duckyxdale

3/01/2006

Veronica Mars Bloggers Press Day RECAP



Please click on links within text for pictures!




Let me start by saying that being one out of nine chosen to attend the first ever Bloggers Press Day was frakking incredible! We were all flown to San Diego, put up in a hotel near the set and even given a per diem for our expenses. Top notch treatment all in an effort to create more buzz around the show and to give back to those of us obsessed enough to study every clue and write about each episode, actor, and creator extensively. Some of us were smaller scale bloggers (like myself wondering how the hell he managed to be there) and some of us have a high readership. It was an amazing gesture to treat the ones helping spread the word about "Veronica Mars."



We met in the lobby of the Marriott - seven women and two guys (one straight and one not so much). We had two mPRm escorts (Sienna and Chelsea) and one from Warner Bros. (Holly). To add to the excitement of the day we were also followed by Karla Peterson of the San Diego Union-Tribune and a Warner Bros. photographer for an article on television blogging and our event as well (which when published in a few weeks I will link to). We were given the "on set" rundown of common sense things to do/not to do. Turn off cell phones, quiet on set, don't ask Kristen Bell to sit on your lap, don't try to climb into Jason Dohring's pocket, and don't scream fire in a room of crowded extras... you know the usual.



A ridiculously large and almost embarrassingly big SUV Limo came and picked us up. We were told it was a five minute drive so we piled in bling and all. We took the 10 seconds ride to the set to further acquaint with each other... quickly GiveMeMyRemote and I were BFF's and ready to take the set by storm.



We arrived at Stu Segall Studios and the first thing we all noticed was Logan's Yellow Xterra in the parking lot and then I noticed a PCH'er bike right next to the gate. Why didn't they just pick us up in the Xterra? A few of us could have ridden on the roof!



We were met and taken to the exterior Cafeteria set where they were rehearsing Scene #42 from Episode 18 "I AM GOD" (tentatively scheduled for April 12th). Two stand-in's were at a table while the crew busily prepared for a talent rehearsal with Kristen Bell (Veronica) and Kyle Gallner (Beaver). While we took in the cafeteria set and the entrance to Neptune High School chairs were set up for us next to the Video Tent (where the producers and director watch each take on monitors). We were given a headset to hear the dialogue and they began rehearsing. Like a shining beam of light Kristen Bell appeared (see a trailer here) in a quirky Veronica get up and began harassing the Beav who was in a particularly solemn mood. Under Martha Mitchell's direction the scene was ready to go. The extras were filed out one by one each with a tray of prop lunch and we began the many takes and set ups to finish off this scene of Veronica and Cassidy. Though I cannot give away the dialogue in this short scene I will say that there is a great Dick references within - the double entendre is amazing!



New to the Neptune High Entrance is a Lilly Kane Memorial Fountain which has to be the funniest and ugliest thing I've ever seen. Something that a High School would sooooo do in reality. Funny aside from Rob Thomas: The poem dedication on the fountain is the poem from the "Freaks & Geeks" episode "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers" - I don't know if the poem is in the episode or just in the Yearbook edition of the DVDs but that is where they got the poem and the idea. A little shout out to F&G!



Mid-filming Ryan Hansen (Dick) came over and introduced himself. Quickly GiveMeMyRemote developed quite the crush and I have to say I too hopped on the Dick Bandwagon! The kid is sooooo California and Bad Boy but its way hot! He kept trying to get GimeMeMyRemote to just walk into the scene with him where he was "background" while Beav and Veronica chatted it up. When you see the episode we are a half inch out of frame on the right hand side. Sad but true, we were not asked to be extras! Wanna see Dick's ass over my shoulder? Nice.



Rob Thomas, series creator came out and introduced himself, telling us how excited he was we were all there and how cool this bloggers day was for everyone. We were the first group set visit in the history of "Veronica Mars"... yeah us!



