5 Hilarious Jobs That Made Your Favorite Movies Possible
Hollywood is full of funny-sounding jobs that turn out to be pretty boring once you learn what they really are. To this day, I refuse to learn what a "best boy" is, because I suspect the real answer won't be a golden retriever in a tiny teamster hat that brings the actors their lattes. But then there are those filmmaking jobs that are just as hilarious and bizarre as they sound. Jobs like "Spider-Man's ear-blower" in Infinity War, which involved an actual person blowing into Tom Holland's ear to make the hair on his arm stand up for that one scene. Here are some more jobs like that.
A Volunteer Went To Second Base With A Cow For Toy Story 2
If you've ever watched a movie and noticed that a punch to the face sounded suspiciously like a side of beef being slapped with a boat paddle, you've realized the value of sound designers and foley artists. It has to be one of the absolute least appreciated tasks in all of film, and the people who are great at it are both amazing and kind of crazy.
For example, all the nonhuman sounds you heard in the first two Toy Story movies were the work of Gary Rydstrom, who by the time he came aboard already had four sound-related Oscars under his belt for Jurassic Park and Terminator 2. A huge challenge Rydstrom faced while working on Toy Story 2 was getting the sounds of the horse toy Bullseye licking Woody's face just right. It's a comedy beat that depends largely on the sound, and blowing it could mean utter ruin for everyone involved.
You'd think that he could just, I don't know, record an actual horse going to town on a salt lick, but you're not thinking it through. Bullseye is not a real horse. He's a toy. Those must sound differently from real horses. And what's the real-life equivalent of toy horses, in the mind of a sound effects artist? That's right, cows. Rydstrom therefore took the only action that was reasonable in his mind: He had a volunteer smear their face with peanut butter and then got it slurped off by a hungry cow. That was in no way a joke. I have no idea how the crew explained their plan to the cow's owner, but they probably just assumed it was better not to ask any follow-up questions.
In any case, once the sound designer had all the licking sounds he needed, he separated, enhanced, and mixed them until they sounded exactly right. And then literally nobody who's ever seen the movie noticed or cared.
Bill Murray Hired A Sign Language Assistant For Very Bill Murray Reasons
The original script for Groundhog Day says that Bill Murray's Phil Connors spends 10,000 years trapped reliving the same day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. So all those fan theories about Phil being stuck in Hell are technically wrong, but at the same time they aren't because, you know, Pennsylvania. In any case, working on the movie sure felt like Hell to Murray and everyone around him.
At the time, Murray's first marriage was dissolving, he was fighting with his longtime friend Harold Ramis about the tone of the movie, and worst of all, he still wasn't famous/old enough for his asshole antics to be construed as playful eccentricity. This resulted in a lot of missed work days and calls from producers going unreturned. Something had to be done, so someone suggested Murray should get a personal assistant.
Murray, who thinks the world only exists for his own amusement, decided to hire a deaf assistant who only knew sign language to fuck with people, because no one else on set knew ASL, including himself. So for a while, all communication between the crew and Murray was done through a man whom no one could understand, which meant it wasn't done at all.
This was somehow even more insulting than just not talking to anyone. Not talking is a passive move. Hiring a middleman whom no one can understand is a very active "Fuck you" to everyone around you. Murray actually announced that he would learn ASL, probably to keep the joke going longer, but after a few weeks, he gave up on it.
Amazingly, they made it through filming and created a modern classic, though Murray and Ramis never talked again. Yeah, maybe that was for the best.
David Goyer Paid Bikers To Stop Wesley Snipes From Attacking Him On The Set Of Blade: Trinity
The third Blade movie is a turbulent story about the formation of unlikely alliances to protect innocent lives. Oh, I'm not talking about the plot, in which Blade teams up with vampire hunters to stop Dracula. I'm talking about what happened during the production when some random bikers stopped the lead from possibly murdering the film's director.
