At the set of Revenge of the Nerds

Mission (Im)Possible

or How The Stars Aligned And Made A Dream Come True

….. by TeeJay
….. with additions from Sisterdebmac

Revenge of the Nerds Set Visit – Day 1 – Oct 9, 2006

Okay, so here’s our story, as unbelievable as it is and in every little detail that we can give you. This all started way back in summer this year when we decided to make our own website about Chris. We were just so frustrated that Melissa wasn’t updating her Chris site anymore, and there was so much new stuff Chris was doing that no one but just the few of us on Melissa’s message board ever had access to.

So an idea was set in motion, the domain was chosen for our site, and we started compiling material that we could put up on there. And there was plenty, way more than I first thought. A design for the site was quickly set up and the three ultimate Dorquettes, Anne, Deb and Tina wrote up the content for the site, checking out all sorts of little gadgets and tools we might need for it.

By the end of July, the domain was ours. But since we had so many plans and so little time next to our jobs and real life, we decided that if we wanted to do this, we might as well do it properly. That’s why we decided to choose October 3, 2006 as opening date for the site: Chris’s 22nd birthday. That would hopefully give us enough time to play around with the features and come up with all the content that should go in there. Because we didn’t want a good website, we wanted a comprehensive and awesome site. We’ve got a ways to go yet, but that is our ultimate goal.

At the same time, I had decided that I was going to visit Deb again in Atlanta, since the last time I did, I was there for a urology conference and barely had two afternoons to spend with Deb in the one week I was in town. So I took time off work, booked a flight, flew out there for two weeks from Sep 27 to Oct 11, 2006. Which was really neat, because that would mean we would open the website from Atlanta with two Dorquettes in the same place and Anne in Germany.

After many ups and downs (the downs mostly involving Deb’s piece-of-shit computer that we finally managed to fix the second week), we hit a gold mine. Or what turned out to be one. Because there were suddenly rumors floating around that Kyle Newman’s new movie, a remake of Revenge of the Nerds, would be shot in Atlanta, GA at the beginning of October. And Chris was gonna play the lead nerd. I mean… can you imagine how our jaws dropped?

Thus Deb and Tina embarked on our mission: Find out where and when they are shooting and try to go out there and watch and maybe even get to talk to Chris. And not only the fact that it was a Chris movie was what had us stumped, the fact that it was a Kyle Newman movie was even cooler. Because Kyle had just shot Fanboys with Chris early this year and this movie had sort of become our ultimate must-see Chris movie, thanks to all the insider information that we got from Sean and Ken (thank you again!).

After a lot of scouring the Internet and posting on message boards, we found someone who said the production was “gearing up” at Agnes Scott College in Decatur on Oct 9. Which was kinda ironic, because ASC is an all-girls school. Deb refused to believe it at first because Nerds needs a football field. But it turned out to be accurate info. Another tipster said the film crew would be easy to find (aside from the fact that a film crew is pretty much impossible not to notice). We were told to just look for the men on the campus.

Of course we had to take our chances and go out there on Monday, just to see if ASC was actually the location and to find out when they might be shooting. So we got our act together and went. No, wait, we should mention the preparations. Because of course we weren’t just gonna go there to find Chris and drool all over him. We needed something to get his attention, and if we did, make our meeting memorable. So we sat down and came up with questions to ask him, in case he might be persuaded to give us an interview for the website. We also printed up a postcard-sized photo that had a Happy Birthday greeting on it and the website masthead and URL. On the back we wrote a text, explaining who we were and why we were there and our contact details. In the very likely event that we wouldn’t be able get to him, we hoped to be able to give this to someone who would then hopefully hand it to him. Then we’d see what happens…

So there we were, all prepared and ready and determined. We arrived at ASC around 11 AM on Monday, drove around a little, found a couple of suspicious looking trucks that might have to do with a location shoot, parked the car and walked onto the campus. couchesWe saw some guys unloading two dark red leather couches they dumped right at the entrance to the campus. What the hell…? Since they came out of a truck labeled Lightning Production Rentals, Atlanta GA, we figured we’d hit pay dirt. See, one of these things had two recliners and cup holders in the middle. Deb thought they looked like something that belonged in a frat house. So we took a few inconspicuous (yeah, right!) photos of the couches, just in case they would end up in the movie. :o)

Quad setWe walked around some more and found little party tents all over the quad, which, if student conversation snippets we picked up could be believed, were not there because of a school event, even though there was an open house event on campus that day. We realized they were still only in the basic stages of setting everything up. This had to be the set! We walked some more and just outside of the quad on a big stretch of lawn there was another couple of construction crew guys, putting together some sort of stage that was still being painted. Found some cables having been laid, so it looked like there was something going to be shot here some time, hopefully on the day.

