The Hell You Say.net
The Hell You Say.net is the web-version of Jason Melius' work life. Want to know what I'm working on, working with, etc. Now's your chance. Need to contact me? I'd love to hear from you! - thehellyousay.net
Rizzoli and Isles - Year in Review - 2012
After graduating fromt he DGPTP I was called back in to work another season of Rizzoli and Isles as a 2nd 2nd AD. An amazing opportunity with an equally amazing cast and crew. Couldn't have been more excited.
The season was a blast and a growing experience as much as any other. I was extremely blessed to have been provided an environment to learn, grow, fail, and work my craft. Extremely excited to be heading back to to Season 4 in 2013. Can't thank Jen Reiss and Stacy Stewart enough for the fun times.
Post-Rizzoli I bounced around on Dexter and Body of Proof. Had to turn down a few other small-time gigs due to some out-of-country and domestic travel intermixed with a hand surgery that sidelined me a bit (sometimes I play soccer a little too hard...like I'm 18 again...I don't have an off-switch. I'm either asleep or at 11. - yes, this one goes to 11)
Anyway - back to work in the coming weeks...look forward to a kick-ass 2013 and for all you 'dga trainee' hopefuls out there - I hope to have a little bit more insight on the program here real soon to answer the many many many emails I receive. ;)
DGPTP - Graduate - January 2012
400 Days. - Completed. What a journey!
There isn't much fan-fare to completing the DGPTP. A nice congratulatory letter is sent with directions on getting put on the CQL, but other than that you're on your own! Not anything so much as a cake (and yes, I asked...twice.)
But that's ok. Because the end of this stage of life is complete and now the next one is to begin.
It's a sort of scary propisition to now realize that my phone won't automatically ring with work like it did within the confines of the DGPTP, but I feel that I did well throughout my journey and that that effort will come full circle out of the blue with a nice offer to rejoin a previous show and/or team and the good times will continue.
A special thianks to those board members who gave me this opportunity. You gave it your best to break me in that 25 minute DGPTP interview back on May 12, 2009 - to make sure I was cut out for this line of work. I set out to prove that you had made the right decision and always kept you in mind as I went from show to show. In that interview I made a promise to you that I would not let you down. 400 days later, as a DGPTP graduate, I hope to have made you proud.
Looking forward to the next 400 days and beyond...
DGA (Southern California)
American Horror Story - December 2011
This show had it all. Incredibly talented cast, outstanding, original concept, murderous working hours. It's one of the few shows I've been apart of that really had me wanting to get through an episode of shooting so I could read the next one.
I'm certainly on record as saying Jessica Lange will win the Emmy for her role as Constance after seeing just the pilot episode- (update: Yep. Nailed it. Congratulations Ms. Lange.)
Was also nice to continue a long run that started with Rizzoli of working at Paramount. Spent a solid 7 months there - a great lot to call home. I often take day-time naps in this one particular green patch of land. They'll name it after me one day because of it. ;)
Rizzoli and Isles - Summer 2011
Spent the summer working on with a fantastic cast and crew over at TNT's Rizzoli and Isles. The show came at the perfect time for me as a DGA Trainee. My dutuies were far less 'basecamp' involved and much more 2nd 2nd AD oriented with plenty of hands-on BG experience among other things.
Really enjoyed my time here and look dropping by in the future.
Brothers and Sisters - -January 2011
...Landed a long 70 day run on the ABC show "Brothers and Sisters." Nice to be working close to home these days after a long run of shows at Fox, Sony, and on location. With such a long run, this show should bring me close to the 300 day mark leaving me well on target for an early fall graduation.
Hoping for 2011 to be a pretty fantastic year with a good deal of accomplishments along with regaining a small sense of life again and hopefully some long distant travel to follow. As much of a huge fan I am of the DGPTP, I sure do miss traveling. Will be nice to hit the road again some day.
Friends w/ Benefits - - November 2010
I can honestly say that even though I've worked on a good number of great shows with great people, Dexter certainly takes the cake as my favorite thus far. A top notch cast and crew along with an AD team that really took me under their wings and created a learning environment that alll shows should strive for. To steal a line from The Wire, when I went to work on Dexter, I was 'Police' doing 'Police work.' It was a great 7 week run.
I hope to finish the year close to 250 days. It'll be a tall order, but it seems Imay be on par for at least the 230 mark as of now. That will leave 150-170 days left as of January 2011. The light at the end of the tunnel!
DEXTER - - Fall 2010
..After a little gig away, I'm back in the TV world. Will be helping wrap up the final six weeks of the current season of Dexter. I'll hit another mile stone about half-way through my tour when I cross the 200 day mark - yeah, the half-way mark through the DGPTP.
