by: Johnathan Rosas
A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of visiting one of the sets of the upcoming sci-fi comedy Rock Jocks in Downtown Los Angeles. I would like to thank the cast, crew and production team for their hospitality. A special shout out goes to actor Doug Jones who was kind enough to extend the initial invitation to us via Twitter. Unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph anything from the set (understandably), but I can tell you a little bit about what I saw. I was taken through the command room where the Rock Jocks work and see the technology that they use everyday to keep the planet safe from these cataclysmic asteroids. The tech was interesting as it all had a retro feel to it. To give you some kind of idea, the tech used by the Rock Jocks hasn’t upgraded since the project began in the 1960′s. Part of the reason for the lack of tech upgrades has been the continuous cutbacks to this government program over the years. I was also showed the breakroom where the Rock Jocks spend their time when they’re not saving the planet. Even this seemed to be trapped in the mid 60′s. I got to see the office of the government agent who oversees the crew as well as the room where the alien in the movie (named Smoking Jesus) lives. I don’t want to spoil too much else about the movie. For more details check out part 1 of my set visit interviews with writer/ director Paul Seetachitt.
TheRealmCast: Thank you first off all for letting us be here on your set and letting us interview you.
Paul Seetachitt: No Problem.
TRC: What is the premise behind Rock jocks?
PS: The premise is basically imagine everyday that the world is being bombarded by earth killing asteroids. Any one of these asteroids would destroy the earth and make life extinct. The only thing preventing this from happening is a government branch which is in charge of shooting down these periods with these satellites. Now imagine the people who pilot the satellites are the people from Clerks.
TRC: Ok <laughter)
PS: So that;s the premise, imagine having someone having a 9am-5pm job, or in this case a 7am-7pm job and they don’t really wanna be there.
TRC: Sounds like an interesting job though <laughter>.
PS: This is what the movie explores.
TRC: What inspired you to write this movie?
PS: Well I use to be an aerospace engineer and when I was doing that a friend of mine made a graph and the graph had on it morale vs. productivity. He noticed that when I was around productivity went down and morale went up. I thought about that and said to myself, you know this is what people do at work all the time. People don’t really spend their time working for an hour. What they really do is spend ten minutes working maybe and 40 minutes of kind of pretending to work and the last ten minutes just flat out not working. This is for any job- doctors, firemen. After they go fight a fire they just hang out and clean the engine and workout. Is there any job in the world that isn’t like that? So I said to myself, well imagine if the world’s safety depended on this job. Would they be any different? And the answer is not really.
So that’s how I came about it. What is the most sever type of situation where I could put this type of lackadacious work ethic. Well it’s not lackadacious, I really think it’s just normal. But maybe I just hang around a bunch of lazy people.
TRC: <laughter> That’s awesome. How did you feel when you were able to get all these people to come work on your masterpiece?
PS: I was shocked you know. I was just expecting like “Oh well here’s a friend I have here that can be in your movie”. It was stunning you know. What it ultimately comes down to is- wow, people like this? Cause like I write it and at the time I think it’s great, but after you go through the process of reading and re-writing it you start to hate it and have like no perspective. It was great to see that people were like, “Oh I’ll be in your low budget movie. I’ll forsake my rate just to be a part of this. It seems like fun.” So it’s really humbling and really exciting.
TRC: That’s great. Did you use to daydream when you were at work in the aerospace industry?
PS: How should I say this, I spent a lot of time doing what these people do which is sit around and b.s. and talk. You know cause you never wanna really be there. Sure you wanna do the job, but what you really wanna do is hang out. That’s what I think people wanna do, so this is that aspect.
TRC: That’s great. What is it you like working with people like Doug Jones (Hellboy), Jason Mewes (Clerks), Felicia Day (The Guild/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager/ Stargate: Atlantis)?
PS: I have to say that everyone is just so professional. They always come to the set on time and they always have something more to offer that is greater than my vision. It’s so much easier to work with people who really have a perspective and really just add value to your project. That’s the thing I really noticed. Everyone comes in and they have this “Oh I think my character would be this way” and it just makes the project so much better. I’ve seen Bob since the Wonder Years when he was the coach and just having the opportunity to work with him is amazing. Jason is Clerks, one of the seminal movies of my youth. You know, it’s great.
TRC: It must be great having cast Jason Mewes in this project considering you were going for Clerks in space.
PS: That’s kind of funny cause we were talking about casting and one of my producers said how about Jason Mewes. I asked, do we know him? Can we get him? He said Well I have someone who knows him, and I was like ok!