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STOP in the Studio

STOP in the studio - What is it like to be in a rocket science video the same day as Canada's Gold Medal game?

by: Jason Rakowsky

The following is basically a run-down of the occurrences at the Rocket Science Video Shoot for the song STOP. Stop was chosen by Much Music to be a Video-Fact video they would sponsor. The director was James Cooper, who has won a Much Music video award and also directed the Nickleback video for “Old Enough”.

The on-call, the day of the video shoot, for me was 9am. We got to the Toronto Film Studios at 8am just to be safe and we waited around seeing all the different crew arrive. Kraft was the catering, and my oh my was it yummy. We finally decided to go into the garage area of one of the studios where we were greeted by many people including Jennifer Chin, the Art director and Foolscap book creator. The guard took us up to the studio which was more like a hall, on the second floor. We waited around for a little while until we were showed to the dressing room area which was right next to where the mock classroom room would be.

Time passed and we were just waiting around as more people entered the studio. The four girls, one being rob’s sister Erin, who would play my sexy classmates, showed up as did the rest of the crew for the shoot. James showed up eventually and was having discussions with many crew members. The next moment I turned around to look at the room beside me, it was transformed into a real life classroom. I really wanted to take out a science book and learn about Pinocytosis.

Rob came to the shoot early, to check on things, watch the video directing with James and so forth. I was called in to talk with James to learn my part. There would be about 3 or 4 scenes I would have to act out in the classroom. One would involve me dozing off into a sleep and finally awaking to a gleam, for I had just taken out my rocket science foolscap book and started looking at the pictures. However this was not my ordinary school day, as the pictures I was looking at started coming to life. I gazed at them in awe and surprise as though I could not believe my eyes, however this was really cool! I was unknowingly going to flip to a memory of me trying to sneak into The Reverb for a supposable 19+ rocket science show (SACRILEGIOUS!!). Me being a minor, I could not attend, so what is a better way to go to a rocket science show then sneak in. Me and my companions decided to doze on through the front door only to be told to ‘get in line’ by the bouncer. So why wait at the back of the line, when you can unknowingly (again) step in the front of it. However our doings only led to the mishaps of me getting tossed out of line and punched in the stomach. PEAS AND CARROTS MUTHA%^$#$!. We scurried on to the back of the Reverb only to find a locked gate...or was it? With a slick turn of the wrist, my knowledge induced me into the findings that the lock was not at all locked, but rather unlocked. Oh glorious day! As soon as we ran up the back stairs we would be prancing in the rocket science show filling out ears with the sweet sound of “atom smasher” and “stop”. But, it was not to be, for around the corner was the giant beast that stood in our path between glory and failure in our attempts to get into the magical show....THE BOUNCER! As I turned the corner, I bumped straight into him...and with fear, looked into his eyes. He smiled slowly (and painfully for me) at me and took me down the stairwell as my friends ran down the stairs and out through the gates only to turn around and see me get thrown into them by the mighty ogre. Somehow however I ended up inside enjoying the sounds of majestic guitars, drums, vocals and bass that only rocket science can produce. I had my video camera ready to run on stage and ‘get in rob’s face’. I did so, only to be hurled offstage by the mighty bouncer Hugo! ALL HAIL HUGO! However the rocket science performance was not destructed, and went on without a hitch of issue.

Now back to the filming.

After I cringed at the memory that I was thrown off-stage, "it hurt, but it was cool", I flipped some more pages in thinking that what I am seeing in my Foolscap notebook coming to life is pretty rad. I soon discover a page in which my secret love Erin, who is sitting next to me in class, winks at me in my notebook. WHAT? IS SHE WINKING AT ME?? This can’t be real. What is an ignorant classmate to do except wink back at his secret ‘one way’ lover. However this ignorant classmate is either going to be getting a punch in the face, or an “are you kidding me?” remark or both, pending on the editing. I was only to be embarrassed and bury my head into a certain notebook as if I has just been naked in front of a public audience.

“This director really had some cool and weird ideas. But the one thing he can’t do is make you sit in a puddle of drool on your desk after you fall asleep from a tiresome class of punches and unthinkable imagination like creations that come to life..*pause*....he...he didn’t make you fall asleep in your drool did he?”

So that was my last scene...

After a few up-close and personal dolly camera shots of me flipping the pages in my Foolscap book, I was ‘wrapped’.

It’s a long day when you watch everyone eat grilled cheese and whatnot while you sit there and act, letting your stomach eat itself.

Soon it was the girls turn to shine. They went into the classroom and played the violin sequence for the camera, as I dream about in class. In their plaid skirts and white button downs with the stomach half in a nice bow below the bust.....need I say more?
Only in a rocket science video.

As this was happening the crew were painting white, the hall, where the band would be performing their camera shots for their scene. The boys just started arriving at 2'ish o’clock as I greeted Gord and Rich. Dan was setting up his drums as I went over to talk with him.

“So what’s going on J? Any news to report on. I get my band news from you”

*mighty chuckle* oh dan. It's funny cause it's true.

The girls decided to strut some of their dance moves for the director and his co-partner who were going to film the band scenes. It was very co-ordinated for just coming up with the dance in a nearby hall in 20 minutes. Who knows what footage the director might choose to mold into his creation.

“Dinner’s on!”, and boy was it on. It tasted fantastic. The fish and all was great. How can one resist the Gold Medal Hockey Game though! Everyone scurried to the TV someone had brought into the studio, as I ate at the table gazing at the crew and band. I wasn’t going to run to the TV just to later ‘toss my cookies’. Was I unpatriotic?? Noooooo. I watched that game to very end.
“NO NO NO NO!!”....”They can’t score when I yell no....SEE!!”, said an excited Rob Higgins seeing the Canadian penalty kill foil the United States of America’s plan to go ahead in the count. Canada pulled in victorious and cheers, claps, jumps, yells and hits were seen and heard throughout the studio.....well...maybe just our area seeing as how we were the only ones in the entire studio lot that night. Then it was back to work, but not before the entire group of us sang our rendition of Oh Canada along with the glorious site of the team Canada victory and Anthem. Yes, this is about the making of a rocket science video, and everything it has to offer.

The band set up and played through the song “Stop” at least four times while the two cameras rolled on them from above and below. The band was in full flight as if trying to send their message to run for full hegemony. Stop right there, be fair and try to get some perspective, you life is short and your bored, talking ^&%$ and burning bridges, fellow Canadians. It was exactly like their live show. Bold, Strong, Flawless and good to the last drop.

This video was not to be without certain special guests. Danny Greaves of the fantastic band, The Watchmen, was hand selected to best fit the vocal line in the song, “It’s a cool drink of water.” Still undetermined and being edited how he will be shown saying the line, a guest appearance cannot hurt the making and production value of a video....unless...that...chose ....person.. causes a mad ruckus and unleashes the bubonic plague which has not been in existence for nearly 6,000 years. Then you got some troubles.

It was nearing night, and the photo’s taken, as you can see in bands pictures section of the website, turned out pretty good considering no professional cameras were used. The rest of the night, before we left into the mayhem that was the streets of Toronto after the Gold Medal game, was pretty much relaxing and watching out favorite and most enjoyable band perform for the camera.

Overall, I give the whole experience an infinity out of ten, and it was a ‘fun as hell’ experience at that. The Reverb part of the shoot, as well as the studio part, were well planned and the crew executed it in style. It was great to meet many new faces, and those soon to be famous. If there is one thing I leave you with it is this advice:

Don’t slap Rob’s hand after Canada scores a goal or you may be bruised for life.

STOP IN THE STUDIO was brought to you by the good people at 'rocket science'...making dreams happen.


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