19 May, 2008

High School Musical!

As a guest of Marshall Moore, of the Utah Film Commission, I was able to treat my 9-year old niece to an amazing weekend!

We were given the privilege to watch a bit of the filming of High School Musical 3!
It is being filmed here in Salt Lake at East High School, which is not far from my house…
My 4-year old daughter went also, but she really did not know what was going on. She knows it was High School Musical, but does not understand that a movie was being made…and I must admit…as of this posting…I have NOT seem HSM 1 or 2…I may have to watch them now…we’ll see.

We arrived on set of High School Musical 3, not knowing what to expect at all.
The set is in the gymnasium and there are hundreds of extras being used!
We had the opportunity to be extras, but the 12+ hour day would not work for a 4-year old, or 9-year old.

My 9-year old niece was able to meet “Coach” Bolton…Troy’s dad…she loved it! Bart Johnson was very nice, talked to her for a bit and signed an autograph book!

She got to see all of the stars except Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel! They were not in any of the scenes being shot that day. They supposedly were on set somewhere, but we did not see them.

We actually did not get to see any real “acting,” because Saturday was all about shooting various basketball sequences. The actor that was supposed to “make the basket” never actually made a basket that day…I am sure that if he ever hit it after we left, the extras in the stands would have gone nuts just like any real basketball game audience would have…

The TV show “Extra” was filming interviews literally right next to us in the bleachers of the gym that was not being used in filming. My niece was able to watch the interview with Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman. Monique actually talked to my niece briefly while she was waiting for the interview to start. She was very nice, but said that she was not allowed to sign autographs…oh well…

The Extra! interviewer was Tanika Ray, she did not talk to us, but we did not know who she was at the time…I had to find out on the Internet just who she was…there were 2 or 3 cameramen working with her and a few other “support” people for her also. They were not rude in any way. The cameramen seemed nice…even when they needed us to make room for them to sit…

During the 4+ hours we were “on set,” my daughter got quite tired and took a nap in my lap…

I think my niece was on “information overload.” She was indeed tired and ready to go when we finally left. Marshall gave my niece a couple of souvenirs, like a “call sheet” for that day…so she would have PROOF to show her friends, since cameras were not allowed at all.

Marshall invited us back on Sunday, so we traipsed back to the set again. Sunday did not have as many extras. They were shooting some closer up scenes. We stayed about 3 hours on Sunday and to say that the kids enjoyed it would be an understatement. Marshall showed us around the school, and the kids were able to see Sharpay’s locker and other fun stuff!

Marshall was able to usher over a couple of the new stars of the show and they sat and chatted with the kids for a bit and signed autographs. Shawn Carter, and Matt Prokop were both very nice and the kids thought it was great! They also got to see Sharpay’s dog, apparently the dog belongs to the director, Kenny Ortega, and he’d brought the dog along on Sunday.

As we were leaving…making one last restroom stop before heading to the car…as luck would have it…Kenny Ortega stopped and talked to the kids as they waited in the hall! He signed autographs and said he has an Aunt with the same name as my daughter…

…then…before Kenny left….up walks Zac Efron! Both my niece and nephew were beside themselves!

Zac shook their hands and talked to them and signed autographs! It was great to see the look on their faces!

Thank You Marshall, and Tommy, of the Film Commission for arranging this for me! It was great!

And……Go see High School Musical 3…at a theater near you…in October or so…

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