September 23, 2017

UAT Film Crew Shoots Fan Film “Mitch Rapp: Off Book” – Behind the Scenes Extras

Off Book: Mitch Rapp

When Hollywood actor Andy McDermott asks UAT for help filming the fan film adaption of author Vince Flynn’s hero Mitch Rapp, of course Digital Video Program Champion Paul DeNigris eagerly agreed, putting his film crew of UAT Digital Video students to work.

The independently produced short film “Mitch Rapp: Off Book,” is the first large-scale action film that UAT has shot to date. With only a few months to write, film and edit the complete film, the crew dedicated long days on set, but even with lost sleep, students said the experience working with major Hollywood actors was incredible!

When making a film and working on set so closely with a crew of people, crazy mishaps are bound to happen. We spoke with Assistant Director Killian Davies for a behind the scenes tidbit you won’t find anywhere else.

Killian Davies (left) with Digital Video student Brett Chapman (right) on the set of Mitch Rapp

Davies recalls a moment on day two of filming that left everyone in a bit of a sticky situation. When filming a fight scene, there was a specific moment when Andy was supposed to hit a henchmen named Kleon with an angle iron made of a rebar pipe. Kleon’s shirt was rigged with tube filled with a practical blood effect. The prop was set up by a professional stunt coordinator, but when the director yelled “Action,” to the crew’s surprise the splatter effect went off more like a shotgun blast and suddenly the wall behind them went from white to red, leaving everyone within a 10-foot radius including the camera equipment covered in fake blood. The crew has ample experience with making the sticky red corn syrup solution from Professor Sharon Bolman’s Special Effect Makeup class taught at UAT.

BREAK! It was clearly time for a break. Everyone took 10 minutes to wipe themselves down before resuming to the film the scene.

Take 2 or 20…

“The scene didn’t go according to plan, but it turned out to be funny that the fake blood effect had such a huge blast radius. We were glad it worked, but then we were all sticky and had to get cleaned up,” said Killian Davies.

Digital Video student Emma Welch-Murphy said, “As a Production Assistant, I was standing there holding a water bottle, but I got sprayed with the blood too and dealt with the consequences. It was first time seeing a practical blood effect live on set. Kinda crazy.”

On working with the talent…

Andrew Aguirre (Digital Video) was the project’s Sound Operator and one task is to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone pack on the actor. After several times where Andrew stated that he had to turn down Actor James Morrison’s sensitivity, the actor joked “Adjusting my sensitivity. That’s a terrible thing to do to an actor. I play a sensitive and compassionate character – well not so sensitive anymore because they’ve adjusted my sensitivity.”

Here’s a clip!

Andrew consulted with Professor DeNigris, “I think I upset Mr. Morrison, he said I shouldn’t be doing something. Is that ok?” Paul said, “Andrew, that’s a joke, he’s messing with you.”

There’s a little Hollywood humor for our readers!

“Mitch Rapp: Off Book” is now playing on YouTube.

If you don’t want to read about working on set with Hollywood actors and would rather do it for yourself, pan over to our site to learn more about a degree in Digital Video and Film Production.

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