Promo Shoot
November 24, 1999

The show is dead. Long live the show.

Although we shot the 13th and (for now) final episode of Oh Grow Up last night, all five of us gathered this morning bright and early to make more Oh Grow Up magic. We had two assignments for the day. The first was to generate a slick opening-title sequence for the show. I have always wished there was a little something to open the show. OK, not wished desperately with all my heart or anything, but I always thought it would be cool to have something there.

No frolicking in a fountain for us, though. We had a stark GAP-ad look. We were on an all-white stage with a big Oh Grow Up logo in the middle. Then we milled about, interacted, looked at the camera, all very funky. Of course, it will depend on how it's edited together. It could look anywhere from corny and pretentious to edgy and hip. Maybe that's the chance you take when you are imitating an ad for a clothing store. And lest you think that I am being unfair comparing us to a GAP-ad, know that the sequence was directed by the guy who directs the GAP-ads. I guess he's found his niche.

I was reminded today how unpleasant it can be to work with a single camera. As a traditional sitcom, we have four cameras trained on us all the time, Today one. It just meant that everything had to take longer. So much longer. I had flashbacks to my student film days when I would sit there watching tweak after tweak of one light, one gel, one black, and minutes upon minutes would just tick away and it would never really be right but at some breaking point, the A.D. would put his or her foot down and force the production forward. Then we would shoot 20 seconds worth of footage and sit around all over again. Little did I know then how closely they resembled a professional set.

The titles were eventually completed and, already slightly behind schedule, we moved on to Phase Two. We also had to put together the new ad campaign for the re-launch of the show in December. I think Alan approached ABC about the idea and the writers put them together. The concept is The Dating Game with all three of the boys as the pickees, and Rena and Niesha switching off as the picker. One of them would ask one of us a question and he would give a mature, sensitive, sophisticated answer. The next shot is then a scene from an episode of the show that completely contradicts that answer. It serves the dual purpose of making us look stupid (and thus more accessible) and ideally highlights some of the funniest bits from the show. There did seem to be a preponderance of clips from Episode 104, 'Duckboy,' which is the 'lost episode' these days. It didn't air in the first seven weeks and does not appear on the schedule in the near future. Maybe that makes it the perfect episode to sample. We can extract the funny moments without putting the whole thing on the air.

We slogged through the single-camera tedium and got all of our lines down on film. We each took turns going through our list of responses. No one even asked the questions, we just went down the list giving our response. That was a little inorganic to say the least. I wrote down the questions next to my list of answers so I would at least know what I was saying. Still, it's not the same as having four cameras pointed at a set where a little scene is going on. I really like that format. (I hope I can continue doing it.)

After we wrapped, Niesha and Steven and I went out to Mexicali to get a bite to eat. It's Thanksgiving Eve but we have all been kept in town by today's shoot. So the three of us had a little dinner and drank a few drinks. And it was nice. It was a tentative acknowledgement of the twilight of the show. We don't want to face it or admit it or believe it, but it was one of the last moments we could steal away from this whole adventure and just be with each other and enjoy what we have been through for the past six months. It's been quite a ride with quite a wonderful group of people, and two of my favorites were sitting across from me laughing and sharing a holiday evening. And in moments like that, I realize how much I have to be truly thankful for.

 Episode 112 | Behind the Scenes | Publicity | Oh Grow Up