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ROLE MODELS

Shooting The Film
Role Models filmed in and around Los Angeles, from the keg party to which Wheeler takes the eager Ronnie and from Augie's house, where Danny has a volatile (and improv'd) dinner in Venice Beach, to the school where Danny and Wheeler trash a statue of the mascot with their "Minotaur Mobile” in El Segundo.

Such additional locations as the Santa Monica airport, which housed the Minotaur energy drink's corporate offices; Venice Beach's Boys & Girls Club, which hosted the Sturdy Wings center; the Santa Clarita campgrounds; and Beth's legal offices in downtown L.A. also served as settings for the production.

While there are always a number of challenges in shooting in busy metropolitan areas, production designer Steven Lineweaver knew that he had his work especially cut out for him when the screenplay called for the development of an alternate universe. Augie feels the most comfortable in the medieval world of Live Action Interactive Role playing Explorers; therefore, the scenes shot at LAIRE were the setting for multiple battle scenes, as well as for the climax of the film.

LAIRE is a fictional LARP (an acronym for Live Action Role Playing) group, in which the players assume Middle Ages identities and act as specific characters for the duration of game play. The game is a scenario written by the moderator, or Game Master. Alternatively, the LARP may be based on individual decisions made by the participants.

LARP may have existed for at least a century, but it gained popularity during the ‘70s due to games such as "Dungeons & Dragons.” Many LARP games are medieval- or fantasy-themed, since many participants are Renaissance Faire or "Dungeons & Dragons” enthusiasts. These LARP games feature knights, castles, wizards, damsels, dragons and, of course, dungeons.

The days spent with LAIRE offered fertile ground for physical comedy among the cast: an unrealistic setting rife with over-the-top elements, such as bastardized Shakespearean-speak, lavish costumes and behind-the-scenes personal dramas among such denizens as King Argotron, Kuzzik and Davith of Glencracken. LAIRE is such a specific universe that it needed to be created with its own caste system, language, logic, rules and celebrity.

For Augie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse's character, this is the only place in which he doesn't feel like a weakling…and can carry a torch for the mythic princess Esplen. "Augie is a bit awkward in his own life, but when he goes to LAIRE events, he feels like he can really be himself. He belongs with these people; they get him,” says Mintz-Plasse. Lineweaver's biggest task was re-creating a LAIRE event at Disney Ranch outside Los Angeles in Santa Clarita. For key sequences, he had to imagine the theatricality and insanity of these events.

This world was a fun yet daunting task for costume designer Molly Maginnis, who had to dress not only the stars in LAIRE costumes but also the other actors and numerous extras who fought and filled up the event, as types ranging from Roman foot soldiers to Samurai warriors. Parent commends, "Molly and her team did a great job making the costumes look homemade. If you take a good look at Augie's breastplate, you will see that it is made out of crushed cans.”

Banks summarizes the experience of much of the cast: "It was amazing. I drove up to the set one day, and I saw all the background players. I really thought I had made a wrong turn into the Renaissance Faire. These guys are so committed. They have amazing costumes, jewels on their faces, tattoos, hats, crazy hair extensions. There was a woman with a giant butterfly on her face. You name it, and these guys have come up with it.”

When our heroes decide to help Augie fight the evildoers at LAIRE, they don homemade costumes that have little to do<

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