Truckster at Walley World

Body doubles getting ready for a ride in the Truckster into Walley World

Vacation Movie Behind the scenes Part 2

Missed Vacation Movie Part 1?  Read Part One of the Vacation Movie behind the scenes.

In October 2014 we started to get emails and calls from friends that had heard Vacation was filming and they had come across a casting call on Facebook. So I responded to the casting call for a Six Flags Over Georgia call for extras. I have never been in a movie and figured it would be fun to actually be in the Vacation Movie even just sitting on a park bench maybe in a background scene.

A few days later I found the reply email that we had been accepted as extras. Of course it ended up in my spam folder and luckily the casting company called me. The casting call was for 6 AM. Yes 6 AM so we were up at 4 AM to make sure we got to Six Flags by 6 AM. And it was around 34 degrees with a high in the mid 50’s.

We arrived at Six Flags and filled out a pile of paperwork and waited with about 400 other extras outside by a heater. Yes making movies as an extra is not very glamorous. After a quick makeup check and wardrobe check we were off to the set. Now the Vacation movie takes place in the Summer, and it was freezing out, so we all had to hide our jackets when they called rolling and walk, sit, pretend to talk, etc. when they called action.

Walley World
Our first scene we are walking far in the background as the Griswold Family in the film runs up to ride the Velociraptor. They run up to a sign that says four hour wait from this point. We shot this 5 second scene for at least 40 minutes and it was fun to see the movie making process. I don’t know what the camera was focused on so I am not sure if you will even see us in this shot way in the background walking around the corner.

The next scene we did was when the Griswold Family walks into Walley World for the first time. The come into the park and their two boys run ahead excited while Ed Helms and Christina Applegate look around and take a moment to kiss at the entrance.

Our roll in this scene was to simply walk behind Ed Helms and Christina Applegate after they stop walking and start to kiss. It was amazing how many times we did this shot and how many times it was almost impossible to walk from the left side of the entrance to the right with all the extras in the shot.

Welcome to Walley World

Six Flags over GA turned into Walley World

Our best chance for a quick second in the Vacation film is when the Griswolds are waiting in the outside que at the two hour point for the Velocirator ride. The camera starts focused on the two hour wait sign then pans to the right to the Griswold family. Lisa is standing directly behind and to the right of the two hour wait sign when this shot starts.

Filming as an extra was exciting and a great experience. It was a 12 hour day and something that we will always remember.

My Walley World Shirt. No I did not get to keep it.

My Walley World Shirt. No I did not get to keep it.

We did come back to Six Flags a few days later to have lunch with some of the cast. Lunch ended up getting pushed way out because of the film schedule that day, but we ended up getting asked to stay to be an extra in the closing scene for the movie. Again it was freezing out and the scene had to be at night. It was under 40 degrees and I am in a Walley World T Shirt standing behind a split rail fence looking for my loved ones to get rescued off of a broken down Velocirator roller coaster.

 The Four Corners

There is a scene in the Vacation movie that one of the directors asked us to be in.  It’s called the Four Corners.  Maybe you know what this is but I had no idea.  So he explains that Ed Helms and Christina Applegate drive up to the Four Corners.  It’s a place where all four state borders meet.  So they look around and they are all alone and decide, why not.  Let’s have sex in all four states at the same time.  So they go for it.  Just at that moment the police show up and all these couples come running out of the woods from nowhere and Ed and Christina are the one couple caught by the cops.  The cops then fight over who has jurisdiction over the area because Christina’s leg was in one state and her butt in another.

So they wanted to cast Lisa and I as one of the 4-5 couples in this scene.  I want to be in the Vacation movie for fun, but yeah, um, I don’t think I can do a nude scene.  So we passed on this.  Well and it paid $1,000 each.  Maybe next time I can be a guy selling cotton candy at Walley World, that’s more my speed.

That’s a Wrap

I have to say it was pretty darn cool to have had this experience.  I don’t want to be an extra in movies but for this one it was awesome and a must do.  Just seeing how movies are made and getting to be a part of the vacation franchise was awesome.  Yes the movie will be R, so it might be a little while until our kids can see it, but it’s definitely something that makes for some interesting stories to tell for years to come.

I want to say Thanks to everyone at S&K, Tammy Smith Casting, and especially Rob Foster (Transportation Director) and Townson Wells (second second assistant director  ).  Rob helped get everything setup with the Truckster with the Directors and also was nice enough to show us and our kids around the sets.  Townson helped cast us in the different Walley World scenes so that we might actually be seen for a second in one of the shots that make it into the Vacation movie.  Hey, you might think it’s easy to walk from point A to point B when they call “Background” but I tell you in a crowded theme park scene we spent a good 40 minutes doing it over and over and over.

