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Watchmen “War Stories”

We have heard form our own “Mr. Ex” in the past before. His previous report told tales of Vietnam and the backlot, but I had a feeling there might be more to tell, especially since his fellow extra “Cassandra Faust” — whose reports we’ve also read in the past — seemed to have no shortage of information.

I asked our intrepid “Mr. Ex” how “Faust,” could still be reporting inside information so long after production had wrapped?

It's absolutely possible that “Faust” could still be getting information. The production employed, probably, all of the extras working in Vancouver, and most of the bookings were for multiple days which is something else that is rare in the business. It was a huge production with one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. The background community — if I can call it that — was buzzing during filming, and still buzzes today. Same goes for The Day The Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves — however the buzz there is not positive at all. Long hours, lousy food, inexperienced crew... I missed working on that one; maybe that was a blessing.

When production wrapped, folks still talked about it. We shared “war stories” about the late night of Rorschach’s battle with the S.W.A.T. team and his leap, which went from 3PM to 5AM! We spoke about how cold it was on some days during the November shoot on the New York backlot or who was going to get called back for digital mapping for the big finale when all of us “New Yorkers” get killed.

So, it looks like we have a little more confirmation that what “Faust” has reported may likely be true. At least now it makes sense how all of this inside information is traded within the Vancouver extra community.

I then asked “Mr. Ex” — in the spirit of his counterpart — if he could please spill as much as he was willing to spill about the Watchmen movie — either from his first hand accounts or from what he’s been told by fellow extras. For example: what scenes he knew were filmed...

Well, during production, I got to work on the newsstand stuff, including scenes of Kovacs bugging Bernie about the New Frontiersman; a night scene where Dreiberg and Laurie walk right past Kovacs at the newsstand and Dreiberg has to do a double-take, almost (or choosing not to) recognizing his old partner; Rorschach’s leap from Moloch's window; Dan and Laurie being chased down an alley by Knot Tops, and Kovacs’s doctor buying a newspaper as an energy discharge begins in the sky.

I spoke to a couple of fellow extras who were there for the scene where Dan and Laurie dine out at Raphael's, and, I think, a Rorschach walking in the rain scene but they couldn't confirm that. Also there were some plain street scenes where they used the rain machines but that was likely just for establishing shots.

So there’s confirmation that Dr. Malcolm will be a part of the final scene in New York, but what about “Faust’s” claims of the ending being kept intact, you know — whether or not a certain beastie would make it to the final cut?

I spoke to an actor who played one of the main character's stand-ins for the movie. Unfortunately I only got to speak to him for a few minutes, but he confirmed for me that the “squid” was in, so that backs up what has been reported by “Faust” about the ending. He also confirmed the filming of the flashback scene with Osterman’s father and the falling watch parts.

Good to hear. And, since most fans want to hear more about Dr. Manhattan, and we haven’t heard anything at all yet from Billy Crudup, the actor playing the big blue guy, I asked “Mr. Ex” if he knew anything about his scenes…

From what I’ve heard, Crudup’s performance is right on character — very reserved and conservative in motion. It appears Crudup will be overlaid by a digital Dr. Manhattan so who can say how much of his performance will get through by way of facial movements and so on. One thing of interest is that no extras I’ve spoken to have said they were present for Manhattan’s and Laurie’s walk amongst the New York dead at the end. Maybe this will be an effects shot; maybe it hasn’t been shot yet; maybe it’s not in the movie. Who knows? But it is interesting that no one has mentioned being in that scene. I was told that some extras were called in for digital mapping so their likenesses can be reproduced through effects but that this was for the first fatal results of the energy discharge and for the scene where Dr. Manhattan teleports the TV audience to the parking lot.

I’d like to add that it could also be possible that, since they obviously won’t be moving, the lifeless bodies could end up being pure CGI and added to the scene during post production. Any final thoughts on your Watchmen experience, “Mr. Ex?”…

Watchmen was a labor of love not only for the director, crew and actors, but for a large portion of the extras as well. Extras whose contribution will probably be overlooked when it comes to DVD features for the movie. Fans of the novel were thrilled to work on it on both sides of the camera. Those unfamiliar with the story got caught up in the excitement. And, I think, this excitement was not just because the movie was being made, but, really because the movie was being made well — true to the novel in every respect — and by talented people who knew what they were doing and the importance of what they were making. would like to thank “Mr. Ex” for being so candid with us and helping us bring you all of his insider reports. If we’re lucky, maybe he’ll have more to tell us soon.

6.19.08 Source:

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