The Public Filming Experience

We recently began filming for Beach Physics. Commence operation “Film a beach physics video to test out filming equipment.” I had done this before. Producing an enthusiastic physics video is cake when you are a huge physics enthusiast. This time it was not so simple. Add another “actor” into the cake mix. Stir up the bowl. Add some educational goals and a beach. Sprinkle with audio equipment and humid, gusty wind that sneaks under your clothes. Throw in a shirtless volunteer, and chill for two hours at 65 degrees.

The shirtless volunteer? My roommate, Harris – the kind young man who agreed to “help” me with my videos. He did not know I’d be covering his entire torso (save a handprint) and most of his face with lipstick and lotion. In public. And I’d be filming it, in the name of science!


I had planned to dye his skin with grape juice, but in hindsight, his face would have been as sticky as a kindergarten floor. At least lipstick is meant to go on your face. As I began to slather Harris’s chin with lipstick, squeals of “Ohhh!” and disbelieving “No waaay!”s erupted from the hill behind us. I looked up to see five kids whose days we just made. I’m sure the following week, one of them lost a bet and was forced to be covered in lipstick.

People were unusually friendly to us. I guess when you have a camera in public, and you look like fried bacon, it breaks the awkward barrier between strangers. They are no longer afraid of you, they only have sympathy for you. Most exchanges with strangers ended in,

“Do you know that guy?”

“Nope, never seen him before.”

“Oh, he said ‘Hi,’ like he knew you”

“Yeah, weird.”

One passerby asked if this was a valentines day thing. I had forgotten it was valentines day. The same guy asked where he could sign up.

When we finished, we went to get some frozen yogurt. Apparently my artistry was so realistic that one of our friends suggested Harris not eat the yogurt, but promptly rub it all over his nasty sunburn. And we were right back to where we started with the syrupy facial.


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