Greek pavilionMore or less important looking guys were walking to and fro who looked like they were in charge of the whole setup process. Still on the lookout for any actors or other people that might be recognizable, we figured it was way too early for them to be hanging around. But it looked like we had found our location. And with any luck, they could be shooting something there later that day or maybe the next day.

Trojan tentI had a quick lunch in the college dining hall that was not bad at all. Deb couldn’t eat. We went back to the campus to watch the construction guys do their work some more. Not very exciting, but what are you gonna do? <shrug> It was kinda fun, but mainly a little frustrating because as the day dragged on, they didn’t seem to be getting things done fast enough for us to see how they might shoot anything there that day.

And was it embarrassing that Deb was sitting next to me, staring at the construction that was going on through her binoculars?

Oh, I overheard one of the college girls saying, “… yeah, like ‘Revolution of the Nerds’ or something…” Yep, looks like we were in the right spot.

We were wondering if we should have taken another close look at photos of the two blond girls who were gonna be in the movie. But they’d probably have been instantly recognizable, everyone else around here looked totally relaxed and laid back and sporty. Bimbo-types like them probably would not walk around in hoodies and gym pants.

A couple of hours later, and still all that was going on was construction, construction, construction. BannerWe knew for sure we were in the right spot now, though, because we saw banners that said “Adams College”. Something with Research Center. And Deb swore that it read “Playmate Search” something and ER on the end. Uhm….?? Later, it actually turned out to be “Primate Research Center”. There was also a long banner on the ground which said “Welcome Freshmen Class” and another one that had something with “Event Schedule” on it. And we were wondering why one of the construction guys had a soft toy bird stuck in the back of his belt above his butt. We never found out.

Deb then spotted someone hanging one of the Adams College banners down by the set that looked like it would be fake bleachers when it was done. And, OMG, the couches finally came! They were finally carting the couches somewhere. They’d only been sitting (no pun intended) there since 11 AM… :o)

By then it was about 6:45 PM and we made friends with an ASC cop. He stopped by to ask us if we were okay since we’d been hanging around campus all day. We told him we were watching the film crew set up and he was very cool about it. He also told us they’d start shooting at 7 AM the next morning, here in the quad, down by the fake bleachers and on the main loop, which was basically the driveway to the front entrance of the college. Well, looked like we’d have to get up friggin’ early tomorrow. But who knew if they’d actually start shooting by 7? It just didn’t look like they’d be ready yet.

Revenge of the Nerds Set Visit – Day 2 – Oct 10, 2006

Got up at 6 AM, all tired and chilly and mush-brained to get to ASC at around 8:30. And… there was nothing much going on. 7 AM my ass! 😛 The quad set was still untouched, they were setting up more signs and banners at the bleachers set, one of which said “Adams College Annual Greek Games” and another atop that said “Adams College”. There were certainly more people who looked important milling around that day.

So we sat down in chairs to keep an eye on the quad set and see if there was anything gonna go on there. Oops, saw Kyle Newman walking by. Or at least we thought we did. We had only seen one really good picture of him before and he was wearing sunglasses, so we didn’t stop him or walk up to him because we weren’t sure if it was really him. Maybe if he came back, then we might have approached him.

We watched people carting film equipment (microphones and monitors) towards the bleachers set. Looked like that was where they might be shooting first. Deb went to grab a bite to eat, and when she came back, she told me, “Hey, grab your stuff and get down to the other set, that’s where all the action is.” She had seen it out the back door to Mollie’s Grill. So I got myself a Starbucks drink inside and we went down there to sit in yet another pair of chairs outside Mollie’s to watch what was going on from a distance.

TIE fighter chairThey were setting up cameras and tents and they also brought out the extras, sitting them down on the bleachers in frat t-shirts, Kyle and the others directing them. At one point an older man in a really funny wheelchair drove by that had TIE-fighter screens at both sides and a big honkin’ subwoofer in the back. That could only be a prop! How funny is that? Also totally an inside joke for Kyle. We thought, gotta tell Sean about that. Hilarious!