As they changed camera set ups Kristen Bell finally had a chance to come on over and introduce herself. As a gay man I will say that she is HOT BUSINESS! Basically she's cuter than puppies and kittens combined. Unfortch she only had like 15 minutes before she had to pop back on set because they were ready for her close-up. But, we did get a little face time and she wanted to know where we were all from (she was amazed we were from all over the country, not California). The Attractive Nuisance realized that both of them went to NYU at the same time and that she had seen Kristen topless in a production of HAIR. God to be a camera on that night! She was also asked about her MAXIM shoot. Basically she dished that she was TOLD she was doing it. She had previously been asked 4 times to do the cover and turned them down each time. Then with Pulse coming out Joel Silver and the film studio basically gave her no choice. Though she was reluctant she is pretty happy with the pics. She thinks they're more pin-up than slutty and she's pretty sure she's the most clothed covergirl to appear in Maxim. Gotta love dirty film producers and a horny male demographic! She talked for a few seconds about "Punk'd" and how pissed she really was and about the dog she rescued from Hurricane Katrina. PS-where's her PETA ad? We so need one!



After they wrapped outside, the last scene for Kyle that day we were treated to some Kyle and Ryan antics. They act like brothers with their comedic actions, hamming, and big brother little brother bravados. I got my pic with them and at one point Ryan slipped and his mouth touched my neck. The gay jokes began and notice how his leg is lifted smitten style in my pic! That's Hot!



Inside we saw a pic that must remain under wraps until next month because it gives away some plot information that even I wish I hadn't seen. I was trying as hard as I could to be spoiler free... I haven't even read most of the "Sides" pages we were given (the script pages being filmed that day).



We hit the Girls Bathroom for some playtime and pics. We saw the stall from the last new episode aired where someone *cough* Madison Sinclair wrote "Jackie Cook is a..." high-sterical! We almost signed the bathroom wall but decided against being arrested or thrown off the set within our first two hours. Funny Madison story: She was cast because she's the real-life Shelly Pomroy's niece or was it cousin? Who can tell, all I will say is that that girl is genius!



The Neptune High floor was all scuffed up but looked better than any floor design my high school came up with! Go Warriors! Come out and playaaaaaa!



Next we made our way through the high school set which is housed in the bigger warehouse studio space where most of the VMars sets are built and shot. We basically had free reign of the sets. Sure Holly, Chelsea, and Sienna were there but a couple girls were in Veronica's bed, in the Mars fridge; I checked out the dirty dishes (a gross but shockingly realistic touch) and scoured Veronica's bedroom looking at all the incredible candid and staged shots of Veronica and Lilly, Veronica and her lush of a loser Mom and even one of local Boston band, The Dresden Dolls. Her cd collection aint half bad either (I think Scooter got a shot - check his blog just in case).



We hit Mars Investigations! I sat in Keith's chair and screamed for Veronica to bring me the Lilly Kane file. Can I just say that they've done an incredible job with the set. The stained glass looks amazing, don't you think?



As we were in the kitchen, Rob walked in sipping a Diet Squirt - there were the to be guessed "Who's at the door" comments. Rob was asked if he knew who was at the door in the finale and he honestly said "No." When Kristen asked who it was for visual reference he told her to fake it, both Teddy and Jason were about the same height. The man didn't have a clue... and I appreciate his honesty. After a couple questions, he took us over to the Sherrif's station.



What? LAMB'S NOT ON SET TODAY? This is crap! Y'all know I love me some shirtless Lamb. When I asked Rob if there would be more Shirtless Lamb he laughed and told us that basically Michael Mulvaney who plays Lamb was begging to be shirtless since the series premiere! Who's complaining and why did it take so long, that's the burning question here... enough who crashed the bus; who was stopping Michael from fulfilling his desires and mine? Damn you!



Some brilliant and hidden easter egg items in the station set. On one of the desks there is a prom picture of Chris Carmack (Luke from "The OC") and some random girl. I was cracking up, what the hell is that doing there? The back wall with all the "Wanted" posters and what not had a couple pictures of what must have been a crew member passed out drunk or playing dead. I almost expected to see a rubber chicken in one, I don't know... that's just me. On another desk there was this file folder for Osama! Up on Olga's counter near her computer (notice the green folder behind Rob) there was a file just labeled "PEDOPHILES." Like Neptune's newest resident is Wacko Jacko or something.



