Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kevin Costner's Swing Vote

Let me tell you what I was doing at midnight last night: I was watching Kevin Costner and his band Modern West entertaining a few hundred die-hards with a fast-moving 45-minute set of rockabilly, on the set of his new movie Swing Vote, on the grounds of the Santa Fe Rodeo.

After six hours of filming (we unpaid extras walked in lines towards the metal detectors for two minutes, then backed up and did it again and again; then sat in the stands while they filmed the distance shots with a helicopter, the mid-range shots, and finally the closeups) the cast and crew took a "lunch" break about 11:30 p.m., and Kevin changed out of his suit and tie, and spent the break entertaining the crowd. It was a lovely interlude!

At about 12:30 they wrapped up the concert, everybody came back from break, Kevin's hair people fixed his hat hair, and they picked up filming again. The remnants of the ever-shrinking crowd went back into the stands, but I was too tired to sit through another round (and hours on hard benches in the cold was taking its toll!).

What fun, though! The movie (an "indie political comedy" produced by Costner) tells the story of a very close presidential election, where a run-off between the two candidates is mandated, and it all comes down to the state of New Mexico, and a single vote to be cast by Kevin Costner's character--a small-town, not-very-successful, single dad. The scene we were filming shows the candidates on stage at the local rodeo grounds in what is billed as "The Final Debate". Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper play the candidates, and other cast members include Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, and Judge Reinhold.

Here's a short video interview with Kevin which also shows him with his band a few days earlier.

We couldn't take photos during the filming, so I have no on-set photos of Costner, Grammer, or Hopper, but here are a few set shots to give you a flavor.

Stand-ins for candidates Grammer and Hopper while they set up the mid-range shots

Stand-in for Costner

Setting up the close-up shots with two tracks for cameras

On my way out; part of the set

1 comment:

Marilyn Rea Beyer said...

What a riot! And it sounds like the kind of movie I'd go see even if it didn't feature my sister-in-law in the crowd. The plot line is strikingly similar to the real-life story of Henry Shoemaker in the election of 1842 whose one vote was ultimately pivotal in acquiring California from Mexico. Where did I read about it? Where else? The Greatest Stories Never Told, Vol 1., by my husband/your brother Rick!