Then they put up huge white screens to do what? Reflect the sun? Block it? One camera was set up so far, plus the tent where they would probably light panelsit down some people, maybe even the actors. More extras came out of the building. Sorority girls in their tight tank tops and big boobies. And, gee, they were also wheeling the leather couches down there.

We sat there and still couldn’t believe this was happening. What a stroke of luck did it have to be that I was there, in Atlanta, and they were shooting a movie there and Chris plays the lead and we actually managed to get onto the set?? Of course we had no proof by that point that he was really gonna be there, but we were hopeful. This was sure not gonna be a second unit shot. And there should just be a way to get close enough, we came this far.

But then, Deb was again looking at the set through her binoculars, a guy in a green t-shirt came walking by and asked who we were looking for. We told him Chris, but we weren’t sure if he was even gonna be there that day. Green shirt guy (his name was Jeff, and he was probably the script supervisor—he handed out the new pages at the end of the day) told us, yes, Chris was gonna be there. Wow! Finally confirmation. We were ecstatic.

Even though we’d heard constantly that this or that area of the campus was closed, they hadn’t really closed anything off around the set. No barricades, no fences, you could basically just walk in there (unless someone stopped you—which they probably would have). And yet, students and everyone else came and went every which way. There were a few security guards around, but that was it. Everyone was behaving very well. In fact, the students seemed far more annoyed by the interruption of their normal day than excited about a movie being filmed on their campus.

Shortly thereafter, they started shooting some crowd scenes on the bleachers. They had the extras yelling, cheering and shouting, like the Greek Games were going on and they were cheering or booing for the contestants. At some point, Kyle sat down in his director’s chair under one of the tents and looked at the footage they just shot. And he was wearing this black t-shirt with an orange something in the front that looked like a lobster. We just couldn’t figure that shirt out. Deb thought at first it was a Tool t-shirt. It later turned out to say “Chewbacca” on the back and in the front it was a stylized picture of Chewbacca raising his arms. Duh! Yes, that would be a very Kyle Newman shirt to wear.

At one point they set up another tent close to one of the doors of the building opposite us and put some chairs there. Looked like the actors were gonna sit under that. The chairs we could see through the binoculars didn’t have any names, they just said “Cast”.

Watching more and more of the shoot, we found out that the Alpha Beta guys were wearing black shirts with red AB letters on them. Yep, those were the bad guys in the original movie too. They shot a lot of stuff with them and the coach and the student body president on the stage.

Where's Chris?Where’s Waldo Marquette?

Aha! We finally got our first sighting of Chris! How exciting!! He was wearing a rusty orange colored frat t-shirt with the letters Lambda Lambda Lambda on the front, and dark blue jeans. Short hair and no face fuzz! Whoohoo! And we were fighting hard to decide whether to go over there or not. Because looking at tiny Chris in the distance through binoculars was just not very exciting, especially with only one set of them. The picture above was taken from the back patio of Mollie’s Grill. Do you see him?

We finally overcame our hesitation and walked closer. We were able to make out Chris’s “nerdy lock”, as we called it. Chris's chairHe had his hair sort of styled upwards in the front to form this tiny lock there—the nerdy lock. But it was kinda cute. He didn’t have any sideburns, though. Aw. Guess that would have been too un-nerdy… To round up the nerd look, he wore a black plastic digital watch, weird shoes and smart-guy glasses (which were actually dead cute!). He looked adorably un-skinny and yummy. Deb wanted to tackle him right there and wondered how many ways they would kill her if she did. :o)

We stood there for a minute or two and then decided to walk to the other side and sit down on a concrete step that was maybe 30 yards from the actor’s tent with a pretty good view of the stage and set. So we did and looked on.

Chris on the setChris was in shouting distance a couple of times, but we would have never dared to call out his name just like that. This is how close we were for most of the first a couple of hours after Chris walked onto the set…

So we just sat and watched the action and finally gathered the courage to approach this lady who walked past. She had been sitting near the actors’ tent all day and had a walkie-talkie so we figured she must be important. I gave her the card we had prepared and asked her very nicely if she would be able to pass it on to Chris. We told her she could read it, that we were totally harmless. She said she would love to, but she was with Agnes Scott and not with the production crew. But she would give it to a location manager, so he could pass it on. Yeah, sure, whatever it would take to make it into Chris’s hands.

