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Rated PG-13 for frank language

Commentaries >> About filming :: Pre Production :: Meet OUR Lara

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Shooting Day 6 -- Star Date: Revenge of the Sith Better kick butt or I want my money back now. (Actual date, December 10th, 2004)

So how are ya true believers?! Still with us are you? Trust me, we are locked, stocked and ready to rock on this flick, and it is kicking much-o butt-o ! The good news about this day is we didn't have to wake up sooo terribly early. We were headed back to those caves where we worked with the pyrotechnics previously, this time we had to deal with the water aspect of it.

Director ready to kick butt So we get there, Val, Dave and myself gear up and make the difficult 3 miles or so trek, through the earth sculpted when God was cranky phase, to the location. It's chilly, and the lay of the land is like this.... Imagine a deep canyon, trench looking thing filled with boulders, rocks, trees, and a dry/wet river bed in various places and then envision a trail that disappears from one side of the canyon to the other, making you have to stop frequently and guesstimate where the heck you are?

Well, we get there after almost 2 hours of hiking. We rest up and head in. We then suit up thermal scuba shoes, that keep your feet from going ice cold, because we had to slosh through 40 degree water up to our knees at some points. Val couldn't though, she had to wear her Lara boots of course, so the poor thing was already cold, slugging through narrow, ice filled water caves. She was a trooper on this shoot.

The beautiful thing was it had been raining here for a few days in Southern California which meant that these caves now had even more water in them and the underwater ground water fall that cascaded from the ceiling, was really flowing.

Sloshing down a tunnel It was fantastic. I couldn't imagine a better feeling of total Tomb Raider than this. I was able to get some amazing shots and match the lighting quite well from a few months back.

Now came the difficult part.

There's this standing mine shaft, deep 100 feet straight down buried in the ground, and it's filled to the top with that ice cold water.

Why did I mention that? Well, Valerie was going to get into this, and pop out of it in the center, just like in the games when Lara pops out of certain water tunnels.

Lara warms feet on heater We were extremely cautious about this, we had a back up safety plan in case Val went into shock right there and couldn't do the scene. It was a scary feeling. She greased up her body with Vaseline to lock the heat in, and put on a pair of scuba boots to keep her feet as warm as possible. Dave was on hand with two towels and a portable propane heater. We all had instructions on what to do if, God forbid, things were to go wrong. We were dedicated to do this. We had come this far and this scene was going to be awesome. I call it the scene for the hard core nit picky fans. It's not everyday you push yourself to the physical limits just to get a scene that can be as faithful to Lara as you can get it to be.

Val got her underwater flashlight ready and slowly was lowered in. I was scared she wasn't going to make it because she started breathing way too fast and too hard. I asked if she was okay, she said fine, just getting use to it. She did it though. She toughed it out, even going back in for one more take after GETTING OUT !

It's a wrap It took over 40 minutes to get Val back to normal and quit from shaking with cold chills and back in dry clothes. But we did it and she's a trooper. She's the best ! Pushing herself into this Lara role.

As we drove back, I told Dave, that I know, no matter how many people love this movie when it's done, that there will always be people to bash it, or nit pick it, just for the sake of nit picking. Dave said, "You know what? After going through this for a year and seeing the dedication that everyone is putting into this, Fuck it, I don't care, if anyone says that, I won't care. I'm happy with it, I'll say go make your own."

He's right. As long as you are happy with the project you made, be it Tomb Raider or any thing else, who cares what the nay sayers think. Just listen to the people who think your movie kicks ass. Sure you'll always feel good about your movie, but why shouldn't you?

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