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HOT ROD

On Location With Some Of The Locals
To visually accentuate Rod's off-kilter world and that of his family and friends, production designer Stephen Altman worked with Schaffer to craft a singular environment. "It's a kind of enhanced mediocrity, an interesting blandness…a stylized nothingness,” Altman offers. "It does have a bit of a '70s-'80s feel to it, a kind of stuck in the past-ness that shows up in the décor.”

The site for the big jump and most of the other smalltown exteriors were shot in the suburb of Cloverdale, 25 miles southeast of Vancouver. Surprisingly, Cloverdale's main street needed little enhancement. On the street the production used for a big crowd scene, only three stores needed to have their signage changed. Others, like the H&H Barber Shop and Ken's Café, were perfect as they were. Costume designer Patricia Monaghan had a lot of fun dressing the eccentric characters in Rod's world. "Kevin, Rod's younger brother, although 20-ish, dresses and acts like he's about 12. He has a serious case of arrested development,” Monaghan laughs. "I raided my personal stash of kids' t-shirts from the ‘70s and '80s. Everything he wears is too small, too tight, too faded… it's just perfect on him. We got the tightest pants we could and stuffed him into them. To top it off, we gave him a rabbit's foot, a little pouch and bad shoes.”

"Rod occasionally picks on Kevin as older brothers often do. That's why Kevin has so many inner demons that come out in different ways over the course of the film,” Taccone offers. "He was pretty much forced into being the team manager/videographer, so he has to carry all the heavy things like the video camera. He also has to make sure there's enough juice at the jumps. And he has to make sure everyone is wearing pants,” he deadpans.

The chemistry and the unique vision that the Lonely Island crew brings to "Hot Rod” is something of an "SNL” tradition, Goldwyn notes. Their Internet phenomenon, "Lazy Sunday,” he says, is part of a repertoire of material that sprang from the program and had an effect on the culture at large. "‘Lazy Sunday' exploded on the scene. It was totally fresh — you hadn't seen that before. That's the good thing about that show — every so often something comes out that just rocks the world. It's part of the ‘SNL' tradition. It happened with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. It happened with Eddie Murphy and then Mike Myers. Andy and his partners are in the long tradition of guys coming in and doing something that just galvanizes the mass audience.

"Hot Rod” wasn't originally a Lonely Island guys script or even a Lonely Island movie,” he continues. "It is a movie produced by Lorne Michaels from a script he developed. That being said, however, these guys have brought their tone to it and their own unmistakable stamp. Their version is sweeter than originally envisioned. It also has more emotion and the music is more of their generation.

"The most thrilling thing for me about ‘Hot Rod' is to have been included by Lorne. As the director, Akiva has brought a kind of world view that is very fresh. There is nothing about this movie that feels recycled. When you're watching it, you feel like you're watching something you haven't seen before. There is just the sense that something has been created that you can let the audience discover. That same thing was true of films like ‘Wayne's World' and ‘Mean Girls' and I believe that is true of this movie. I give credit to Lorne for that. It‘s not a movie that has been created by Hollywood. It absolutely speaks to its generation, because these guys are true originals.”

Schaffer hopes that "Hot Rod” may one day be included in the library of comedy classics that have inspired him alongside "Ace Ventura,” "Caddyshack,” "Airplane!” and all the Monty Python movies.

"Five or six years after it

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