There were a couple scenes that didn’t make it in the final cut of Summer School. One was where Mark Harmon does a dance to James Brown’s “I Feel Good” in order to teach the class how to conjugate English verbs. It would probably make it in some list of triggering scenes now, but it was truly funny and inspired and Mark Harmon did a super cool jump over a teacher’s desk as a finale. If you look closely, in the scene where he talks aboot how to write a letter to get free stuff, you can see the lyrics on the chalkboard behind him. Another was a scene where, after the big party at Shoop’s house, he drives Chainsaw & Dave home and Chainsaw vomits on his dad.
There was at least one other deleted scene that is the subject of today’s has-been memories:The class of Ocean Front High (shot in the deep valley off of the coincidentally named Shoup St.) is at the beach because that’s what happens in Summer School. Anyhizzle: Anna Maria takes her top off and runs, joyfully and, more importantly, topplessly, into the ocean.
Overwhelmed with Anna Maria’s passion and plucky spirit, Chainsaw & Dave follow her into the ocean and do what any 16 year old boys would do to an insanely beautiful Italian foreign exchange student: They profess their love and then, Chainsaw & Dave aks Anna Maria to marry them. “Both of us! We love you!” She says “I love you too, but: No. We are too young.” It was a very sweet scene in the script and made lots of sense but, obviously, wasn’t necessary for inclusion in the final cut for whatever reasons….
In the original Summer School screenplay, Anna Maria was written as a hot, blonde Swedish exchange student. From what I recall, they either couldn’t find a hot, blonde Swede to play the part or they already had a hot blonde playing Pam House. You remember Kristi Swanson as Pam House, right? You don’t? That’s because Kristy (Buffy) Swanson, who was cast as surfer girl Pam, passed so she could do another summer comedy romp: Flowers in the Attic. This resulted in the casting of my former Fast Times Co-star, Courtney Thorne-Smith – another super duper hot blonde. So, the “Hot Swedish Babe” became a “Hot Italian Babe” named Anna Maria. Fabiana Udenio was both. Hot & Italian. Bonus: Fabiana was also super cool and funny and successfully dealt with the barrage of ad-libs, non-sequiturs and general weirdness that super genius Gary Riley and I threw at her on a daily basis.
Fun fact: When a screenplay states that nudity of any kind is going to happen, all sorts of very official crap goes on behind the scenes with agents, casting, attorneys and the person who will be unleashing the body part/s. When an actor walks in the room to audition, they are well aware that if they book the gig, they will be contractually obligated to do the nudity. Very detailed contracts spelling out the body parts to be revealed, how long said body parts, circumstances, surroundings and all sorts of good stuff are drawn up, in addition to one’s regular ridiculously long contract.
However… This was also the 80’s where some shithead directors would aggressively attempt to coerce girls into doing nudity after the fact. “Come on, honey… They’re not that big anyway and when you’re old and saggy, you’ll be happy you showed ‘em off! You think we cast you because of your audition? Hahaha…. We cast you for two reasons and everyone wants to see those two reasons, baby!” My girlfriend at the time had been berated by one such dickweed. (I called him and told him I was heading to the set to murder him. But that’s another story.)
I believe that at the time (maybe it’s still the case, but I doubt it – thanks to free smut) boobies would help a little and bush would help a lot to bring in more money from foreign sales. (Hello, Miserable Beach) Though Summer School sounded like the title of a b-movie tit-fest, it was a Paramount Production with A-list director Carl Reiner behind the camera and People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, Mark Harmon occupying the #1 space on the call sheet. I don’t think that breastages were going to make a huge difference in whatever deals they made. It’s always possible I’m deeply wrong.
Back to the matter at hand:
The first thing I noticed when I showed up to the location in Malibu the shoot day of the marriage proposal scene was that it was difficult to park because the parking lot was jammed with black BMW’s. A couple hours later, it all made sense, but it was as if there was a parking lot sale for black BMW’s going on in Malibu. When I got to the make-up trailer, the usual happy “comedy movie set” mood was like we were shooting Flowers in the Attic. Tense. Weird. Quiet.
Apparently, Fabiana was having second thoughts about releasing her Krakens and was causing what is lovingly referred to as “a scene.”
It was October (forgive me: ROCK-Tober) beautiful blue sky and cold as can be. The water was colder. Oy. After a bit, they were able to coax Fabiana out of her dressing room to come do a rehearsal with me, Gary, Carl Reiner and the D.P. Previously, it was made abundantly clear that this day was to be a “CLOSED SET” because of the “sensitive nature” of the shoot. Closed Set means no visitors. Minimal crew, etc.