We headed on over to the Java Hut, Veronica's place of employment and karaoke adoration. It actually looked like a coffee shop I'd like to frequent. Not that I'm giving up my Starbucks but if we lived in TVLand, I'd be all over the Hut. Rob told us how the current karaoke sign is the second to make the air. The first looked (according to him) like a high school cafeteria sign so the art department came up with this new sign instead. He likes this one much better. Right now was "Rob feels awkward" time... that photographer stopped Rob mid-story and asked all of us to gather around him (closely to cheat the shot) while Rob "stage gestured" to the sign and we "staged interest." It was brilliant, he basically pointed, we gawked and giggled as pretended to tell the same story over again for the cameras. By the end of the day though, Rob and the rest of us could give some Top Models a run for their money in the Spokesmodel category.



Someone asked if we could see the Penthouse set where Duncan and Logan lived which is now the current and future residence of Logan - all by his cute lonesome. Rob said it was in another building and that he wasn't really sure where it was, but he'd find it. Off we went through the studio, out by the loading area where Rob asked how to get to that set and people ran to accommodate (this happens at my job too, don't be fooled). I guess when you're the creator, showrunner, and writer, people tend to get you what you need... not a bad gig!



On our way to the Penthouse, we passed multiple Veronica cars ***spoiler alert***


including one that was all smashed up. who's she pissed off this time?




We also passed quite possibly the oddest sight of the day. A little something I like to call Little Fallujah! When asked, Rob told us that Stu Segall was an odd bird who over the years has had his hands in many different operations for his studio lot. Including a military training ground with watch tower and burned out helicopter. Interesting set fact: The recent place of Weevil torture, that big shipping crane looking area is actually right next to the Penthouse set and used to be used for some kind of chemical business. If in 10 years Kristen Bell has a third eye or hair babies, we know why. Mark my words!



The Penthouse is actually much like my Boston apartment in that its nothing like my Boston apartment. The only similarities are that we both have flat-screen tv's and a shower. Set Fact: The Penthouse only has 1 bedroom. Each time we saw Kendall and Logan enter the second bedroom, they just walked off set. To switch up the bedrooms which were actually the same one, a simple bedding change was enough to fool us all. I find that this works well if you're teasing alzheimer patients as well!



Rob told us that the bathroom shower will figure prominently in an upcoming episode and that it does not revolve around the bathers inside. By the shower, we chatted for a long time with Rob. We talked about the third season, recurring and perm characters, and Michael Ausiello.


Yes, they have the third season mystery already worked out.

Yes, it will be introduced slightly this season so keep your eyes open.

Yes, Veronica is going to college.

No, Rob is not worried about the leap to the College years as "Veronica Mars" has never been this coming of age high school drama - he truly believes it will survive and grow as Veronica heads off to college.

No, not all of the title sequence characters will make it to Season Three.

No, Charisma Carpentar will not be in the Third Season.

Yes, there is a strong possibility that Mac (Tina Majorino) will become a permanent cast member.

No, he was not surprised at the instant fan addiction to the Beaver/Mac romance.

Yes, he was genuinely surprised at the Jackie backlash. He wrote her thinking people would sympathize with her, instead people turned on her character. In Rob's mind, Jackie and Wallace have only gone on one date - there was no commitment. Sure Veronica got pissy but she was being protective when Jackie went on another date like any high schooler would. We were never to have taken it as Wallace and Jackie sitting in a tree...

As for Ausiello, Rob laughed and admitted that Michael has a way of making Rob talk waaaay too much, revealing all the dirt! Holly told us that when Michael was on set a couple weeks ago, he told the extras it was pretty good being one of them. Apparently the extras reminded him that most extras do not have their own trailer with their name on the door! Leave it to Ausiello to get the star treatment, god he's good!




The BUS! I almost forgot to tell you about the bus! Seriously, it looks like they actually dropped it off a cliff or rammed it with Veronica's car or something. It's like a bomb hit that puppy. Notice Rob "motioning" for the photographer. **spoiler alert**



The big hole in the side of the bus was for some crash flashback scenes coming up in a couple episodes. Rob told us that we will get glimpses into each of the crash victims pre-death life before the end of the season.




