"Help" originally meant being an extra (you can see me glancing worriedly over my shoulder for a moment), but it ended up being a little bit more.
You see, shooting stuff outdoors in NYC is never easy. I believe technically you can shoot on the street without a permit as long as you aren't using a tripod, but if a cop wants to hassle you, you're gonna have to shut down. Sucks, but such is life.
Anyway, we were shooting in a private residence community which has even stricter standards. Some security guards came by and we were quickly stopped. Crystal went off to the building manager to try and get a permit (which I doubted would happen), and I was the phone liason between her and the crew.
During that time, we got a lot of rehearsing done so the commercial could be shot in a single take (and it was! Well done, everyone!), but if it were up to me, I'd wait until there were no guards in sight and just start shooting. Rehearsing doesn't look that different from the real thing, you know?
It takes me back to my own days of "guerilla" filmmaking, filming at 8 a.m. before the crowds arrived, everyone dressed up in medieval gear and battling one another, hoping that no tourists or cops would chance upon that particular part of Central Park. Good times.
The day ended without a permit (yikes!) and the crew deciding to risk it anyway. We got in three takes before the rain started pouring, and I'd kind of like to see the final take with Joe screaming amidst the thunder.
This is the sort of stuff I love doing.