The movie was directed by David S. Goyer and starred veteran tax fraud and pain in the ass Wesley Snipes, who acquired the bulk of his reputation during the filming of this movie. According to Patton Oswalt, who had a minor role in Trinity, Snipes would smoke weed all day, only come out of his trailer for close-up shots, and constantly fight with the director over every little thing. Finally, he allegedly tried to strangle Goyer during a heated argument. And remember, Snipes had been practicing martial arts for nearly 30 years at that time, so Goyer was understandably worried for his safety.
That same night, Goyer and some of the cast went out to a strip club. There, Goyer spotted a couple of bikers and offered them a deal: "I'll pay for all your drinks if you show up to set tomorrow and pretend to be my security." Booze and the chance to visit a real movie set while also threatening Wesley Snipes? Most people would pay money for that, so naturally the bikers accepted. When Snipes saw them on set the next day, probably while stretching his choking arm, he reportedly freaked and ran back to his trailer.
This gave both the director and actor time to cool down, after which they calmly sat down and told each other "Fuck you. You should quit the movie." In the end, though, Snipes decided to stay on, but for the rest of the shoot, he would only communicate with Goyer through Post-It notes, probably because he couldn't find a deaf assistant on such short notice.
The Halloween Movies Have Tiny-Handed Murder Doubles
Halloween is ultimately a story about an unstoppable, remorseless, soulless force of evil that cannot be explained by mundane things like a shitty upbringing or trauma. (Hear that, Rob Zombie?) This is clear from the very first moments of the movie, when we see six-year-old Mikey Myers stabbing his sister Judith to death in their quiet suburban home. There was no real reason for it, which is the entire point.
The thing is, the part still had to be played by an actual, non-serial-killer child, and this wasn't like The Shining, where a six-year-old actor somehow shot all of his scenes without ever noticing he was in a horror movie. The opening scenes of Halloween are shot from the POV of young Michael as he repeatedly plunges a kitchen knife into a naked teen. You cannot dress that up as anything else. ("OK, now in this scene, you're going to cure Judith's sore throat with your Doctoring Knife!") The clip is NSFW, obviously:
Also, Halloween was shot on a budget that would need to be doubled to be considered shoestring, and when the production finally got to the opening scenes, they didn't have any more money to pay the child actor playing Michael. So between the issues of budget and basic morality, they needed to find a grownup on set with tiny, delicate childlike hands to do the murdering.
They wound up using writer and producer Debra Hill. So the "child hands" you see in the classic opening of one of the best horror movies ever made are actually those of a 27-year-old writer/producer from New Jersey.
This whole sequence would play out again about three decades later, when they inexplicably decided to remake Halloween in 2007. In that one, young Michael slits a dude's throat, which on a film set meant dragging a prop knife across a thin latex appliance that's designed to spurt blood:
The actor getting his throat slit wasn't crazy about an 11-year-old doing that without accidentally slicing his throat for real, so once again, they had to find the smallest woman on set (in this case an unnamed stunt double) to do it. These are all important tricks you should keep in mind if you aspire to one day film a child's killing spree.
The Director And Producer Of The Notebook Had To Become Bird Foster Parents
If there is one thing most people remember about The Notebook, it's Ryan Gosling's topless torso. But if there are two things, it's the classic scene wherein Gosling and Rachel McAdams take a slow boat ride through a lake inhabited by hundreds of swans, ducks, and geese. This was the part of the movie when they reignited their love among a mesmerizing, almost otherworldly sea of fowl that just added to the magic of their reunion. That's some nice CGI work, right?
Nope! Those are real birds. But when director Nick Cassavetes went to New Line Cinema with his concept for the lake scene, they got in touch with every animal wrangler in Hollywood ... who then told them that this idea was pure lunacy. You can't control that many birds. It would be absolute chaos. Now, if it's a horny cow that they needed ...
But Cassavetes and one of the producers didn't accept that. Instead they went out, got a trailer, bought a bunch of bird hatchlings, and just spent months raising them. Every day, the pair would march their bird family to the lake to feed them, and in time, they were able to control them "like the Pied Piper." Thanks to their hard work, the scene went off without a hitch,, and the movie became a classic. I don't know what happened to the birds after that, so I'm going to assume they were all cooked and eaten by the crew.
For more, check out 4 Hilarious Behind The Scenes Details Of A Movie Sex Scene:
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