It was the card I described earlier with the picture of our green website navigation menu and the URL of the site. We had already mailed the same card to his Agency, UTA and explained that the site was sort of his birthday present but he never got it. So on the back of this new card, we explained that we’d love to talk to him for a few minutes, especially with me leaving for Germany the next day.

card for ChrisThe ASC lady walked off with it and we had no idea what would happen to it after that. She handed it to some guy at one point and he gave it to someone else under the playback tent. Well, it looked like we might just accomplish our first goal. Then the guy who handed over the card came up to talk to us and explained that he had given it to the publicist and she said it was “really sweet” and that she would definitely give it to Chris. Man! How cool. We thanked him and waited for whatever was gonna happen next.

Then the scene they had been shooting finished and we watched Chris go sit down under the playback tent and before we knew it, he had our card in his hand. How exciting! What was kinda embarrassing, though, was that everyone gathered around. It looked like just about everyone who was there was reading what our card said. Good thing they couldn’t see me blush. Then lunch break was announced and everyone went inside the building, including Chris. Okay, so obviously we would have to wait just a while longer.

We took the opportunity to go on a potty break. In fact, we were both running on an empty stomach, but there was no way either of us could ingest food at that point. When we got back to our old spot, people were already coming out of the building, but Chris was nowhere to be seen. Dan Byrd and Ryan Pinkston went back towards Base Camp, and we briefly wondered whether Chris might have gone there too in the meantime.

But he hadn’t, because he came out of the building after another ten minutes and—geez—walked straight up to us sitting there. We saw him coming, with the card still in his hand and it was obvious that he was looking for us. We both got up and Deb held out her hand. But Chris said, “No, how ’bout a hug?” Deb just fell into his arms. <sigh> Yep, he gave us both a hug, how nice is that? He was so flattered that we turned up just to see him and that we had built the site about him and everything. We engaged in a short conversation and he told us that he really loved the site and always considered it his actual website instead of that official site that’s out there (which has been run by his uncle since he was 14, he said). But we realized he was talking about Melissa’s site, so we quickly cleared up the misunderstanding and explained that we had actually made a newer, more comprehensive site that we won’t abandon.

He said he was gonna give us his manager’s number, so we could get more stuff for the website (which we all kind of forgot in the excitement). He asked us where we’re from, and we explained that I was from Germany and Deb from Marietta, GA. He mentioned Dan was also from Marietta (which we knew already) and that he checked in with his folks while he was here.

Deb asked Chris about living in Georgia at one time, and Chris told us that he lived in Augusta (way south of Atlanta) for ten months. In fact, he volunteered that it was first Florida, then Georgia, Texas, New Jersey and then California. He noticed Deb’s Fanboys t-shirt and we also showed him the Fanboys calendar that I had made as a present for Deb (and, yes, Anne, you’ll get one too, it was supposed to be a surprise for you—but I guess I had to spoil that now) and that she wanted Chris to sign. He was totally tickled. He carefully looked at every single page of it. And he told us Fanboys was gonna come out in February. Yay!

We asked if we could get a photo with him and Dan together for Kris on our message board, and he said, sure. Too bad we never could get the two of them together to actually make it. In fact, Chris said yes to everything we asked of him. Every single thing. Damn! We should’ve asked for more! Yes, he would give us an interview for the website, yes, he would sign a few things for us, yes, he would ask Kyle to come talk to us, and, yes, he would come back to us as soon as he had another break. We said we’d just stay here on the sidelines, out of everybody’s way, and Chris waved dismissively and said, “No, you’re fine, I talked to people, it’s cool that you’re here.”

Fanboys shirt designChris had to leave to shoot another scene, so we sat down again and watched. At some point Kyle came closer and stood near us. And then he turned toward us and noticed Deb’s t-shirt. His eyes lit up and he went, “Oh my God, Fanboys! That’s a cool shirt!” He came over (with a guy following him and taping everything) and gave Deb a high five. (Very high. He seems to be like six-foot-five when you’re standing next to him.) We explained that we were here because we were running a website on Chris. Of course Kyle asked where we got the photos from, and Deb explained that we covertly managed to get our hands on some material we probably shouldn’t have, but that we were very careful with it. But instead of Kyle slapping us on the wrist, he goes: “Hey, I can hook you up with some more stuff.” The he turned to the camera guy and smiled slyly, “Unofficially.” Again, our jaws dropped. Ghuh? Man, these guys are unbelievable!

