After a lot of thinking, I decided to start this report at the very
second I first became aware of us lot making it with them lot. A
chance for us nobodies to meet, at a safe and restrainable distance,
those faces that, pretty much, threw us all together. There had
been talk, but then, there's talk about everything, especially on
the internet. However, when it became clear through everyone's favourite
web - meister, Nick Lee, (favourite? oh, shucks - Ed) that is wasn't
the fantasy of some twisted dream but actually real, it got a hell
of a lot more exciting. The mail came, I replied accordingly then
got an email / call in return. After much to - ing and a fair share
of fro - ing, I eventually spoke to Nira and, as she requested a
picture and details were sent off to her the next day.
Then it was waiting.
A hell of a lot of waiting.
For someone with no patience, it was close to the Chinese Water
Torture. Only with less of an oriental twang. And no water. Anyway
got their calls, various days were banded about. All in the vague
ballpark of mid to late August. Still nothing.
It was early August when I got my call, the 11th in fact. Again,
much phone based tennis. Eventually Nira and I were finally on the
same court at the same time. And we both had our racquets.
I was given my date, well, a day. Next Tuesday, what is that? Umm
I had a place too
Shoreditch. That's ok, it's where I hang
out a lot now anyway, so, I should be able to get there alright.
An underground carpark. Ok. A little, strange. More details on Monday
so she said.
Oh, and one more thing
you've got to appear bare - chest
I suppose everyone suffers
for their art, right?
So, now, it's the weekend, Saturday to be precise
I'm 25 hours
from spaced-chat, 40 odd from knowing my plans and 72 from enacting
them. Crazy, can man live at this break neck speed? Only one way
to find out. Try.
So, Monday came around after yet another cool chat session the night
before. It was about 3 in the afternoon and I got my last call.
The time had got a little earlier, but at least I knew where I was
a deserted car park just off of Shoreditch high
street. So, I travelled up Monday night to kip around my mate's
house (ta Jonny!). But, despite the fact I was already knackered,
sleep was not forthcoming. It was like a Christmas and a birthday
rolled into one. Without all the insomnia, I had to get up at 5
to get there on time. I left at 6.20, giving myself, I thought ample
time to get to my destination. I did actually manage to get there
on time, but quite how I am not sure. Every single train seemed
to have it in for me that day. Breakdowns, signal problems, Christ
knows what. All this time, and the time I had spent more awake than
asleep last night, allowed me to think out what would probably happen
the next day. It then struck me that I would not only be a 'supporting
artiste' on one of my favourite TV shows, but I'd also be meeting
one of my comedy heroes, the Peggster himself. Christ. I would actually
be meeting him! It's gonna actually happen
what would I say,
just start a conversation about nothing?? "Oh, hello
I'm one of the net geeks"??
Walking along Bishopsgate was great. You could see it was going
to be a great day
no clouds, bright sun.
I finally found the place I was looking for, menacing gates stood
in front of me, but I was told to go 'straight to the upper level'
anyway. I trudged around the long ramp that led from street level
up to the open space above. Passing through the early morning parked
cars, the buses and trucks loomed up in the distance. I made my
way over towards them, my heart in my mouth. This was it, no turning
back now. Time for action
"Is this the place for spaced, mate?" I asked rather stupidly.
The sparks just smiled at me, "Nope. No spaced today.."
Yeah, like there's about 15 shoots on top of this place today. Anyway,
I walked around the main 'star' bus, and I saw Simon and Nick eating
breakfast. I half thought of banging on the window saying 'Wooh!
Look at me' but then I realised that would instil the, quite correct,
assumption that I was a w***er into their minds. I walked straight
passed, going up to Katrina (I apologise if names are wrong by the
way, I have a mind for many things, but names are not one of them)
who looked important (she had a clipboard) and she took my name
and gave me a release form which, she said, was just to say that
'you don't mind being filmed.' So, I filled it in and gave it back
just stood about. Only a few other extras had turned
up and they were all mates of Edgar and his brother Oscar (or was
it David Arquette?). Then, I saw my chance, Ed walked right passed
"Hi!" I threw out.
He turned and walked up and we introduced each other. I was the
first one of the spaced - out - niks to turn up, so he said, and
we were talking about how the day was going to go and what I'd be
doing when Ed called out.
So, it was here that I met Nick, sans lunettes but avec moustache.
Again we talked about what was going on and we discussed our mutual
reluctance to appear semi naked on national television.
"I remember when I saw the script 'bout four months ago,"
he started, "I thought, 'I must lose a few pounds', but it
just didn't happen."
"I know," I exchanged, "I kinda thought the same
only problem was I had four days."
After a little in depth discussion of how even last minute bike
rides don't help and that just looking at a biscuit can cause ballooning.
During this meeting of dieticians, someone walked up beside me.
I recognised the voice.
Turning 'round I saw it was Simon.
I smiled but my eyes must've, at this time, been saying 'fucking
hell, it's actually him!!'
"Yeah, hi Simon" I responded.
We started talking more in depth about the day's filming. The b/g
of the scenes we'd be doing. Now, I could tell you these things,
but, Simon and Nick promised they would hunt me down with dogs if
I gave away anything
and I didn't want to get that acquainted
As we were talking I managed to wangle a couple of John Handcockers
on my bootleg copy of spaced (Cheese for those Simon and Nick!).
Nick wanted to start his from Jess' eye, but Simon wouldn't let
not this time
So, whilst all this was going on, Si pointed out that a lot of the
guest stars were going to be on set with us. Just as he did, Reece
Sheersmith strode passed into wardrobe, and not long after, the
Bluetones showed up.
