That THING You Do!

Last week at the studio while our DIY Network show filmed on stage one...stage two was filming Michael Chiklis's costume test as the Thing for the upcoming sequel to the first Fantastic Four.

I admit, I geeked out a little...NO...alot. I grew up loving Marvel Comics. I was not a regular reader of the Fantastic Four comic but you can't help knowing everything about them as they would cross-over into my favorite monthly reads. I was a Hulk fan.

Hulk vs. Thing battles are legendary. Now that I think about it... Hulk was always getting picked on by some comic hero...poor Hulk. Dave hate puny heros that fight Hulk. Dave Smash!

The adult I am has slammed bad comic book movies of late. The kid in me forgives all, no matter how horrible, because I grew up wishing to see my favorite characters in a big hollywood movie.

I had to get pics of the parking signs posted early in the day.

Between 7 and 8 AM... lighting trucks and other semi's arrived with who knows what inside. Several "walkie talkie" wearing people floated here and there. There must of been 20 - 30 people running around. The money spent on crew, equipment, etc. for their "camera test" was probably our show's budget for a whole season. A special camera crew was there just to film "behind the scenes" stuff.

I went about my morning routine keeping an eye out as I knew Michael Chiklis was in make-up and I might see him in person. I got a glimpse of his costume hands as an f/x guy carried them through the hall. I had a quick look at the stage and saw a sculpted bust/maquette of the Thing's head in a far off dark corner.

The make up room was on the 2nd floor at the top of an exposed staircase close their stage which was across from our show stage. We shared a large common backstage hall. Rumor was the "behind the scenes" camera crew was planning to get a shot of him coming out in full make up walking down the stairs. Our show's prep area is in the common main hall. I was excited knowing the odds are good I would have a great seat for the big reveal.

Of course, as the big moment happened I was in the prop room at the end of the hall when I hear in a Thing like growl...

"Let's do this!"

I ran out of the prop room just in time to glimpse the blur of an orange rock encrusted head disappear behind a closing stage door!

I was surprised how really disappointed I was. I felt so stupid letting the kid in me take over hoping to see the THING!

An hour or so later I realized how old I was and shook it off.

About that time, it was very quiet in the common hall as both our show and the Thing crew had settled in on each stage. I was pouring myself a cup of coffee when the stage door behind me opened. I glanced over... my eye's did a Tex Avery cartoon...BE-YEW!

There was the Thing...glancing left and right looking for someone. CARPE DIEM! As he turned to go back inside, I took the opportunity to speak to this beloved comic character from my youth...

... and he was gone. Every word is verbatim...It was a magic moment!

It's been awhile...but I don't remember the Thing in any comic wearing a t-shirt, boxer shorts and slippers. I really hope that was not the costume they where filming as a test because then the sequel will suck as bad as the first one.

I did waist some time after hanging around hoping he would come out again with camera phone at the ready. He never did.

Michael Chiklis was perfect casting and great as the THING. He made the first movie worth watching. The art director fan in me was disappointed his look was not the well known, hard edge browed and wide mouthed comic THING everyone knows.

I wish I could say the make up I saw was improved or new or the same but I was so surprised, I did not notice details. The first movie version did harken back to Jack Kirby's early comic book version, so I did like it for that.

Sewing demos on one stage...defeating evil villians on "only in Hollywood" moment. Thought I'd capture it in a cartoon on the dry erase board for our crew...

Although not as funny it did remind me of the time many years ago when working on HGTV's Simply Quilts when Playboy's Night Calls were filming on the other stage.

Life does not get more surreal seeing grey haired midwestern quilters mingling with whorish looking lingerie wearing, plastic chest enhanced models backstage. That's another story....


  1. What a wonderful studio story. My highlight was the Tom Green show next to Smart Solutions.

    Your cartoon leads me to believe you're looking more like Kevin Smith these days.

  2. Dang I love reading your blog Dave! What a surreal day at the office, hey? But I bet you've seen or heard just about everything! Love your sketch of "the Thing" crocheting!!!!