As it stands, I'm on pace to graduate from the program some time next fall - maybe October 2011. Perfect timing if you ask me.
Alongside the new fall season of work comes the addition of the Class of 2010. 15 or so trainees in the same shoes as I found myself a year ago! I wish them all good luck as they start this endeavor and am anxiously looking forward to the final 224 days of work!
Bridesmaids -Feature - Summer 2010
...and now for something a little different.
Landed my first job on a Feature film as apart of the DGPTP. Had to go and interview for this one, so feeling pretty good about landing the gig.
Even better is it's not all that often that DGA Trainees land feature work within their first 200 days, so things are looking up in that regard.
The film itself is a Judd Apatow produced, Paul Feig directed comedy co-written by the lhilarious Kristen Wiig , and starring Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Paul Rudd, John Hamm, Rose Byrne,, among others.
Personally I'm excited to be working on the film. All those involved have track records I can only dream of, thus it's up to me to work hard and prove myself a valuable team member for the AD team.
It'll be a long 11 weeks on the road around Los Angeles, and occationally at home base (Sony Studios) - but all in all I'm expecting a fun ride and something to be proud of.
On a sidenote, I crossed over the 100 day mark and this feature will leave me close to 200 when all is said and done - almost halfway through the program. Going by quickly now - and yet still somuch to learn.
...more to come.
The Cape - NBC Pilot / April 2010
Worked a Pilot for NBC this spring entitled 'the Cape.' A super-hero show - we blew a lot of stuff up and did some pretty cool stunt work.
Quite certainly my favorite part of the show was the cast. Characters aside, they were a very nice and fun group to work with - especiially David Lyons, who is a class act all around.
Having worked non-stop since September, I'm looking forward to a little R&R so hopefully a small break is on the horizon.
My Boys - TBS (February 2010)
Currently assigned on the hit TBS show 'My Boys.' Will complete the current season of the show on this run. It marks my first production thtat's already in full-swing upon my arrival, and also will certainly present a handful of new challenges that I've yet to come across. This assingment will finish just beyond breaking the 100-Day mark - which I'm very much excited to do. Feels just like yesterday when I was writing 'Day 16' - and now I'm close to being 25% complete!
Looking forward to it.
Shameless - Warner Bros./Showtime.
Worked the complete pilot of the US version of 'Shameless' - based on the hit serires from the UK. The show appears to stay fairly true to the UK show, much like that of the US/UK Office conversion, but I imagine much like the Office, this show, if picked up, will grow it's own legs.
Worked with a fantastic team of AD's on this production and for me, two weeks was not nearly long enough. William H. Macy is cooler than I expected (and I was expecting super-cool) so it was great watch him do his thing.
Ultimately had a great time on this show and I wish them all the best moving forward.
Lie to Me-
Been assigned 3 days on the Fox hit Lie to Me. Looks to be on-location days here in Los Angeles.
Miami Trauma - Untitled Bruckheimer/Lieber Medical- December 7 2009
Worked an extended 57 days on a new Bruckheimer/Leiber Medical that was originally titled Miami Trauma. This show was my first run as an FNG DGA Trainee fresh off the boat and I probably couldn't have landed a better one.
The entire cast and crew was a lot of fun to work with and some certainly felt more like family than co-woerkers by the end of my time there. The AD team really took care of me through my faults and sucesses and for that I'll always be thankful.
There may be better shows down the road, and I know for sure there'll be worse, but for this being my first, and probably one I'll always remember, I couldn't have asked for a better experience through and through. Here's hoping to a good run starting February.
Modern Family - September 1 2009
Day played four days on the newABC ccomedy Moderrn Family. Looks like this one may be a hit this fall so keep an eye on this one. Great cast and crew. Good times.
Weedshop Debut- July 20 2009
Web Series I AD'd with Kelly Mahoney back in January is debuting alongside Comic Con this week down in San Diego. Catch a trailer here.
DGA Training Program - July 19, 2009
Went down to pick up my orientation package and suggested book reading. Fortunately, one of the books they gave me I have already read a couple of times so at least I'm ahead of the game on that one.
Got a lot of paperwork to go through the next few weeks as the program doesn't start for another month or so. Might be headed to Bakersfield for a feature this week or next - still waiting on the final call. Will post more when I know more.
3 Things - July 1 2009
Just wrapped underneath the 4th Street Bridge downtown on a short film titled 3 Things. Worked with some very nice people with definitve vision for this film.
There were some longer than typical days, but they seem to be a lot easier to do when the folks behind the project are fully invested and very passionate about what they're doing. It's sort of an infectious feeling that is definitely not apart of every projectt.