Vacation Movie Question and Answer:

Is your name really Griswold?

Yes, yes it is.

So you built a real Wagon Queen Family Truckster?

Yes, it was actually just something that was going to be a fun joke and I figured if we could do it affordably it would be cool to have a Truckster.  We have some friends at B & B Tire in Canton, GA that took on the task of building most of the Truckster.  It quickly went over budget but at that point you are in for the long haul.  About six months later we had a Truckster.  It was expensive but it came out looking awesome! You can read about the entire Griswold Truckster build here.

How do you become a movie extra?

So we heard about casting for Vacation from a friend on Facebook.
Here is the Facebook page:
It pays $8 an hour to be an extra, so this really is not the thing you do to fund your 401k.  It’s really just for fun.  Also if you want to get into the film business this might be a good way to meet the crew, directors, and producers.  But I don’t think it’s a foot in the door to become an actor.  To be an actor I would audition for the speaking roles and not as an extra.  We also got to eat with the cast for lunch several times, but we had an in, so that was pretty cool.

We also did get asked to be in the 4 Corners scene.  This paid $500 a day and was shot over two days.  I don’t think anyone wants to see me naked in the bushes so we declined.  It will be interesting to see how this scene came out in the movie.

Do you drive the Truckster around town?

We mostly use it for Road Trips.  That’s what it’s for.  We might head down to Florida to Disney World, and we have also spent 10 days driving across America from GA to CA to ride Colossus from the original Vacation movie.  You can see that road trip adventure here.

Interesting fact:  We started our road trip at Six Flags Over GA (Walley World) in the 2015 Vacation movie and ended our road trip at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Walley World) in the original movie.  We had no idea Six Flags Over GA would end up being Walley World for the 2015 Vacation Movie at the time.

Do you rent the Truckster?

Sorry, no

Are you planning anymore road trips in the Truckster?

We will probably do a few trips down to Florida and back.  It’s about 8 hours and if truckster breaks down there is civilization around.  I am not sure I can handle another 10 day cross country trip during the Summer in 110 degrees heat across the desert.  The truckster broke down three times on our cross country trip and with a 4 and 9 year old at the time you worry about those things.  I have to say it was a trip I will never forget and even when the truckster caught fire in Santa Rosa New Mexico our spirits were high and it was just part of the adventure.  That’s what makes Family vacations something to remember and talk about.  But I might scale back the long road trips for a little bit.  Hmmm, Maybe Dollywood in TN could be in our future.

If you do have a road trip in mind for us please let me know some places we should check out.

The Truckster in the movie has a CA tag. why?

The truckster has been rebuilt by Clark and it’s been in safe keeping at their Bed and Breakfast in CA.  When Rusty shows up in the broken down Prancer, Clark tosses the Truckster keys to Rusty so they can finish their quest to Walley World.  So our real GA tag was removed and a fake plastic CA tag was taped on.  The B&B scene was actually filmed in Atlanta, GA. Oct 6-8 2014.  It was during the week and I had to work so I did not watch the scenes with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo being shot, but I will have to spend the night at the Bed and Breakfast one of these days.

The Vacation Movie Release:

I am writing this prior to the Vacation Movie coming out.  So I have not seen the movie.  The Vacation movie was set for a November release then moved to October 9, 2015 and just recently moved to July 31, 2015  just two days after the 32nd anniversary of the original Vacation film.  So I have to think that’s a good sign with the movie coming out in the middle of Summer.

Vacation Movie DVD and BluRay and some cool Griswold Movie Trivia:

The Vacation Movie is now on DVD (November of 2015) and the BluRay has some extra footage called “The Griswold Odyssey”  When the US Map gets to San Francisco that entire piece is about out Wagon Queen Family Truckster and Lisa and I also do a short interview.  The Griswold Odyssey extra behind the scenes is only on the Vacation Movie BluRay and not included on the DVD.

Also a little know Vacation Movie Trivia, Lisa and I are both in the Vacation Film and appear three times in the Walley World (six Flags Over GA) scenes.  Also another real Griswold created the behind teh scenes videos that you see on the Vacation BluRay.  Alan Griswold with Monkey Deux created The Griswold Odyssey on the Vacation BluRay disc.

Vacation Movie Premier in Los Angeles

It’s likely that you might see the Wagon Queen Family Truckster in Los Angles California for the Vacation movie premier in July.  I will be posting this Vacation blog post after July 31, 2015 because I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone.  So if you saw the Truckster in LA, that’s why.

Here are the Vacation Movie Premier Photos from Hollywood!  The Vacation Movie Premier and After Party were AWESOME!!!  We had a blast!

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