"The Puce Anteater"

This week's Cinema 2.0 movie was The Green Hornet, with Bruce Lee as Kato. There was an upsurge in interest in Bruce Lee after his death and so the producers of the old Green Hornet TV show cobbled together several episodes with loose connecting material into a feature length movie. As before, Megan Pedersen assembled a mass of trivia about the movie.

I was super-tired Sunday, from the Party of the Century™ (as Trish was calling it), so I forgot to do the character assignments until the last minute. The character assignments? OK, here's your behind-the-scenes look at how much the cast does or doesn't know about the movie before-hand:

At each show, I give the cast members a VCD of the movie for the next week. They can watch them as much as they want (though I think most people are watching them once), with or without sound (I think the cast is split 50-50 on this). One cast member watches the movie carefully and does a breakdown of the scenes of the movie and which characters are in each one -- something like "5:00 - driving in the car - Green Hornet & Kato, 6:30 - kung fu fight - Kato, Bad Haircut, Blue Jacket". (One of the tricky aspects of doing the scene breakdown is coming up with names for the characters that make sense if you've only watched the movie with the sound off.) They then email that breakdown to me.

So then Saturday or Sunday (late!) I take that breakdown and assign characters to each cast member (both to keep big vs. small parts fair over the run, and to make sure that no one has to do a scene with themselves in the course of a show). I hand those assignments and copies of the scene breakdown to the actors when they get to the theater Sunday night, so they have time to ask questions like "which one was Bad Haircut?"

(I get kind of pre-emptively defensive about whether or not some decision I've made about a show makes people think it's "really improv". I don't think our prep work takes away our "improv cred". Discuss.)

So anyway, I got a suggestion of an animal ("anteater") and the movie gradually became about the quest of The Puce Anteater (and his Australian sidekick, Bricko) to get a bite to eat. What is it with these guys and food? Does the cast not eat dinner before they come to do the show? Discuss.

Trivia note: Phillip Mottaz has now played both Bruce and Brandon Lee. Creepy.