This week has been tech week for the play I am in (which premieres in a couple days!), and I have spent hours upon hours rehearsing. So, in honor of this time I decided to post a behind-the-scenes look at a video I filmed with my best friend/roommate/minion Naomi Kitzis before I left for Germany. It is a video about what mornings are like during finals week (or tech week!). It starts out a bit slow, but it gets good on Wednesday.
We really wanted to the oatmeal to explode violently in the microwave and the toast to light on fire at the tops when they popped up from the toaster, so we went outside to do some "science". Apparently we aren't very good at science because we did not succeed at anything we tried.
We first attempted to figure out the oatmeal explosion. The only safe exploding materials I could think of was the old school Mentos/carbonation trick. So, I poured Sprite in a glass and chucked a Mento into the liquid...and then a few more. It fizzled a bit, but it didn't even begin to overflow the glass. Apparently, explosion only happens when the container has a small opening. Stumped, we created a Sprite fountain with the remainder of the two-liter and focused our attention on lighting bread on fire.
Now, Naomi is particularly talented at burning bread; there were a couple of times she was supposed to toast bread crumbs in the oven but they ended up black and smoking. (To her credit she bakes fantastic muffins.) So, we thought we had this one in the bag.
We wanted to be careful not to kill the toaster or light the house on fire (in that order of priority of course), and we also didn't want to use lighter fluid. I remembered my sister Katie learned in culinary school that sugar is very flammable if you leave it too long on the stove, so you really have to pay attention when melting it. Well, holding a flame directly on sugar is much hotter than letting sit in a pan, right? So, we poured some sugar on a piece of bread and applied fire directly to it. Nothing happened. Perhaps there was a small thread of smoke that unfurled, but if there was it was not particularly gratifying.
We experimented with a few other things before we pulled out the lighter fluid to see if it was even possible to light the bread on fire. I have decided that if there is ever a fire in the kitchen I am just going to throw bread on it because it is inflammable. Fire fighters should have cannons to shoot it into burning buildings.
So, with heavy hearts and broken dreams of flaming toast we settled on trying to make smoke billow out of the toaster. We took the toaster outside and plugged it in, cranking the knob to the highest setting. Every time the toast popped up we pushed it down again, until it looked like we had a bonfire--minus the fire for the aforementioned reasons. We toasted that bread for about 20 minutes. When we finally dumped it out of the toaster it looked like a charcoal briquette.
And then there was the wine and cereal scene...that was...fun? We didn't want to buy wine, so we used grape juice and put it in an old wine bottle. The faces I made when eating the cereal required no acting. Grape juice and cereal is DISGUSTING. Yuck. Ew. My tastebuds are revolting just thinking of the cloying soggy sweetness.
Speaking of nasty--the pizza. We had recently had too much pizza, so we didn't want to order an entire one and have to eat it (plus all the other food we made while filming). I picked up an empty box from Pizza Hut and two pieces of pizza from Casey's; their pizza is is perfect for filming day-old food with because that is what it looks and tastes like. I tried my best not to swallow the bites I took from it.
Then there was the messy kitchen. We decided we didn't want to have to clean the kitchen after filming, so we made the counters messy and shot the video in reverse order, gradually cleaning it. I have to admit, right now my room kind of looks like the kitchen did...but I'm going to clean it after I post this!
So, there you go! Now you know how difficult filming a simple little five minute video can be. Thank you to Rebekah Strand for helping with some of the filming! The first few shots we did were tricky (we filmed Friday first) and required lots of time.
We want to do more filming when I get back (I have soooooo many ideas), and we have started writing a little web series that we would like to shoot some day. But in the meantime I am going to try to survive tech week. I'm super excited for the play!