So, the first meeting split and all the extras now (including the
two 'niks left to come, you know who you are) came together and
sat on the bus talking about one of Ed and Oscar's mates desire
to become not only semi but completely naked. That was Graham and,
yes, he was mad. He later made Si corpse badly when he got his knackers
out during a take. I think that says it all.
Anyway, we all bonded really well, especially after the day was
over. Well, I suppose it's difficult not to bond with someone when
you're screaming testosterone fuelled anger next to each other when
you're only partially clothed.
I kinda lost track of time as I didn't have a watch, but soon we
were bussed down to 'the location'. This was the car park underneath
where the base camp was. Dank and rat infested is a polite way of
describing it. Indeed, the floor manager, who's name sadly has evaded
me completely, but he was a very cool guy, warned us of rats and
rat based problems. It's no good having an extra who's throwing
his ring or hospitalised. Still, it was very atmospheric, as I am
sure you will see when it hits your screens
Obviously, I can't tell you a lot about what we did, which is kind
of a shame, but I suppose it'll make for a more entertaining and
nail biting episode when it comes out. I can, though, tell you a
few bits and pieces that happened without giving too much away.
Like Simon and Nicks jabbering in between takes, with references
of Davros coming very much to the fore. It was, I suppose, one of
those things that you had to be there to appreciate fully, although,
Reece's screaming practice would be side splitting for anyone. It
is next to impossible for anyone to keep a straight face when a
well-respected comic actor makes noises like "Gaaaaaaaaddddddddaaaaaahh"
or "MMMmnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaahhhhhhh" at ear splitting levels.
During takes, Simon was a very diligent host, continually asking
if I was ok, alright, happy etc, which was cool. During our tea
break we talked some more about the shooting (and the next seven
weeks) as well as Big Train and the whole Coogan scene. We talked
about the Big Train live thing that never happened at Brixton. Simon
really wanted that to happen, but it just didn't
so, no one
got to see the majesty of Mark Heap and Kev Eldon performing the
Cat & Mouse scene. The world lost out there
I don't think I am giving too much away if I said that we, as a
collection of extras, were basically whooping, cheering and shouting
in a overly manly way. In fact, if any incident had happened down
there, it would have looked really dodgy; "twenty semi naked
men in underground chanting society".
So, filming was going on and, for the last part of the morning's
shoot, the emphasis was on another section of the scene, so we could
stand around and look at what was going on. We got to see the action
from almost every angle, first hand and through the monitors.
So now it was lunchtime. We all trundled back up the hill and grabbed
what we wanted. Sitting around, a small group of us nipped down
to the pub opposite for a quick drink. Again, names evade me now
I come to write about them. Only Oscar and Phil, who I was standing
next to during takes, I can remember. We had a couple then made
our way back to set.
For the first part of afternoon's shooting, we didn't do anything.
It was just another chance to revel in the glory that was Reece
pulling an odd face or making strange noises. But, all good things
come to an end and he took his bow and slipped off to do whatever
a gent does when he's not recording
A mix of more Davros 'annihilation' and coronation street stylee
calls of 'I think you're right Mike' filled the air and kept us
all smiling through all the takes. That was the cool thing. We must've
heard the same lines a good ten or twenty times, but they never
got less funny. The signs for Spaced 2 are so good it's untrue
So, we stood about now watching Si and Nick perform. Well, I would've
done if I hadn't have got called up to fill in at the edges of camera.
"Woooooooooooaaaarghhhhhhhhh Dannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn EEeeeeeiii"
came Simon's war cry as I took my place on the edge of picture.
Anyway, the shots were filmed
you didn't think I'd tell you
what we were doing though, did you?
But, soon, it was all coming to a close. The time had really pulled
away fast. Simon and Nick took their bows and went off to get ready
for another scene they were shooting later that night with new member
of the cast, Lucy Ackhurst (playing Sophie). Night? What was the
time? I asked Phil and it was coming up half seven. HALF SEVEN?!!
A twelve hour day. Mad. We were told we could go, but a group of
us wanted to see how the final frames of our scene developed. I
said my goodbyes to everyone and by 7.45, we were off.
I still had ages to travel. An hour back to my mates to pick up
my kit, another good 75 minutes getting home from there.
I got in well after ten, absolutely shattered, as Simon said I would
be, but, contrary to what he had said, there wasn't a boring second
So, here I sit, in my dark glasses, despite the gloom. No one can
take celebrity too seriously, avoiding my new fan base has become
a full time occupation
well, a guy can dream, right?
It isn't very often that a day exceeds your expectations on all
front, but my day on the set of Spaced 2 really did. I suppose it's
easy to sound like some twisted sycophant here, but it was an amazing
day. I met some cool and groovy people, learnt some things about
a career I am interested in, saw an amazing series during it's production.
Most importantly I met people who I admire in the cast and crew
and was blown away by how genuine and groovy they all were. All
those people who are going in the next few weeks, look forward to
it, it's an amazing experience. And say hi to Simon for me!
I would like to thank a few people here. First off, Nick Lee for
setting up a groovy site in the first place. Then Simon, Jess and
all the cast and crew for giving us the opportunity to come and
see them at a safe and manageable distance, especially Nira who
must've tirelessly been calling 'round to get people going.
It was a great time, one to tell the grandkids. I mean, it's not
everyday you get to stand around with your writing hero whilst looking
on at a LoG -er and the Bluetones. Crazy.
So, yep, that's it. My time on set, wrapped up at last! I'd just
like to wish all the cast and crew a successful seven more weeks
(I don't know how you do it) and that's it. Laters!