We said we’d happily promote the movie on our site and asked if he had any problems with grassroots campaigns. No, of course not. In fact, he said we could use any material we already had if we wanted. Really? Yeah, there was no marketing on the movie right now, he said. Wow. A shame, too. Does that mean we won’t get a trailer any time soon?

Daniel SpinkThe most hilarious thing was that Kyle walked off and came back with a red-haired guy who introduced himself thusly, “I’m Dan, I played the six-fingered man in Fanboys.” His name is Daniel Spink but from then on, he was Big Dan, The Six-Fingered Man to us. :o) He loved the t-shirt and thought it was totally cool that we were fans and came out there to watch the shoot. The coolest thing, though, was when Kyle introduced us to the man with the camera who had filmed our whole exchange. Turns out this was Andrew, the DVD guy, filming footage that might later end up on the ROTN DVD. Oh. My. God. Are we gonna be in the DVD extras someday??? No way! Deb asked Kyle if there had been a DVD crew on Fanboys too and he confirmed that there was. Can’t wait to own it already!

After Kyle went back to work, Deb and I returned to our place, sitting there at the sidelines, Chris walked by us with an Asian looking guy (the actor who’s playing the nerd in the TIE fighter wheelchair), and this guy went, “Uh, I have an issue.” We looked at him questioningly. “I want a website too,” he jokingly pouted. We laughed. Uhm…. well….

Shooting eventually resumed. We seemed to have gained the attention of this woman who was crew and was responsible for wrangling extras and halting construction during shots. We’d been trying to avoid her all day because she just seemed really sour. (Deb told me not to make eye contact with her because she was sure she was itching to throw us off the set.) Aaaaannnkkk! Wrong! Because she asked if we were friends of Chris’s. I was gutsy enough to say yes. So this woman, who we had so harshly misjudged, whose name turned out to be Becky, asked us, “You wanna come closer, so you can see everything?” We were agape yet again. This was just unbelievable!

She ushered us to the side of the set from where we could see everything quite well. We were probably ten feet from the action, not far from the sound tent. Wow. We backed away again after that scene was done because they moved some of the equipment a little too close to us for comfort. Becky came back to get us closer to the set once again. And not only twice, she did it three times. These people were all just unbelievably great. We kinda got the vibe that no one would really care where we stood, as long as we weren’t in the shot. So there at the end, we were kinda free to roam around the set. I tried to take a few photos of the scene they were filming, but another lady came up to us and said we couldn’t take pictures. So we didn’t.

Bleachers sceneThis is the only good shot I got before we were told to stop.

We eventually sat back down in the grass, and at some point during a break, Chris plopped down next to Deb, saying, “So, are you ready?” Dude, you have no idea! Since we wanted to record the interview and they were moving the light panel again with heavy machinery, we thought it better to go inside. Chris found an abandoned science classroom that was just jammed with old desks and counters and stuff, like a junk room. But we didn’t care about any of that because it was quiet and we probably wouldn’t be bothered there. We sat down on the tables, Chris opposite of us, and I started recording with my cell phone (because that was the only gadget we had that would record for a long enough time).

Deb got out our carefully prepared index cards with our questions and started asking them to Chris. He doesn’t hold back much. He was animated and funny and thoughtful and really seemed engaged in the conversation. We had over 15 minutes with him, but only got in 11 of our 27 questions before he got called back to the set. But he promised he would come back and do the rest of the interview. We all went back outside and he got back to work.

Now sitting by the playback tent, on the other side of the bleacher set, we were actually able to see some of the footage while it was being shot, and we got to watch some of the playback. Adam F. GoldbergWe also watched Chris watch some of it. He looked so great on screen in his burnt orange tee and nerdy glasses with that adorable rubber face. (Thank God some of the constant horsing around he does on the set was actually for the film. He was such a clown that day, dancing and jokey-punching Kyle for minutes on end till the director couldn’t ignore him anymore and finally had to fight back.) At one point, another guy came up to us, calling Deb on her t-shirt. Turned out this was Adam F. Goldberg, writer of both Fanboys and ROTN. We chatted with him for a couple of minutes. We asked him to give us an interview about both movies too and he said he would, but we lost track of him. How cool is it that we were just sitting there and people were coming to us? We never dreamed this would happen. Sean, thank you again for those photos, because without them, there wouldn’t have been a Fanboys t-shirt and there wouldn’t have been a lot of things.

