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A Day On The Set of the Film ‘Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

We attended the set visit as a guest of Disney

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Photo courtesy of Disney

It has been a little over a year since I had the experience of a lifetime getting to spend the day on the set of the upcoming Disney film, “Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Together with a group of other writers, we got to stand inside Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena for the day watching the filmmakers do their magic of creating this heartwarming family film.

Personally, my day started out as a “very bad day.” My alarm went off late, my heel broke on my shoe when running out the door, and while sitting in traffic my car got smashed. Since we were under embargo (not allowed to tell anyone about the day until closer to the film release) we met at a parking garage in Pasadena. While we were all waiting for a bus to bring us to the bookstore, we saw another writer get into a car accident right in front of us. So far, my day was going along with the theme of the film, but quickly turned into a “very good day.”

Our visit on the set began with a filming of the bookstore scene inside Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena, which was not closed to the public during filming. There were filmmakers, actors and shoppers walking around the bookstore during the day. There were giant cameras located throughout the bookstore, and the producer and director watched the filming through a video monitor in a section of the bookstore.

Everything was buzzing in the bookstore until they would shout, “rolling,” and everyone went silent. We would take turns listening to the filming through headphones while watching on a screen.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Photo courtesy of Disney

Then I got the most surreal experience of my life, getting a few minutes in the room where they were filming a scene where Jennifer Garner was trying to get Dick Van Dyke to stop reading the book. Watching one of America’s most beloved actors, Dick Van Dyke, perform in the same room with me was a dream come true.

During the scene, Garner would jump up and down to get her breathing up to appear that she had just run into the bookstore, and they would film a take, and then another take, and another until they got the perfect shot. I was amazed at how many people come together to make every shot of the film perfect.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Photo courtesy of Disney

After watching the filming, we got an opportunity to talk with Jennifer Garner about the film. Garner wanted to be a children’s book librarian and a children’s book author as a kid and said, “I mean bringing a kid’s book to life to me there is nothing better, and to do it with Steve Carell.” There is so much of this film that parents will be able to relate too, and Garner felt the same way telling us, “this; this movie is my life, so I really do understand it. Um, I’ve never played something that felt more like my life than this film.”

The day ended with us interviewing the amazingly talented star of the film Ed Oxenbould who plays Alexander in the film. He shared with us how he could relate to the film in his personal life by telling us, “it’s kind of about a family that doesn’t really listen to him, and that’s kind of my family as well.” The actor had come from Australia to film in Los Angeles and had never read the book before filming, “I had actually seen parodies of it in a “MAD Magazine. That’s actually where I’d first heard of it, and now I’ve read it a couple of times,” said Oxenbould.

alexander

I had shared my experience with my children from back in October of 2013. When I recently took them to Burbank to see a screening of the film, their eyes lit up with delight when they saw the scene that I had talked to them so much about over the past year.

Getting to watch the film process first hand has made it a film that will always be close to my heart and have a special meaning.

Don’t have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and go see the film in theaters on October 10th.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Photo courtesy of Disney

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