Sunday, September 09, 2012

Cupcake Wars Shoot for Lucasfilm

Back on February 24, 2012, I posted about a mystery shoot that I did for Lucasfilm. Well, seven months later I can finally reveal that this was for the show Cupcake Wars on Food Network, as the episode aired tonight.

The shoot took place on Stage 2 at Los Angeles Center Studios, in downtown LA.

This was a Star Wars-themed episode, as a tie-in to Celebration VI in Orlando. Ashley Eckstein, voice actress of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars, was the guest judge. The winning team's cupcakes were to be featured at a VIP party at CVI. Christopher Cerillo of the Southern California 501st Garrison joined R2 as Vader.

It was just the two Star Wars characters, and I helped Chris with his costume.

Shortly after I arrived, I headed onto the set with R2 for rehearsals. Of course, the crew wanted pictures with R2 as we made our way.

R2 and Vader helped open the show with host Justin Willman. After Justin's introduction, the characters relocated to the ingredients table, where two dolls were made up to be Sith and Jedi, complete with lightsabers.

The art department whipped up a couple of Star Wars set pieces to hold the cupcakes at the end of the show. They have so much to do every day that these were painted and drying outside shortly before they were needed on set. The TIE Fighter actually made the trip to Orlando for the CVI VIP party.

Speaking of the art department, remember those Jedi and Sith dolls above? The one on the left was made up to look like Chucky and had a knife it its left hand, while the one on the right had an Anarchy symbol, "Occupy" slogan and other adornments painted on its face. Artistic license.

Chris and I were on and off the set throughout the day. As most of the day is spent by the contestants actually making and baking cupcakes, there was a lot of down-time spent standing by. Like 5 hours between calls to the set. Often the crew would get pictures with us during this time, including the on-set medic, checking to see if Vader really is more machine than man.

One of the interactions with R2 involved him driving up to Justin and providing him with a (prop) cupcake. We used some butyl tape to affix the cupcake onto R2's top utility arm. When we went to shoot it, the tape stuck so tightly that Justin was unable to remove the cupcake, so we just did another take where R2 extends the arm out to offer the cupcake. Later it took me several twists of the cupcake to finally dislodge it.

During a break in shooting, Ashley and Justin got in quick pictures with R2.

Toward the end, the contestants had additional helpers to help bake up to 1000 cupcakes. The set was busy with seven cameras capturing all angles.

Those Star Wars set pieces were in place for their cupcake-holding duties as the winning team was about to be announced.

Justin announced the winning team, and they were told they were headed to Orlando and the CVI VIP party, where they would serve up their winning cupcakes. R2 and Vader joined in the celebration.

After we wrapped, we took just a few more pictures, including one with Gwen, who was our point of contact with the production company.

And finally, one with me, R2, Christopher as Vader, and the Cupcake Wars team.

It was a long but enjoyable day, and once again I very much appreciate the opportunity to have participated. I even got to take home some cupcakes! :-)

The full photoset is here. If any video materializes, I'll post a link.


Johnathan said...

That's so awesome Victor...just awesome.

Victor Franco said...

Thanks Johnathan! :-)

Gunbu said...

Very very cool Victor! I'll have to watch that episode.