View Full Version : "Saved By The Belding" - Short film, featuring Dennis Haskins

06-01-2010, 03:12 PM


Hey guys. Been a long time reader here on DVX but haven't posted much. Thought I'd drop in and let you guys know about a project I'm getting ready to do. This is more or less just n announcement about a short film to come, but I thought you guys would enjoy the story on how it all came together. Here is a quick run down...

Tomorrow, me and my crew of friends leave for LA (from Texas) to shoot a short film we wrote called "Saved By The Belding", starring two old cast members from "Saved By The Bell". As you may have guessed, it's Mr. Belding, and his brother Rod Belding! We are not industry people by any means, this is our first real project outside of our home town, and first time working with professional SAG actors. We are extremely excited/anxious.

This all came about from a short film we shot called "Lost Heroes: Rod Belding." It was a comedic/dramatic mockumentary about a group of people who are obsessed with the character Rod Belding (Mr. Belding's long haired brother from the show) and his disappearance. After putting it on Youtube, we Googled the actor of Rod's name (Ed Blatchford) and found his email address. Sent him a link to it, hoping for nothing more than a "Cool, good work" but he wrote back saying he loved it and that we should do a sequel where the guys go on a mission to find Rod. Almost a year later, we are flying out tomorrow to shoot it! We'll be there until Sunday. Here is our first film. We shot it in two nights, with no script, just a general idea in mind. The story really came together in the editing room. Shot on a Canon HV30, and sound captured with a Rode Videomic.


The sequel, "Saved By The Belding" primarily focuses on the guys journey to California and finding Rod Belding (actor Ed Blatchford), but it will have a special appearance by Dennis Haskins as well. Both of the actors from the show will be playing themselves. Being shot mockumentary style, it takes place in a real world scenario where Dennis and Ed are just actors, but the delusional fans have a hard time understanding this.

We've spent the last month having rehearsals, fine tuning the script, dealing with SAG contracts, securing hotels, meals, shot lists, etc. As I said, we are very anxious to do something on this level. It's cool to think that something we did for fun on an HV30 led to a project like this. Wish us luck, as we are very anxious! We'll post set pics and updates along the way. Expect the film to be done in July. Thanks for reading!


06-01-2010, 03:15 PM
In the mean time, here are a few set pics from a scene we shot a few weeks ago. We wrote the script so that we could shoot some of it here in Texas. That way we can get the LA stuff done fast. This is from the opening scene, a group therapy session with the four guys that are obsessed with Rod Belding.







06-03-2010, 11:13 AM
We are in CA. Had breakfast this morning with Ed (Rod Belding), and are now going over the script for shooting his scenes tomorrow. Were about to watch the old Saved By the Bell episode with him.

Things are going good! We drove past the premiere of "Splice" last night. Outside we saw Mark Paul Gosselaar of all people, Robert Downey Jr, Adrian Brody, and Joel Silver.

Tomorrow night we meet Dennis Haskins to shoot his scene. Really been an amazing weekend so far. More to come!


06-09-2010, 03:42 PM
DVX readers, just got back from the big shoot in LA! Below are the set reports, and a few pics from our website:

Well here we are, exactly a week later from when our flight left. The trip is over and the footage is home, safe and sound. I intended to document the trip as it went, but it all went by so fast that I didn’t have a chance. Any extra time was spent sleeping and recharging for the next day. So anyways, I’ll try to remember as much as I can, using pictures to help jog my memory. It's a bit lengthy, but below is the full set report write up. Enjoy!

In short, it was probably the most fun project we’ve ever done. The whole trip in general was just a total blast. I honestly wasn’t expecting to have as much fun as we did. There was definitely a high level of stress on Matt and I, but in the end it was well worth it and everything came together just as planned, if not better.

Matt, Thomas, and I arrived Wednesday night at LAX. Thomas got off the plane and said “California”, ala John McClane in Die Hard. Our good friend Ted Smith met up with us and drove us around LA, specifically the Hollywood area, making notes of where we would film. While driving down Hollywood Blvd, we saw a movie premier in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre. It turned out to be the premier for “Splice.” We saw someone with his back turned to us getting photographed. We looked closer, as he was obviously someone important. Thomas was the first to notice (he swears it was by the hair) that is was MARK PAUL GOSSELAAR! (Zack Morris). What are the odds? We also saw Robert Downey Jr., Adrian Brody, and Joel Silver. That night, we went to Ed Blatchford’s (Rod Belding) house. His family greeted us with Pizza and Cokes. His wife and kids were awesome, and were really excited about us filming. While they were helping us carry our gear inside, Ed’s daughter’s boyfriend asked Thomas, “So… is this like weird for you guys? Coming and staying at Rod Belding’s house?” Thomas appropriately answered, “You have no idea.”

The next morning, Ed took us to eat breakfast and told us about working with Michael Mann on “Last of the Mohicans.” We spent most of the day going over the script, working out logistics, and blocking out the scene actions. Thursday night we met the rest of the crew at the airport (David, Drew, Cody, Josh, Brandon, David Lackey, and of course our awesome support section, Daniele and Kim). Checked into our hotels, then met up to eat at The Pink Taco. (Sidenote, David, Drew, Cody, Brandon, and David L were the real champs of the trip. They didn’t have a hotel so they slept on our friend Chad Behren’s floor, who lives out in LA. Drew had to use a wet towel for a blanket the first night.)

Friday morning, Thomas and I picked everyone up bright and early in our rental mini van. We were on the road to Ed’s by 6:30 or 7, and at his house by 8 or 8:30 I think. We sent a few of the guys to get donuts. They came back with 4 dozen glazed donuts. We had 3 dozen left over. Better safe than sorry though, we take our donuts very seriously. Matt started running through the first scene with all of the actors while Lackey, Brandon, Josh and I assembled equipment. Once we started rolling (around 11 AM), things started moving very quickly. The guys had great chemistry with Ed, which gave me great confidence in the whole trip.

