John Parker , who
plays Bunchy Collins in Home of the Giants
Letter from Bunchy
Author : Daniel
Chia with John Parker
courtesy of John Parker © 2005
Original article for the Home of the Giants Tribute Site . First published 23rd
: Mild Spoilers in Article
webmaster of the Home of the Giants Tribute Site , I get lots of email
about the film, but on the 20th of December 2005, I received one that intrigued
me tremendously . It read ....
breathed a sigh of relief this afternoon after seeing my name on the list of credited
actors in the film. For a while I was thinking I was "cut out" of the
When I did my filming back in September, of course I told EVERYONE, and there
was the usual hullaballoo connected with a movie being shot in our small (relatively
speaking) city of Greensboro, and the fact that I was "in" it.
answered the ad in the News and Record, I brought a book because I thought I would
wait in line, I mean this was to be in a movie, right? No crowd ... walked right
up, filled out a sheet of paper, and one of the casting staff said, "write
Bunchy on his sheet
". They were having difficulty casting a featured
extra part, and I had the right "look". They said call backs in a week--a
week went by and no call, I was bummed. Well, they called . I was "fitted"
for my costume (costume folks approved my own clothes) and took them and said
they would be in my "trailer". How psyched was I ? On the day of filming
, I show up, change, and go to "make up". In the trailer I meet Ken
Mitchell, who I would be doing my scenes with. What a fantastic guy. There is
no way I would have had the fun I had without his guidance.
we ride the van to the set and do our scenes. They said a stunt man would be driving
the van I did my scenes in, but the 1st A.D. said get in and drive, so I did.
film set is a fascinating place. At Wendy's on Battleground, there were the three
pricipal actors, Haley, Ryan and Ken. Me (featured extra man) and +/- 15 extras.
Total people on set: had to be 120. I mean there were people everywhere, doing
everything. There were two identical cars for Haley to drive, one with a full-blown
camera rig mounted on the hood one without. It was very cool.
might be asking, "how does a featured extra make it onto the credited cast
list"? Here's the best part---wait for it--I was "upgraded". I
would have done the whole thing for free (in fact, I checked the "will work
for no money" box on my sheet) but I got paid. It was (aside from my wedding
and the births of my two beautiful daughters) the best experience I have ever
if you read this here's my advice--if they have an open casting call in your town,
run, do not walk.
think this will be a really good movie, with or without me
I'm just glad
quick check with my official sources confirmed that there was indeed a character
called " Bunchy Collins " in Home of the Giants , and that he
was played by a first time actor by the name of John Parker . This was our first
encounter with an actor on the credited cast list , and we just had to
find out more. John was nice enough to send us a picture of himself , and provided
us with additional information about himself and about his role in the film .
am a Lead (like a supervisor) in a FedEx Kinko's Distribution Center here in Greensboro.
I was at lunch one day and someone handed me the newspaper with a casting call
story (The guy who handed me the paper has been been trying to break in to "the
business" for years and he and I had spoken about movies, TV and the like)
so he knew I would be interested. A couple of days later I went to the downtown
hotel where the call was, filled out the paperwork, and as I was handing it in
one of the casting staff, Daniel, says "write Bunchy on his sheet".
I inquired as to who or what a Bunchy was, and he said that it was a featured
extra part they were having difficulty casting. They said call backs would be
the next week. I left feeling...hopeful.
week went by and nothing. Then I got a call that I got the part, no try-out or
anything. I was psyched. A few days later I went for a costume fitting (Daniel
told me what kind of clothes to bring so the costume staff could pick what they
liked-I decided to bring the hat I wear in the movie because this guy would wear
a hat--the costume folks said yes--it's now my "lucky hat"). What happened
next was a good indicator that I was going to have fun. When I tried to take my
clothes, they said, "no, leave them, they'll be waiting in your trailer the
day of shooting". Needless to say I was pretty excited when I left the "fitting".
day comes. I get off work early, and drive to Wendy's. Park in the extras parking
lot, walk up to "base camp" and wait. While I'm waiting I glance over
and wouldn't you know, but there is Haley Joel Osment. Just hanging out. chatting
with folks. Someone gets around to asking me what I was doing there, I say, "I'm
Bunchy...". Things start going a little faster now. I was showed to my "trailer"
which was actually 1/6 th of a trailer, but was nicely appointed and freezing
cold, which on the 84 degree September afternoon was a welcome discovery. Oh yeah,
I had to wear "winter outfit". The movie is set in winter (basketball
season) in Indiana. All I could think is, "I'm going to blow this because
I'm going to be sweating bullets and the camera is going to see it and they are
going to kick me off the set....". On the 84 degree day I wore a t-shirt,
flannel shirt and a coat I have worn in below freezing temps (and stayed toasty
in) during my scenes. Lucky for me, my sweat glands cooperated.
was pretty nervous. We were walking around the set and someone introduced me to
the producers. Very cool. I really felt welcomed.
My scene was the first, so
we got to work rehearsing. Ken Mitchell (Keith) was so helpful. There is no way
I would have pulled off the day without his guidance. In one part I grab him,
spin him, and "jack him up" into the side of the van. After we practiced
it once Ken said, "you have to do it harder, it has to look real...".
Rusty, the director, gave me two lines--"action"-- and after I say them,
I don't hear cut so I started ad-libbing, and Ken ad-libs back. It was awesome.
I was really acting. It's all kind of a blur, but I think we did about 5-7 takes.
I'm curious what, if anything, Rusty will keep. I was "involved " in
two other scenes with Haley, Ryan (to whom I say "hey Matt, what's up...",
or something) and Ken. Mainly just me moving from point to point as they did their
thing. Then I sat around, alot. And then the 1st A.D., Tina, said "you're
wrapped..." . I wanted to say thanks to Rusty, but he was heavily involved
with Haley and Ryan. And I was back in a van back to base camp.
comes the fun part.(as if I hadn't had a total blast up to that point) I walk
back to my ""trailer" and no sooner than I shut the door but I
hear a knock, Tamra , a charming production asssistant, says, "you've been
upgraded, fill out these papers and come find me...". I wasn't really sure
what she was talking about, but I had a suspicion. Knowing a little about the
business I knew that if they hear your voice in a movie, you are no longer an
extra, and I was miked during my scenes at Wendy's. So I fill out the papers and
Tamra says, "that was the easiest $blank you've ever made, huh"? (decorum
prevents me from saying the amount) I about fell off my chair. I would have gladly
done it for free and they were going to pay me. What a fantastic experience it
was. I was invited to stay for "lunch"--7:30 in the evening and they
are eating lunch, they shoot late into the night so a movie "day" is
little different than ours. I said thanks but said if I hurried I could see my
daughters before bedtime. I should have stayed, I probably would have got to talk
with Haley and Ryan. I talked with Ken for a while, what a great guy!
would like to thank all of the people (I apologize, I can't remember everyone's
name) whom I came into contact with during my 6 hour movie experience. Without
exception, all the folks involved were genuinely friendly, and bent over backwards
to make it an enjoyable experience. In closing, I would like to offer a word of
advice, if there is ever a casting call in your town, run, do not walk to the
call....and check the box "will work for no money", because(wink)...you
John! It sounds like you had a great time on the set of Home of the Giants
, and we really enjoyed sharing it with you ! We hope that all your scenes
make it into the final cut of the film , and we will be cheering for you when
we finally get to see you on the big screen !