Lunchtime with Rob!!! Guess who sat next to Rob at lunch... that would be me! No I didn't kick anyone out of their seat. Who do you think I am... okay well I would do that, but in this case he sat down next to me. While noshing on free salad, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and cake I tried not to look like a fool as we continued to grill Rob for about the third hour.



Percy Daggs III (Wallace) showed up with his real-life trip of a Mother and his super hot bindi wearing sister. I thought it was his girlfriend, turns out he wasn't pulling a Boone/Shannon afterall... just his sister. He was very cordial and seems to have quite the amazing relationship with his Mother (who also seems like a set favorite). Kristen came in and got some lunch, but headed right back out because she had more scenes to prepare for. Oh, at one point Rob pulled Percy out of the tent and talked to him, then they both reappeared. WHAT DID HE SAY? Was it, "Get out while you can Man... these folks are vultures?" We'll never know!



It began to rain...



We moved under better cover as Rob was in mid-story and we were quite the captive audience. For real at this point I'm dying because he's been with us FOREVER and none of us expected this much access to Rob Frakkin Thomas! I asked him about the March 15th episode "Versatile Toppings" which is the episode where Veronica must investigate who's been outing Neptunians on a website. I always knew Veronica would come to the gays rescue! Oh, my question... "With this new episode being about closeted gays, will any of them happen to return as recurring characters because I always thought Veronica was the kind of girl that loves the gays. She needs a gay sidekick - like how she goes to Mac for techie questions, she could go to a gay for something else if a case calls for it!" Though he laughed, he did answer that yes, this episode opens the arena of gays in Veronica's life (esp. with her going to college next season, you never know who she'll meet). Works for me! Funny title story: One of the writers had always talked about Negotiable Tops/Bottoms (in a sexual reference) and somehow Rob always thought it was "Versatile Top/Bottom" so when the episode was written, it was given this title as an inside joke. EDIT: I had originally posted that this would be the first of 4 episodes that cutie Aaron Ashmore will return for but Rob did not confirm that - I had read that on another site and was just passing along the good word. I know you know, but just in case, Aaron played Veronica's sketchy boytoy in the first couple episodes of Season 1.



We made our way back to the set but first a pop into the wardrobe trailer. Could Veronica have more clothes? Damn, girl likes some Nordstroms and she is one petite girly. Sal from Wardrobe was amaaaaaazing! He joked about a wardrobe malfunction that made it to film when he went to the mall one day. Funny! He showed us the best shirt on earth and talked about how the network complained about the sexual reference so they added "Casablancas" in small letters to one of the shirts (the one making to air) to appease them. Damn censors!



Rob sadly had to leave us. He in all honesty was an incredibly charming, welcoming, enthusiastic, geeky fanboy himself! He wanted to know where we were in solving the mystery, he wanted to know what we thought of certain characters, he was genuinely interested in our love of and involvement in promoting the show. He said when this Bloggers Press Day was presented to him, he jumped at it! He was an amazing host who took way more time than he needed to in order to ensure we had a killer time, and we did! Thank you so much (like he's reading this - ha!) it was unreal and with luck one day I'll write for a show of yours. I could only dream of being a showrunner like Rob!



It was now like 2pm and the girls were starting to FREAK because we'd yet to see Jason Dohring (Logan) and we were getting ready to leave within the next hour. He had a 2:30 make-up call for the day so it was 50/50 that we'd see his pretty face.



As we filed into the makeup trailer (which btw is filled with the funniest candid photos of the cast and crew - that we were not allowed to photograph) I knew he'd be coming shortly. I just knew. And as luck would have it, tadaaaaaa! Jason Dohring. In a near stampede of claws a scratching and hair being pulled we ran out to see him. Get this, he actually took GetMeMyRemote's hand as she descended the staircase! Quite the first impression. As each of us came out, he shook our hand and introduced himself. TVGirl was like 5th out and the first words out of her little cute mouth: "Can I have a picture?" She soooo didn't care that 4 people were now stuck on the stairs and trapped inside the makeup trailer being held hostage from seeing their crush - she was getting her picture toot-sweet! Atta Girl!



