second fun fact: he’s actually a classically-trained guitarist in real life.

2. You can tell I’m younger because I’m not wearing glasses and my hair is on my forehead. Age really changed Aaron…This scene was really fun to shoot. We shot at San Francisco State University, who were kind enough to give us a classroom and hallway to use for free.  I love these kind of walk-and-talk scenes because you literally can’t mess up. It feels like theater and it’s just really enjoyable. Also? Watch for the extra who Michael Jackson-spins after bumping Rachel. I don’t know why he does this.

3. Alexis Ohanian and Rachel Sklar were great, weren’t they? I think they’re hilarious and really add to the scenes.

4. Matilda is played by Lillie Morrisson. Aside from being a great actress, I’ve known Lillie since I was in 7th grade. I acted with her in the first play I ever did — Aladdin (I played Aladdin and she played the… Sultana? Because apparently that’s a thing.) We then acted together all through high school. This was the first time we acted together since, and it was a blast. She really steals this episode.

5. Episode 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are primarily written by Vlad. Whereas Episode 1, 3, 8, 9, 10 are primarily written by me. That said, we still edit each other’s work quite a bit, but, there you have it.

6. In the fight scene, Aaron has a Thailand picture above his bed. That picture is in the C3D office in Season 1, and appears again all over the place in Season 2. We quietly like to pretend everyone in the Leap Year world owns that picture. It was taken by Justin Morrison, our DP, and is actually a really fantastic photo.

7. There’s a very subtle joke that I’m going to point out now: Jack is chewing gum, and so is Matilda. Before he kisses her, he spits out his gum. After a moment of kissing, he pulls out a piece of gum (Matilda’s) out of his mouth. And then you all laugh, uproariously.

8. I’m pretty sure Rachel (Lisa) was actually mad at me because Aaron kissed Bryn. I think when a scene like that gets a visceral reaction from even the actors involved, it’s a pretty good scene.

That said, Rachel, stop hating me.

Go #TeamAaron.

Yuri out.

Leap Year, S2, Ep3 – Fun Facts

Here we are again!

First a lovely picture of the episode:











Now the episode:

And now, fun facts!

1. Josh Malina is ridiculously cool. He’s really relaxed and calm while working, and will periodically turn on to be a wit-machine, making everyone laugh.  The poor guy had a tough first day, started very early, and had a full 12 hour shoot. He never complained and nailed each take — it was a joy to direct him and an acting clinic to watch him act.

2. This is the best acting that I’ve seen Daniela DiIorio (Olivia) do. We’ve worked together since, literally, college, and she killed it. I think she’s incredibly charming and natural, and her chemistry with Josh is fantastic. The two seemed to act as if they’d been working together for years — it was really strange. Are you watching, Aaron Sorkin? Daniela (and Josh..) needs a part on Newsroom! Also, I love how she says, “You’ve got the wrong Sam, Sam” — a delivery which makes me, for some reason, of Alison Janney.

3. The scene with Josh and I walking through the office is a walk-and-talk. Something Aaron Sorkin constantly employs and is known for (two actors walking and talking with no cuts for an entire scene). When I found out Josh was going to do Leap Year, I told Vlad that I had to write a scene where I walk and talk with him (we’re huge Sorkin fans) — which is where that scene came from. It’s a bit satirical of Sorkin, a not-so-subtle nod to him, and a complete abuse of my power as the co-writer/co-director/actor. But, screw it, I got to do a walk and talk with Josh Malina.

4. Josh nailed his monologue basically always. Whereas, my one line to him in the scene where he tears Jack and I apart, would just not stick in my head. I even think Dash, our editor, had to cut it together from two different takes. I like to call that “terrible acting.”

5. In the bar scene with Josh, he has viral marketing materials up on a board. If you look closely, you’ll see his examples include Break a Leg, and another project we did, for 7-11 — the 7-11 Road Trip Rally.

6. The article that Olivia reads in bed is “written by” Chase Cougar, who was a character in Break a Leg, and who was played by our Director of Photography and one of the co-founders of the company, Justin Morrison.

7. Our steadicam operator was also our key grip and is named Brent Johnson. Brent is still in his early 20s and is just ridiculously talented. He’s going to take over the world shortly.

8. Remember that Whiskey Castle Music Box? We shot that scene with Josh before we shot the scene with Jack and Aaron in the bar. When Josh played with it, we thought it was hilarious, but weren’t sure people were going to understand it, so we wrote in the Whiskey Castle Music box bit and a beautiful joke was born.

9. Josh shot for 3 days and will be back in.. 3 more episodes, I believe. The very last scene he shot was the kissing scene with Daniela in the car (we left him the best for last).

10. You’d think directing actors like Josh Malina, Eliza Dushku and Emma Caulfield would be hard or intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy. First of all, they raise the quality of our acting immediately. Secondly, they can take the smallest note and change their performance on a dime. Finally, they seem to never complain. It’s something I value very much in an actor — when you’re going into the 10th hour, and the crew is dead tired and you’re trying to keep morale up, it really helps when your actors, especially the celebrities, are cracking jokes and just being lovely people. It infuses energy into the production and it’s something we should all learn from.

That’s it for now! This is one of my favorite episodes, so definitely watch and love and, as I keep saying, please comment on Hulu! It really helps.