[Editor’s Note: Welcome to Diary of a Web Series, the column that offers you an entertaining look into the machinations of a zero-budget web series made possible by an idea, fortitude, and democratized tools of production. For all the background on why we started publishing Diary of a Web Series – and why we think it’s great – check out the first installment right here. You can watch the web series the diary is about, too. It’s called STRAY and it’s good. Click here to watch it. And you can catch all the installments of Diary of a Web Series right here.]
Cameron Clarke really likes Lucky Charms.
That’s one of many things we discovered on the first shoot for STRAY. We wanted Rich (played by Cameron) to eat cereal during the “Top & Bottoms” episode, so, to make things easier on Cameron, since he would be eating spoonful after spoonful of the stuff, we asked him to tell us what his favorite cereal was.
It turned out to be Lucky Charms, which is funny because I associate it with childhood, not with Cameron, a grown man measuring 6’2’’. I didn’t expect him to choose Lucky Charms, and I certainly didn’t expect him to eat it all.
Cameron dutifully ate the kids’ cereal during takes, but even in between takes he ate greedily, not discriminating between the frosted oats and colored marshmallows, as more discerning gourmands, like 8-year-olds, might have done. No, Cameron shoved it all down his gullet. After a while, I expected him tilt the bowl back like a chalice and slurp directly from the lip of the bowl.
“You know you don’t HAVE to eat all of the cereal,” I said.
“I like it,” he parried.
Which I had no problem with until we realized our Lucky Charms stores, a family-size box, might not withstand Cameron’s inexorable appetite.
Will, who handled many of the logistics on set, conferred with me privately.
“We might run out,” he said gravely.
We’re gonna need a bigger box!
I faced a dilemma: Risk running out of Lucky Charms or halt the production to get another box.
We faced several challenges on that first shoot – logistics, tech learning curve, continuity issues, etc.– but it was something as trivial as the amount of cereal we had that threatened to disrupt the production. Granted, we could have fudged it, and sure, we could have taken a break and replaced the box, but the Lucky Charms fiasco taught me a lesson: Sometimes, it’s the little mundane things you never anticipate that can throw a monkey wrench into your production.
Ultimately, we were saved by the same thing that saved every parent of a gluttonous, Lucky Charms-eating child: a tummy ache.
Pablo Andreu is not a creator or a scriptwriter. He’s certainly not a filmmaker. He’s just a guy who decided to make a web series called STRAY. It’s a bromantic comedy in which a brash gay dude and a nerdy straight guy talk sex and relationships while reconnecting in New York City years after college. He hopes it’s funny. By some inscrutable alchemy, his scribblings have wormed their way into The New York Times, McSweeney’s and some others. Usually, you can find him babbling here: https://medium.com/@pdandreu
Photos by Alison Bourdon.