I could see the parking lot from where we were rehearsing on the beach. It was up an incline, so one could stand up at the edge of the parking lot and look down a the ocean. It was, however, REALLY far away, but one could make out what was happening on the beach and in the water. As we walked to rehearsal I looked and saw that the edge of the parking lot was lined with at least twenty or so dudes in suits. Apparently, THIS was the day that EVERY MALE EXECUTIVE FROM PARAMOUNT just HAPPENED to say, “Gee… I think I’ll fire up the 325i and visit the Summer School set today. Golly, I wonder what scene they’re shooting… who knows, right? Allison honey, call Chin-Chin and get me a Chinese Chicken Salad for the road.”
Make no mistake: I do NOT blame Fabiana for freaking out a little bit. I was supposed to show my butt in another movie (it never got made… I’ll write aboot that soon…) and I was freaked about that. And it was just my stupid but. Same idea… run naked into some water. Big deal, right? It’s one thing to read it in a screenplay, it’s another thing to unleash. I’ve since done full frontal on stage. I HIGHLY recommend it. There’s nothing better than dangling your participles in front of a bunch of strangers.
The rehassle ended up being Carl Reiner delicately explaining to a terrified Fabiana that he was, in fact, CARL REINER and not a shithead hell bent on shoving the camera between her decidedly amazing aftermarket heavers for Cannon Films’ “BOOB SCHOOL.” And, instead, she simply needed to take her top off and run into the ocean to motivate two idiots who love horror films could propose to her. “The camera will be very far away.” Again, it truly seemed like he wanted to say “COME ON! I’M CARL REINER!” But, to his credit, he maintained his Reiner Calm(c) as he spoke with her.
They’d supplied me and Gary with wet suit bottoms but as a show of solidarity with Fabiana, we opted out of using them, which led to the very honest ad-lib “MY TESTICLES HAVE LEFT THE BUILDING AND MY PENIS IS NOW THE SIZE OF A PENCIL ERASER!” that did not, sadly, make it into the final cut with the rest of the scene.
Finally. Carl Reiner convinced Fabiana that he was, in fact, CARL REINER, and wasn’t out to make “PARA-MOUNDS PRODUCTION OF BEACH BABE BEAVER HEAVERS” but there was going to be a shot, from very far away, of her with her top Offaly she happily runs in to the ocean. They decided that once we were shooing closer in the ocean, she could electrical-tape her nipples. This is done because footage with black electrical tape over a ladies’ nipples is basically unusable.
TANGENT ALERT! Speaking of full frontal nudity on stage for a paying audience: I acted in a play called Love Tapes at Sacred Fools Theater here in L.A. It was directed by Jessie, the woman who would end up as my bride and mother to our astonishing son, Duncan. Love Tapes was written by Steven Banks & Penn Jillette. Bonus: It was really good. Awards were won. As I said, I did a full frontal scene. I happened upon a review written by an audience member who wrote “I saw Love Tapes with Dean Cameron who is naked. I can tell you that Dean Cameron has a small part in Love Tapes.” I don’t remember who this person is but I do know that he is an evil genius.
Where were we?
Right: This has been my experience filming other nude and semi-nude scenes. The first 30 minutes of shooting are all about covering the nudeness as soon as cut is called. It is a big deal – more for show than anything – the wardrobe people dramatically rush over to cover exposed bits with blankets like you do when someone has set themselves on fire. STOP. DROP. ROLL!!!
Then, a little time passes and it’s established that the crew are all adults here and we just want to finish the scene and go home. After about an hour, we might as well have been at a topless club. The only people who gave a Flying Frito about Fabiana’s Udenios were the twenty or so junior and senior Paramount Execs that came to see a real, live set of naked breastages from a quarter mile away.
It ended up being a fine day in a series of fine days on the set o’ Summer School. Everyone was awesome, present company excluded, but… I never got to see the scene. I remember it as being very touching (hey… stop that!) The Anna Maria character was so earnest and present. Fabiana was perfect. Surprised it never ended up on a DVD or, at the very least pirated on the YouTubes.
FUN FACT: In the ocean, I peed a LOT and never told anyone. I suppose that means I peed on Carl Reiner. Maybe THAT is the real point of this story.
I peed on Carl Reiner!