Mickey Rapkin, author of the non-fiction book
Pitch Perfect, dropped by set today and we had a
great time catching up. I remember well hearing that
a writer for GQ was thinking about writing a book
about the college a cappella scene, so I invited him
out to lunch and we talked, and laughed, and shared
stories (he sang a cappella back at Cornell
Not in a million years back then did we expect to be standing on the set of a sequel to a huge hit movie based on his book, based on the a cappella community. We just keep shaking our heads and laughing about it all... and then start wondering the inevitable question: what will Pitch Perfect 3 be about?
Speaking of a cappella books, I have written one of my own about a cappella arranging, and when mentioning it Jonathan and Robin in the props department, they begged me for a copy to stick in the movie, so I have a feeling it might just get a cameo.
Today we shot the EPK (Electronic Press Kit... which is what they call pretty much all DVD bonus material nowadays) today at a very quiet River Center, as the filming was complete so the Bellas were in one room doing a photo shoot for the posters and promotion, and the video crew was in another room interviewing myself and a few others for whatever special features Universal decides to cut together. Spoke about every music scene as well as the process in general for almost an hour. I could have gone on and on... so much to say.
When posting on facebook and twitter, I'm often
contacted by the various actresses... no, wait,
those aren't the actresses. Those are fan accounts
that use the actresses names. I never really
understood the depth and breadth of fangirling until
Brittany is a very successful actress, having been in many major movies, and founded a great non-profit - "Love Is Louder" - to combat teen suicide. As a result she has a very vocal, very ardent following, which makes sense. As do the other actresses. In the twitter profiles fans list the dates that the actresses responded to or favorited (is that a word?) one of their tweets. It's... amazing.
Today, back in San Francisco, a large package
arrived, and when my family opened it they saw a
giant platinum album. I already had a gold album,
but the Pitch Perfect soundtrack was the best
selling soundtrack of 2013 (the movie came out in
2012!), and the most downloaded soundtrack in music
history, so even with diminishing music sales this
was destined to go platinum.
...and to think that when I sat around the table, just a few of us at the first meeting, and I was speaking with Gold Circle, when I asked about a soundtrack they said "No, we don't think we'll be releasing a soundtrack. This is just a small independent movie, it probably doesn't make any sense." It made sense!
Oh no, I almost forgot to mention one of my
favorite members of the cast: Anna Camp!
Anna plays Aubrey, an uptight, anxious, bossy individual. Anna is in fact the exact opposite: warm, friendly, generous, gentle, and full of sweetness. The only thing the two have in common is their complete perfectionism, which Anna approaches in a very relaxed, very competent way.
She has so many projects going on and a small part in the movie, so she wasn't around much, but when she was it was always a pleasure. Plus, she was especially happy because much of the time Skylar, her sweetheart, was by her side.
When decorating the
Aca-taqueria, I put up a Barden University banner
(from the first movie), and after the first week, I
invited the people rehearsing to sign it, so they
had a sense of pride about singing in the movie.
Well, 3 months later, it has been signed by everyone singing in the movie, and it's pretty amazing. This will be framed and hanging in my home, a happy reminder of the process that happens behind the scenes to make the music happen.
What most people don't realize about Ester is
that she's one of the most successful songwriters in
the world. She co-wrote many of the biggest pop
songs from the past five years, including Rihanna's
"S&M" (which Ester sang in the first riff-off), Katy
Perry's "Firework", Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" and
Ester should have her own reality show, because she's always making incredibly inadvertently hilarious comments. Example, completely serious, when Alexis was discussing needing a Nanny: "You know what? I need my own nanny. For me. Like a personal assistant, but much nicer, bring you food, give you a nap..." A great joke, except that she wasn't really kidding, she was just musing.
People say they speak their mind, but in Ester's case it's actually true. You get to hear her think out loud. Unabashed, uncensored. And I love it.
I don't know what to say because there's so much
to say about Liz and Max, Pitch Perfect's ideal
power couple. Liz is a fantastic leader: trusts
people to do their jobs, takes their advice, great
instincts. Max is a great producer: always
listening, offering suggestions, gently playing
devil's advocate, making sure the wheels are always
rolling in the right direction. And both have
excellent comedic instincts which are already
resulting in great added and ad-libbed lines and
moments that perfectly complement the script.
When I first heard that Elizabeth Banks bought the rights to the book Pitch Perfect for her newly founded production company, I thought "well, that'll never get made, like most movies" and yet it did. Brilliantly. Even though neither she nor Max never sang a cappella as undergrads at the University of Pennsylvania, the contemporary a cappella community has been very lucky to have them at the helm.
Although the wrap party actually happened last
weekend (so everyone could make it), it feels more
appropriate to mention it now.
Pretty much everyone in the cast and crew were there, which means hundreds of people. Fun photo booth (I took photos with Magee, Ed & Kate), endless tables of food and open bar, gag reel playing on a constant loop on the screens that lined the top of the room, and most of all a great feeling of excitement, relief and anticipation for everyone to see the movie.
It will be almost an entire year before you, whoever you are, have a chance to see what we've done. Articles, interviews, movie reviews, box office receipts, soundtrack sales... everything will be happening this time next year. Surreal. Can't wait!
Especially after three months, there's no place
like home, there's no place like home, there's no
place like home...
My apologies to anyone and for anything that was left out. As you can probably tell, there's no overarching rhyme or reason to this diary; I just chose something to write about each day in hopes of capturing the flavor of my experiences.