How to Spit Fried Worms

07-25-05_1845.jpgLast night’s Zilker Watermelon Social was a media frenzy, with cameras, lights, and throngs of people milling about Zilker Elementary. This probably had more to do with the filming of the Fried Worms flick on the school grounds than the annual neighborhood get-together, but hey, a crowd’s a crowd.

This film recently began shooting around Austin, with Monday’s scenes forming the first full day of production, according to a set hand. Unlike the last Zilker area shoot for the sparsely-cast Wendell Baker Story, the Fried Worms set was packed with kids being herded … erm, directed … from scene-to-scene. The constant traffic between the changing room and the set certainly kept things interesting throughout the watermelon seed spitting contest, although only one or two errant shots inadvertantly found a thespian target.

It was fun to watch all the kids playing on the set, with little discernable difference between the “work” and horsing around in between takes. With no prima donnas, tortured artists, or arrogant Scientologists hogging the limelight, it almost seemed like the making of entertainment might just be entertaining. To the casual observer, the filming and watermelon social could have been scheduled as part of one big family fun fest.

According to the Bible, “Fried Worms” is being directed by a guy who got his start writing an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. If it was the one where Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus take part in an on-air drunk driving experiment, then I have high hopes for this flick.

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