We had Jason for about 15 minutes. He is very shy in person. Very calm and almost calculating in his delivery and answers. Very guarded and cautious. We knew he was already expected in makeup or on set but he took the extra time to ask us questions and let us know anything was fine to ask. I asked what some of his favorite one-liners were and though he didn't give one specific favorite he said that any 1st season scene with Weevil would top his list because there was just so much tension and sarcasm in each line. He also said that working with Harry Hamlin was incredible from an acting standpoint because obviously Hamlin has tons of experience to pass on. We got some pics and I will say that up close that kid is flawless and not afraid of holding another man tightly for a pic. All together now... That's Hot!



We loaded into two production vans and made that long 4 second trip back to the hotel... a car full of incredibly elated fans! We grabbed our bags and the vans took us to the airport. We were to part, us 9, to our separate parts of the country to help spread the gospel to the Martians and beyond! Please check out my fellow bloggers recaps (links are to the right under the "other blogs" link) as everyone was a blast and everyone of us was lucky as hell to participate!



If you're a fan, please pass this link on to other fans and bloggers. Help spread the good and generous word.



Thanks again to UPN, Warner Bros., mPRm, Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Percy Daggs III, and Kyle Gallner for their time and enthusiasm. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity... well until 2007 when I demand a reunion.

UPDATE:
Click Here to read my exclusive interview with Tessa Thompson (Jackie Cook)
Click Here to read my Season 2 Recap and Thoughts!

11 Comments:

  • Great recap! Wasn't that just the best?

    By Blogger TVFan, at 3/02/2006 08:52:00 AM  

  • That's HOT!

    By Blogger Rae, at 3/02/2006 09:41:00 AM  

  • That's right I am a completely selfish person and wanted Logan all to myself. The truth is, if I hadn't asked for a picture would anyone else have? Hmmm...

    By Blogger tvgirl13, at 3/02/2006 09:52:00 AM  

  • Hey! I would have asked him... but only because my fan friends would have strangled me if I had been that close to him and hadn't come back with at least one picture. ;)

    By Blogger Rae, at 3/02/2006 10:22:00 AM  

  • One link does not work but it will be back up this evening when I get home and can upload it back to my site. Sorry about that. I also noticed that a link to Attractive Nuissance was not working and that is fixed as well. Give me a break y'all it was like 1am when I finished this puppy.

    dan.

    By Blogger duckyxdale, at 3/02/2006 10:37:00 AM  

  • They all sound like great people and it was so generous of them to sit and chat with you guys!

    Now where are my souvenirs?!

    By Anonymous Tom, at 3/02/2006 11:01:00 AM  

  • What a great recap! And I love your photos.

    By Blogger Sheila, at 3/02/2006 11:21:00 AM  

  • I had no idea that Give Me My Remote was getting so much action. I mean, I had trouble resisting her too, but I am damn jealous of that girl.

    By Blogger The Attractive Nuisance, at 3/02/2006 05:37:00 PM  

  • Yay, thank you for a great recap. Did Rob Thomas tell you that Aaron Ashmore is going to be in four episodes or is that speculation?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/02/2006 11:20:00 PM  

  • Wait, they told us don't ask Kristen Bell to sit our your lap? I guess it was a good thing see had to leave before I got around to asking it.

    I did get a couple pictures of her CD collection (and keith's sad video collection) and the pictures will be up soon. Couldn't find the Virgin Suicides Soundtrack though.

    I pretty sure Madison is Shelly's niece, but I'll have to check the tapes this weekend.

    Why are you waiting for a reunion in 2007. I was thinking Auguest in time for the season 3 premiere. I think the CW will need some extra press.

    And did you really need to put me in the I (heart) Dick picture? Can't you just paste your face over mine? Or photoshop it to say I (heart) Beaver?

    By Blogger Scooter, at 3/02/2006 11:38:00 PM  

  • Thanks, that was a great recap. Details, the people want details! : )

    By Blogger kittycat_blue, at 3/09/2006 05:45:00 PM  

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