Hello, fellow travelers of the blogosphere! Kristoffer Polaha here with this week's lifting of the veil, a peek behind the curtain of Life Unexpected. What will we find? Who knows, but I do know this, I am writing this from my new iPad, sitting in a hotel room in Seattle...
Well, that and the fact that tonight was the awesome Life Unexpected-One Tree Hill crossover episode!
Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Seattle while my family whirls about me. We are waiting for room service to arrive with burgers, chicken soup and an ice cream sundae. Seattle is the sister city to Vancouver, and it's considered home to my family because it's a part of the lower 48.
Truth is, we miss America, and it's nice to see Lincoln's face on my money. Like Neil Diamond sang about Los Angeles and New York City, it's fine but it ain't home. Well, the same goes for us: Vancouver's fine but it ain't home. But here in Seattle, it's a gray, wet evening, cold outside, cozy in. It's been a good weekend away, and we were afforded this trip as it was Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend. So, to my friends and readers in the Great North, Happy Thanksgiving! Even though it ain't home, I'm terribly happy to be making an incredible television show there.
Tonight's crossover event was directed by our one and only Jerry Levine, who directed three episodes prior to this one; two last season and the second ep of season two. He also directed five episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philidalphia, which was originally titled Always Sunny in Los Angeles and was about the gang trying to become successful actors. Funny stuff. Even littler-know fact, I played Rob's agent in Always Sunny in Los Angeles.
Now, back to Life Unexpected. First, I'd like to say thank you and congratulations on a successful grassroots effort! Our numbers were up 46 percent last Tuesday night which is a huge triumph and in no small part your doing. A gigantic thank you to everyone who is spreading the word. And with tonight's crossover episode, I'm excited to see what tomorrow will bring. One good thing good ratings bring is hope. So, here's to hope and to everyone who told a friend to watch. Next week is more important, so tell another friend and have them pass it along. We can do it!
Tonight's episode was a huge one to shoot! It took eight work days to complete the episode, most episodes take seven—we even worked on a Saturday. The crew built the stage from scratch, rigged with lights and effects to look like a real music festival and about 200 background artists filled out the crowd of 5,000. We shot the music festival over three days, two of which were sunny and beautiful. Of course, the night Sarah McLachlan was there to do her part, it rained like cats and dogs. But by all accounts she was amazing, generous with her time and talent, and a huge fan of the show. Ben Lee was also on hand and is a very, very cool dude. He came over to our house to watch a few episodes of Life with the rest of the cast—Liz Tigelaar, too—and he is the real deal. (Check his music out on iTunes.) Rain Perry was also there to sing her heart out to the theme song of our show, which she wrote and performs in the opening credits of Life. Also on hand were two young ladies from One Tree Hill.
Jerritt Clark/Picturegroup via AP IMAGES
I was surprised that Robert Buckley wasn't there because it's my humble opinion that it was the Tuesday Night Besties slogan, coined by Mr. Buckley, that gave rise to a crossover idea in the first place. We represented Tuesday nights at upfronts, and we hosted the Fall Preview Show together, and together we did a viral video that could possibly win an Emmy.
So, when he wasn't on the crossover episode I was a touch confused, then I remembered, 'Oh, yeah, his character was shot in the face! How in the world could he fly to Portland, Ore. for a music festival with a gunshot wound? Needless to say, the girls rocked it, Kate Voegele and Bethany Joy Galeotti were gracious and professional and a treat to have on set. They got pipes, too! Katie came by our house as well to watch some episodes with Liz and the cast.
However, fellow travelers, I promised you a behind-the-curtains peek on this ride and a behind-the-curtains peek you will get. When the people sing on stage, they are actually lip-synching! It looks real, as it has to, but they have really loud speakers that play out the tracks for the singers, actors and background players, and the performers sing along. They are using their real voices, but what's used in production is a pre-recorded track. There you go. Another secret revealed! This could get scandalous...
Thanks again to E! for this amazing forum where I get to share my thoughts with all of you week after week. And thank you, gentle readers, for coming along on this magical ride through time and space with me. Remember, tell a friend to watch Life Unexpected, one personal recommendation is worth a pound of gold!
Until next week, this is K.Po signing off.