Thursday, September 1, 2011

Movie Set, Part II

It's September!
Today my younger brother flies back to my parents house from his 2-year LDS Mission in Guatemala, and it seems that everyone is quite excited to be there when he arrives. I, however, am not available to be there as I'm literally on the other side of Earth. Or am I?
Thanks to the miracle of iPods, I'll be able to video chat with the family in real time and sort of be there too. When I got back from my mission a few years back, my family had a Wii, and I thought that was cool. My brothers head might blow up at the sight of, get this, a video touch screen (with my precious face on it)!
We are all very happy and proud of my brother and what he has spent the last 2 years doing.
Enough about him, this blog is about me.
The fountain was lit brightly as man-made clouds encircled its babbling waters.

Life on a movie set hasn't changed much, but this week there were a few extra juicy details.
Let me explain this by going back about 10 years in American Pop Culture.
In what was considered to be THE boy band of the very late 90s, N*Sync seemed to rule the radio and steal the hearts of all teen-aged girls in America (little did those teen-aged girls seem to realize, not one of the members of the boy band loved them back). After a few years of unofficially being "the main guy" in N*Sync, Justin Timberlake went on to do a solo album or four, taking with him huge success and the continued love from his even-more-unofficial girlfriends/fans.
Fast-forward to South Korea, 2011.
The very same thing happened here with a boy band called Big Bang and a member called T.O.P. (pronounced "Top"). This week T.O.P. was at EV with a big crew and many extras to film what seemed to be either a music video with action scenes and - dare I say it? - a plot, a la the longer music videos like "Thriller," if that makes sense, or some ad for a company.
Here is a picture of T.O.P.
I couldn't find one with the blonde hair he had while at EV, but I feel
that this picture is the closest I've found to show how alien he looks.

Well, in order to try to delay the inevitable, the Head Teachers at EV decided to tell the students before their classes that T.O.P. was here and that they were to stay out of the way and to not bother anyone. Basically, they told the students they were still at "school."
Like that worked.
All day, getting them to their classes was havoc. Every time the students could see film crew, they'd go crazy trying to get a glimpse of the singer. I tried blocking the door onto the large fountain area to keep the girls in my class to stay inside when, just like you'd see in a comedy movie, the other door burst open with the door I was trying to block. Girls spilled out of the double doors and onto the set. It took substantial effort on the part of several teachers and a fire-hose to get them back in the classroom building.
Later on, after dinner, they were filming right outside of the cafeteria. There were scores of kids hanging around watching, but if the crew wasn't going to make them leave, I wasn't going to try either. It was kinda funny to see all the extras on set because they were all dressed in black business suits with briefcases, walking or sitting around. I couldn't help but to think of the "Burly Brawl" scene from Matrix Reloaded. Compare:
(OK, so there is really no comparison, but it's still what popped into my head.)

These are SOME of the kids lined up to see their famous singer.

 Here is the set where they were actually filming. There is a dead guy on the ground.

And here is the video with, get this, TWO takes! I'm a regular paparazzi.
(Confession - I actually had NO idea who T.O.P. was until after I made
this video. Turns out he is the guy that walks out from behind the building
and toward the scooter.)

After all this happened and I had to be back at work - which happened to be in that building with the greenhouse roof - I walked out the other side to see what a group of people were looking at. Turns out Mr. T.O.P. stands back there while waiting for his cue. So yes, I saw the celebrity. I'm pretty sure the celebrity saw me. I'm sure the celebrity didn't care and has forgotten me. Anyway, that was when I found out who the celebrity actually was, as well as noticed how frightening his face looks. It's like David Bowie (see first picture).

As I finished up work today I noticed yet another crew setting up on Market street - right by my place - and snapped a picture or two before getting home and starting this very blog post.
Behold! As I was verily typing I heard loud music from outside and went, with my camera, to investigate!
Here is the actual harrowing account, filmed only moments ago!
And there you have it. Is it hard being among such famous people all the time? It might be for some, though not for me. I figure this is a good opportunity to ease my way into fame without being thrown into the deep end.

Aside from all this excitement, I'm doing well; my apartment stays clean, but that is due the fact that I have almost nothing to make a mess with, and the teaching is fun too. Today in science class we made soap. I'll post pictures in a different post.
Tomorrow I'm going to get my ARC (Alien Registration Card) finally, though I don't know what difference it will make to me - I was paid today just like everyone else who works here - but I guess it's important to follow the law. I'm going to Seoul on Saturday, and I'm excited about that. I'm going to a bookstore too, so I'll have plenty to keep me happy. I'm sure I'll have new things to tell from that trip so stay tuned!

Here is the cat that hangs out just outside my window.  I think
he wants to see your comments on this blog. 
Don't let him down.


  1. Dear TOP dude:

    Nothing says "I'm cool" like hopping on a scooter. You da man!

  2. hey brandon, it's jen. haha. i love how you're camping out near the pub. ahh, i miss these crazy random moments at E.V.

  3. Hello, found your blog via your Youtube...

    Just wanted to say I plan on going to Korea or Japan one day and possibly teaching English, too, hahaha.

    Also, love your opinions upon meeting the celebrity. I've got a friend who's nuts over him and can't quite understand it. Because he looks scary. Seriously. >.<