...should have more news in the coming days regarding a possible feature shooting in late July. We'll see how that plays out...deal memo signed, but I never consider it a go until I get that fisrt call sheet!
3 Things - June 30th 2009
Booked two days on a short film titled "3 things." Working as a 2nd AD. I figure now that I'm on board the training program, I should try to work more as a 2nd AD to align myself with that mentality as it appears the next two years of life will entail a lot more of that job description.
DGA Training Program - June 30th 2009
Well, wouldn't you know it...all the hardwork, countless hours writing, preparing, etc. finally paid off. I was chosen as 1 of 8 people to participate in the Directors Guild of America's Training Program.
I don't even know what to think as it almost doesn't seem real, but in less than three months I should be given my first assignment and will begin an all new DGA Days countdown. 400 working days from now I should find myself eligiable to join the DGA as a 2nd Assistant Director so long as I do the things I need to do to complete the program.
The next few months will be interesting as I have dinners to attend, introduction meetings to learn from, and will be given a "mentor" so-to-speak whom I can rely on as I move forward throughout the rest of my potential DGA career.
here's my shot to get it done. Right here, right now. I've been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Now it's time to get some...
June Updates - June 20 2009
Was brought on to day play as a 2nd 2nd on the Feature "House Arrest" starring Stacy Dash (clueless) and the Game (rapper) Ended up being asked to stick around the rest of the show as a key set PA....(due to the nature of the project and it's contracts with the DGA I was not allowed to stay in a 2nd 2nd position as a non-union AD.
Have worked with the DP, key grip, AC, swing grip, 1st AD before so ias far as crew, there are many familiar faces. We wrap up the show next week, but it's been a tremendous learning experience.
Also - may have some news to report regarding my application into the DGA Training Program here in Los Angeles. More on that soon.
Late April Updates - April21 2009
Wrapped up Crown Prince last week around. Met some great people and was the first complete show I've worked where I didn't already know at least one other person.
Have a meeting tomorrow morning with some producers from the East coast regarding a feature film shooting in June. Won't go into details now, but just got the script in my inbox which leads me to believe I may be close to signing on. Very excited about getting on board a feature, so hoping this plays out.
Otherwise, finishing up the 2nd draft of "Pedestrian Incident" with Steve Frech this week. We've been working this script since August and have hit the 2nd draft hard the past few months, so am looking to get this out the door once more to be reviewed.
also...looking to maybe take some time off and explore some foreign part of the world in May. Wasn't really planning on traveling until the fall, but might not be able to hold out. Soul is calling for adventure as it's been one year exactly since I was trekking with elephants through Malaysia. Hoping May is about as good as it can be - got a lot coming up in May and looking to rock n' roll this stuff out.
Crown Prince of Heaven - April 2009
Jumping into the fray on Crown Prince of Heaven. We start shooting next week for 5-6 days depending on the final verdict from a few locations. Going to be a very small, skeleton crew on this shoot.
During the course of the shoot, I'll be finishing off a day on the feature 2.0 which brought me on board in December. It's the final shooting day for them, so will be nice to get that picture wrapped. Going to get to work with my all-star line-up of PA's and 2nd AD Kelly - so looking forward to working with them...it's been a while.
Otherwise, wrapped out earlier this week on Not Even Death. Got to work with a really fun group of crew and cast - our make-up girls did a fantastic job on the zombie make-up and it was a fairly smooth, fun ride. The film is scheduled to premiere in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in a few months - so looking forward to that.
Not Even Death - March 24 2009
San Diego was a blast. - Over the weekend had the possible opportunity to 1st a feature film in Boston, but had to walk away due to a schedule conflict I have in May. Pretty bummed about that as I've been looking for a feature to jump on board for some time now.
The good news though is I landed a 1st AD gig with a short zombie flick titled "Not Even Death" - which we'll shoot this upcoming weekend. Pretty interesting script - should be a good, fun time.
Petco Park - San Diego- March 21 2009
Got a pretty cool gig last night - working with Sean Greenspan whom I worked with on Weedshop a few months back - driving down to San Diego/Petco Park to 2nd AD a stadium/fan scene with 150 Background - moving them section to section, row by row, etc to fill the place up.
Should be a total blast. I've fond memories of San Diego so always a treat to get to go down there. Will probably stop by Camp Pendleton on the way back and take a stroll down memory lane. A good day.
Crown Prince- March 19 2009
Hired on for a 6 day shoot in April for a short film entitled Crown Prince. The director's out of Columbia Chicago (where I almost went many moons ago) so it'll be nice to work with some Chicago-folk.
In the meantime, have started the second draft of Pedestrian Incident. Some pretty big changes taking place, hope to have a solid 2nd draft by March 30th.