And not only did Adam come up to us, Bruton Jones (the production designer) also did. He said, “So you guys run the Marquette website, huh?” We acknowledged that we did. He said he had worked with Chris on another movie, called Graduation. Dude, you don’t have to explain, we know all about it. Or as much as you can through online sources. We told him it sounded really good and we were excited about it. He remembered seeing us hanging around the sets the day before. Oops. He was cool about it. He actually told us quite a funny anecdote. Because Chris had green hair in Graduation, Bruton didn’t recognize Chris at first when they met up for Nerds. So Chris came up to him, saying hi, and Bruton didn’t know who he was. We asked if he knew anything about the release date for Graduation, and he told us that they were currently trying to sell it to the highest bidder. And it would definitely be a theatrical release and not go straight to DVD. Phew. Good.

Most memorable thing about talking to Bruton was that he said to Deb, “Obviously, you’re a writer,” and then he turned to me and said, “What do you do?” I told him what my job was and Deb told him I was a writer too (if only in the fan fiction realm so far and maybe stuff for the website, if that counts). But Deb was still puzzled as to how he knew she was a writer when she hadn’t said anything like that to him. When I mentioned I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, Bruton jokingly said, “Okay, so first you’re gonna meet Chris and then drug him and take him away, huh?” That was funny. After Bruton had left, I said to Deb, “Well, I work with stuff for Overactive Bladder Syndrome, so the worst it would do to Chris is give him dry mouth and dry eyes.” ;o)

Kyle NewmanA while later, Kyle came back and asked if we wanted to do the interview now. Sure, anytime. I mentioned recording it with my cell, but Kyle wouldn’t have any of that. He asked Andrew, the DVD guy, to come over and film us doing the interview. Man, is that just insanely cool or what? Before we knew it, these production guys carried down some crew chairs for us. They asked if these chairs were fine with us, and Deb joked that we wanted some with our names on the back. And Big Dan, The Six-Fingered Man pretended to make a phone call, going, “Hey, uh, yeah, can we please have some chairs down here with the names Tina and Deb on the back? I don’t care how you make it happen, get some paint down here!” It was too funny!

We sat down in the chairs right next to the director’s tent and started with our questions. Andrew filmed Kyle’s answers and reactions most of the time. Kyle mightily blushed when we asked him if it was going to be a PG-13 or R-rated movie. Why, we don’t know. But he assured us it was going to be as R-rated as it gets. Language, nudity, boobies, the whole nine yards. Cool!

The weirdest part about the video interview was that since Andrew had mostly filmed Kyle and his answers, they wanted to reshoot us asking the questions, so they could cut it together later. Urgh! But, yeah, sure. So they asked us to look at where Kyle was sitting previously and ask the questions again. Problem was, they took away Kyle’s chair after a while, so we had to pretend to stare at thin air. Which was totally weird. I don’t know how this came out, but I’m kinda curious.

Oh boy, and will any of this make it into the DVD extras for ROTN?? Wouldn’t that be totally cool? Not to mention very embarrassing…

The funniest thing was that while we were setting up to interview Kyle, Chris looked over and realized what we were doing, and he went, “Oh, I see, now they’re not interested in me anymore. Fine.” We laughed and waved at him to come over and join Kyle for the interview, but he just kept joking with us about abandoning him and that he saw how things were. He was kind of hanging out with someone else at the time.

When we were done with the interview, we just plopped down in the grass and watched them shoot the last scene for the day. Which ended with a big bang, fireworks and confetti and everything. But we weren’t prepared for that, so we were really startled when there was suddenly this explosion, with fire shooting straight up in front of the stage and confetti flying everywhere. Pretty cool, though. Then someone from the crew shouted, “Okay, clean up and reset for take two!” Everyone laughed.

