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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Today we were up and at our appointed meeting spot before the sun came up. Sarabelle and I went in, with Gracie in tow, to complete her paperwork. Elle was sleeping over at a friend's house -- I know, on a school night, what was I thinking, but her best friend only lives at her grandmother's house on-island during the week; her father has custody on weekends -- so it was a surprisingly stress-free morning.

When I indicated that Sarabelle was the child on the list, not Gracie, the casting rep mentioned that if Gracie wanted to be on the list, she could be if she just hung around a bit. The other two fifth graders in her school had already been included, even though they are nowhere near 12 - 14 years of age. One was there because his mom was a contact person for the shoot, the other because he is very tall, and both because the contact mother was instructed to find more boys. Gracie had been very disappointed to hear the night before that she couldn't participate, so this was exciting news.

Today they did what I think they were calling the "pick-up shots." These were all the aerial filming sequences. For most of the morning, the school bus rode back and forth across one of the three bridges linking the island to the mainland, in order to capture Mulletfingers running under the bridge at the same time the bus passes over. The kids were instructed to ignore the helicopter that flew up suddenly from under the bridge and then hovered just a few feet away from them. They said it was not easy. Then the seaplane and helicopter followed the bus as it rode around town. They had fun, Gracie missed school, had lunch catered at the beach club, and made $75.00 a piece.

Sarabelle was slightly perturbed by the other kids along for the ride. Most had brought Game Boys, iPods, cell phones, and DVD players to keep themselves occupied. My daughters were chatting up the casting rep and the bus driver. They got to hear all the goings-on over the radios, including some cast gossip, and listen to the director, Wil Shriner, call the shots. All highly entertaining for my amateur auteurs. They never did find out my most pressing question though: Was the driver, sporting a 2 Fast 2 Furious jacket, an actual stunt driver in that movie?!

If you see Hoot, and happen to not be blinking during the aerial shots of the bus, you might see my girls' arms in the windows of the first two seats behind the bus's front door.

Gracie's classmates A. and R., Gracie, and Sarabelle get ready to go.

Film crew hovering above the schoolbus at daybreak.

Gracie and Sarabelle, now in their official, assigned seats, horrified that their mother has entered the bus and is snapping photos.

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