Devil's Matchmaker - March 2 2009
Just 1st AD'd a short entitled "The Devil's Matchmaker." - Should be a pretty funny flick. Had a pretty talented cast, great crew and it was one of the more fun productions I've worked as of late - which in my own opinion can really fuel a grteat set/picture.
I was able to work with Jim Whitworth again on this project which is always a treat. Also got my hands on a copy of the 2009 Jeffords Rules and while they don't exactly apply to the non-union world, I'm a big supporter of said rules so I plan on taking this sort of information to heart and trying to apply as much as I can on productions going forward.
All non-union gigs could benefit quite a lot by adhearing to these rules. Really cool stuff. Anyhow, that is all for now. March is here, so hopefully the good times keep rolling.
Jumbo Shrimp Entertainment - Feb 25th 2009
In the past few months I've had the opportunity to work alongside a group of gaffers, grips, producers, etc. that all seem to end up on the same productions around town.
Since we've all worked together to some degree, a few of the guys banded together and created Jumbo Shrimp Entertainment - a less-than-$3,000/day below-the-line hirable crew that can make crew-shopping for productions a one-and-done operation.
I have been fortunate enough to land a spot on the roster and am hoping for good things to come in the near future. I've always enjoyed working alongside other Jumbo Shrimp members, so hope the good times keep coming!
February Notes - Feb 12th 2009
Back from Denver. Got to work with Lance Nichols from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Real nice guy.
Shooting begins next week for the pilot Consider My Life. Apparently they've cast a former member of MadTV. I should know more on that later today. This project has been knocked around my plate for almost two months now so very excited to get to work and get it done!
On the writing front, I'm working a second draft of "View from a Window" - a short...and should start a second draft of "Pedestrian Incident" in March. I have a web-series pilot that I've outlined with Steve Frech and am just looking for a day to knock out a first draft.
~that's all for now!
Weed Shop - January 20th 2009
Been hired on to 1st a pilot web series entitled "Weed Shop." - about a group of people who work at a medical marijuana store. We begin filming next week and as soon as we wrap I'm off to Colorado...
Rocky Mountain High - January 17th 2009
Looks like I'm headed to Denver, Colorado to coordinate/2nd AD a short film. I don't know much about the project as of right now, but will be nice to get out of town, work, and visit some friends.
Pedestrian Incident - January 16th 2009
The First draft of "Pedestrian Incident" is complete. We've sent the script out to a few respected contacts who are reviewing and submitting notes. We'll probably give it a few weeks to sit and then we'll revisit the script with a second draft sometime in February.
If you'd like to read a copy - just email me.
[ Pilot ] Consider My Life-- January 16th 2009
I'm signed on to AD a 7 day shoot in late February for a pilot entitled "Consider My Life." So far the breakdown is going fine on my end and should be a fun, interesting, and worthwhile endeavor. The actual shooting days have been pushed to late February to allow time for a few re-writes and then we're golden.
Tampa Push -- January 6th 2009
so Tampa's been pushed. Ah, hollywood. We'll see where this one comes up. In the meantime, I've put some feelers out and have a few possibilities that could be pretty great coming in the spring - but we'll see. Haven't signed on yet so it's all on the downlow.
DGA Training Program - December 5th, 2008
I submitted my application to the DGA Training Program at the end of November. Over 1000 submissions anually and they typically accept 20 or so after a thourough interview process. I probably won't know anything (if anything) until January, but I don't feel there's been any better time in my life to submit so I gave it a shot.
...want to know more?
Tampa Bound - December 4th, 2008
As of now I'm scheduled to head to Tampa Bay Floriday the first week of June to AD a feature film. The shoot, 18 days total, was originally scheduled for December, but pushed due to the holidays plus needing a bit more time to prep and bring in some names. Will post more as this develops. This is a great opportunity to pick up some out-of-Los-Angeles days needed for the DGA.
2.0 - December 1st, 2008
Day-Playing as a 1st AD on a film entitled 2.0 this Friday, December 5th. They're already into day 18 of 21, so i'm just filling in. Should be a good day.
Pedestrian Incident... November 2008
Having spent most of the late fall collaborating a feature script with Steve Frech, the outline is complete and the first draft is underway- A thriller about consequences among life and responsibilities. Stay tuned...
Still working for the weekend... October 2008
Jason has completed another feature.... - this time, a supernatural thriller shooting on location in Hollywood. The film is titled "Lost Soul."
Workin for the weeknd... August 2008
Jason just finished work as a 1st AD on the Feature Comedy film "Breast Picture" - directed by Jonathan Smith. The film is now in post production and should be available for viewing sometime in October.
New Voice Over Demo online ... August 1 2007
A new voice over demo for Tiffany Anne Price has been placed online for your listening enjoyment!