Dan and TinaThat was a wrap for the day. By that time it was going on 8 PM and daylight was fading fast. We went back to where the cast hung out and managed to catch Dan Byrd for a quick photo with me for Kris on our message board. Unfortunately, he had his eyes closed, as it later turned out. Ah, well, we tried.

We caught Chris heading away from the set and Deb asked if he was leaving. He said, “No I was looking for you guys. I was wondering if we can finish up tomorrow. They gave us the earliest call for tomorrow, 7 AM.” And they had also been given three new pages to learn. Apparently they weren’t originally even scheduled to shoot the next day, but that all changed. Bet that was because the second set on the quad was taking far longer to build than anticipated. It still wasn’t completely finished when we left an hour later. Since I was leaving the next day, it would’ve been tough to come back, so we promised to only take five or ten more minutes to finish with our questions. Which might’ve been possible except Chris is pretty talkative once you get him started. Which we loved, of course!

So we sat down in the hallway just inside the building (next to the men’s room, as it later turned out) and continued the interview. It was amazing. He gave us all the answers we were looking for and elaborated on everything. We laughed a lot and he was totally flattered by all the attention and interest. And we think (or hope) he was at least a little impressed with our questions. It’s not that they were great or inspired or anything, but we tried to put some thought into them and make them about him and at the same time get the answers to all those questions that had been on our minds for a while. And let me tell you, the man had a lot to say! It felt like we could’ve talked for hours. What we got was another 19-plus wonderful minutes.

Deb, Chris and TinaUnfortunately, Chris had to leave real quick at the end there. They were practically dragging him back to Base Camp. No lie. The guy they sent to fetch him was so anxious to get him out of there that he insisted on taking the pictures for us.

We managed to get him to sign a few things for us and then he really had to run. He apologized for having to leave so fast. Hey, dude, you gave us so much more than we had ever hoped! We thanked him repeatedly and he made sure he got our contact information before we left and said he’d send us some stuff. Chris giving autographsI’m looking at the autograph on my wall that he signed for me as I’m typing this, still seeing very vividly how he stood there at the table, signing the Fanboys collage I put together especially for this just a few days earlier.

He gave us another goodbye hug before he left and told us again how much he appreciated us coming out there. Yeah, who thanked who more anyway, us or him? ;o)

We took our first bathroom break in over five hours, but we still didn’t feel like eating. We were just reeling from the fact that we just left Chris after a really fun afternoon onset with him. By the time we got back outside, everyone was gone from the set. We walked past the quad again to see what they had done with it. The Alpha Beta Greek pavilion was now complete except for some painting, which was ongoing, even in the dark. It now looked quite pretty and elaborate. Greek pavilionI tried to take a picture, which came out a little dark. They had also set up a few more props in the stalls and covered them and the camera equipment with plastic, awaiting the early start of shooting the next day.

We drove back to Marietta, both on a total adrenaline and serotonin high. What an amazing day. Everyone was just so damn nice to us. So many great people we never dreamed of talking to approached us. And there was all the stuff we saw, or were shown that we also never dreamed of having access to. It was just really, seriously mind-blowing. I mean, I still can’t wrap my head around this whole set of coincidences: We build a website, I come to Atlanta, we launch the website, and then we find out Chris is shooting in town at the same time that I’m there and we actually get to meet him? And not just meet him, spend time with him, asking questions we really wanted answers to, watching him respond to things we really wanted him to know. You think this guy is really special when you see him on screen. When you sit a few feet from him and look in his beautiful brown eyes for moments on end, listening to him talk to you, it makes you realize that you really had no idea how special. What did we do to deserve this kind of karma? Someone up there must be watching out for us. I still absolutely cannot believe our luck.

We’re not sure what’s gonna happen from here on, or if anything will happen at all. We just hope Chris will take a look at the site and like it, maybe even contact us. But even if he doesn’t, hey, we had an amazing day, a memorable day, an unforgettable day.

We’ll be right here, following whatever he does, still trying to accomplish our goal by keeping the site updated as best as we can. We wish him all the best of luck and hope that his stars align, just as ours did.

Keep rocking, Chris. Keep making us laugh and cry and rage and swoon, because nobody does it better! And once again, from the bottoms of our hearts, for being so generous and accommodating, THANK YOU!

-TeeJay and Deb
October 2006

Photos of the day we spent on the set
Transcription of the interview Chris gave us
Sound clips of the interview with Chris
More talk about the day on the set on the message board