"We love a set decorator"
I was an on set dresser. I got a credit as an off set dresser. I did both but I'd say 75% during filming I was on set. Sandy Wasco was the Decorator.
"Do you remember where they shot Eli's intro"
Do you mean the book signing scene where he calls a critic on the phone? That was filmed at the science library on 5th Ave around 105 street. One block north was a school (the 135th street YMCA) that we filmed the pool and kids working out scenes.
I was only on set for the scenes that he ditches Royal and Ritchie. To be honest I am not 100% sure what you mean about the underwear sketch.
"Will you tell us what sort of stuff you were responsible for with exterior shots?"
The three rooftops:
1) Ten. house we built the hawk's house, made a brick loose for Margot to hide cigarettes, and tied the flag to the pole. I also helped the special effects guy replace the broken glass Ritchie punched through between takes.
2) Mordice's return on top of the hotel was the roof of the science library on 105th and 5th Ave. I wasn't in charge of it but I helped the grips put up that huge rot iron sign that is behind Royal and Ritchie (FYI that is half a sign, the half you don't see off camera left isn't there). I helped sound put down rubber mats over the gravel so when Royal and Ritchie walked you wouldn't hear the gravel move. I helped the grips put up a fake roof wall that Royal and Ritchie stand in front of. We made a fake corners so the camera could sit be on the roof and not in a crane for the scene.
3) Third roof, trying to think of it. Help me out here.
The graveyard scenes - Well first off those two gravestones, Royal's and Royal's wife's (was it Royal's wife? The one they visit that wasn't Chas's wife) where fake graves we made and put in place. We dug the hole at Royal's grave site. Little know fact is that the name on Royal's wife gravestone was Wes's Aunt (I think, some family member). Shooting got held up because a scenic misspelled her name on the gravestone so we had to wait for a new one to be made.
The P.I. on the roof - Wha-Wha-What?!?!? Do you mean when the guy is taking photos of Margot and Eli talking? If so you don't even see that roof, just a guy hanging over a ledge from the ground.
"Various vehicle shots":
A) The bus where Margot makes out with a punk rock guy was rented. I helped graphite it up. FYI the punk rock guy was a grip, Mel, who agreed to shave his head. They had hired a real punk rocker to cameo who I can't name but he showed up late and had a major attitude so we told him to hit the road. They asked Mel if he'd shave his head to be in a scene where he makes out with Gwyneth Paltrow. Who would say no to that? The lucky bastard.
B) The BMW shots I had nothing to do with since cars are props. It was just a rig attached to a show car that drove around a few hours as they filmed.
C) The interior Ambulance scenes where film in both an ambulance (I know, shocking) and in a large room in Yonkers. The shots where the camera looks down on Royal couldn't be shot in a real ambulance since the roof was to low. What we did is rented an ambulance, strip the interior, and moved all the bits and pieces into a large room where the camera had room to roam.
D) Eli's car was actually two cars. The working car was Jonathan's (prop assistant) and he rented it out to the movie. The second was one we found at a junk yard, bought for a few hundred dollars, shelled it, painted it, then used a crane to put it on a fake fence we made for the accident scene. I didn't have much to do with Eli's car since it was a prop but I was worked with the fence and mail box. The fence was built in the shop and we spent a day swapping out the real fence with the post accident fence. The "real" mailbox I was in charge of and was dressing, you might of noticed from the the pictures people has taken there isn't a mailbox on the corner of 144th & Convent. The mailbox that get run into by the car where special effects department. All the mail on the ground after the accident and flying through the air was my department. I can tell you it was a huge pain to keep the letters fresh looking since the crew wouldn't stop walking all over them with their dirty shoes!!!
"How often did weather ruin your day?"
Not often, we lucked out. It was nothing like when I did Serendipity, when it wasn't raining the city was spraying for West Nile Virus. The only two spots I can think weather bothered us a little was when we dug out Ethline's dig site and it wouldn't stop raining (so much mud, no fun) and when it stopped snowing during the scene Pagoda stabs Royal. When we first filmed that scene it was snowing, a few days later we reshot some of the set ups since Wes didn't like the results but it wasn't snowing. The special effects guy and myself had two fans and some potato flakes we threw in front of them to make is seem like all those camera set ups where filmed during the same day.
"Finally, how tough was it to deal with that Henry and Royal's scene in that little kitchen (in the other house, I think you mentioned in the other thread)?"
That wasn't the worst because we had the areas to escape to during takes. It's much harder when on the 4th floor of a walk up and having to constantly run up and down the stairs squeezing by people. With the Kitchen we had the backyard, the street, and Ethline's study to spread out it.