After we knocked almost all of the house scenes with Ed, we had a little bit of time before Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding) arrived, so we went to Newport Beach and got a few shots of the guys sitting in the sand. Headed to the restaurant after that to begin shooting Dennis’ scene. Then we got a phone call…

Dennis was in traffic. Really bad traffic. I believe his words were “I’m still peddling, but it’s not looking good.” That called for instant freaking out, and the aforementioned stress. I gave Matt a thumbs down and he told the crew. Ed called me a few minutes later and told me Dennis had called him. I was expecting the worse, but to my surprise, he told me that he and Dennis had just rehearsed the scene over the phone and that it felt great. I asked “So wait… he’s still coming?” Ed responded “Of course he’s coming! Get ready.” So we continued setting up lights and practicing lines. Soon after, we got word that Dennis was 5 minutes away. He pulled up and said “Hey guys. Let’s eat!” I was nowhere near hungry, but Ed grabbed us a table and we all sat down to break the ice before filming. Ed and Dennis caught up while we all talked about the scene. I barely ate at all. I was just ready to get filming. Matt and I snuck away a few times to make sure everything was still good in the parking lot where we were set up. Finally, after months and months of talking about this very moment, we started rolling.

Dennis and Ed nailed it. Completely knocked it out of the park. Without giving away too much about their scene, I’ll just say it felt like we were watching the actual Belding brothers in action. Very surreal. A small crowd of about 20 accumulated to watch. They all had a blast watching Dennis and Ed act, and getting to meet them. They cheered after every take. We moved on and shot a scene with Dennis and the four main characters (David, Cody, Drew, and Thomas). The guys did a great job. David provided a couple of good outtakes as well… he couldn’t keep from smiling at watching Dennis in action. And I can’t say I blame him, it was a lot of fun to watch. We finished all of his stuff in about 2 hours, grabbed a few cast/crew photos, and then he was back on the road. It was a real pleasure to meet and work with him.

We grabbed about 3 hours of sleep, then met up with Ted again the next morning. Daniele and Kim got to come with us too that day. We all grabbed some coffee and then headed to the Santa Monica pier to shoot more footage of the 4 guys. From there we went to Sunset Strip, Hollywood Blvd, and a few other landmarks. After that, we met up with Brandon Brooks (actor, “Malibu CA”), and shot a scene with him, which was hilarious. Then, we headed south to the OC (had to say it) and met with Ed. Filmed one more scene at his house, then headed back up to the restaurant for final pick ups. We had a bright light in the parking lot which was apparently shining right into someone’s house. And she let us know. She came walking out of her house, barefoot, with a full glass of wine in her hand, telling us to shut it off because she had an early morning… apparently one that involved getting drunk to prepare for. As it turned out, she had a chili fest to go to. And I thought we left the rednecks behind when we came to California. Anyways, this was our last night of the trip and we were all growing a bit delirious from lack of sleep. We finally pushed through and wrapped on Ed’s scenes. We said goodbye and then finished up the last shot of the four guys. Driving home was interesting. I passed out in the back scene of the van. Matt was driving and David was navigating. We had one of those GPS’s that updates you on every exit, saying “Continue to stay left.” David, growing tired of her voice, decided to turn off the speaker and just watch the screen and tell Matt when to exit… about 30 minutes later, David woke up and goes “Dude, what time is it?!” All the while Matt was chilling, waiting for David to tell him where to exit. We ended up being about an hour late getting back home and to sleep. No worries though David, it sounded like a good idea. I woke up to Metallica’s “Unforgiven” playing loud on the radio and asked where we were. David responded “Shut up Scott, go back to sleep.” Looking back it was really funny.

The next morning, we all met up, had coffee, and headed to the airport. Grabbed some footage in there and then, finally, said “That’s a wrap.” Ironically we all went to Chili’s and got some chicken tortilla wraps immediately after.

The actors, crew, footage, and whole experience in general turned out better than we ever hoped for. Myself, Matt, and all of Save The Empire are completely indebted to everyone that helped us out along the way. Special thanks to Ed and Dennis for their time and willingness to make this thing great. Another special thanks to David Lackey and Ted Smith; two guys who we haven’t worked with before, but jumped right in and totally came through in areas where we would have been lost otherwise. Lastly, and obviously, huge thanks to the cast, crew, and support, who paid their own ways on the trip, and helped us make this silly idea a reality. Now, we edit. We’re thinking we will have it done in about 3 weeks. Time to see what happens!

Save The Empire Productions

Ed Blatchford......Himself
David Hamilton......Trevor Crick
Thomas Parker......Christopher Pepper
Drew Bernard......Oliver Pip
Cody Canafax......Eric Cranston
Zac Best......Dr. Charles Abner


Dennis Haskins......Himself

Scott Hamilton......Co-Director/Cinematography
Matt Hamilton......Co-Director/Cinematography
Josh Whittiker......Boom Operator
Brandon Seay......Boom Operator
David Lackey......Lighting
Ted Smith......Script Supervision







09-20-2010, 08:51 PM
Hey guys,

Just to give an update on "Saved By The Belding", we've taken more time than expected with post production but it has been worth it. The first cut is done and we're now perfecting a few things, as well as thinking about a release date.

But in the mean time, we will be releasing the trailer on Youtube this Friday. Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding) and Ed Blatchford (Rod Belding) have both seen it and are very excited. If there are any "Saved By The Bell" fans on here, I think you guys will really dig it. Check back Friday!



PS - Here is our first film, the one that spawned the sequel:

09-24-2010, 09:46 AM


09-26-2010, 03:27 PM
Here is the Youtube embedded trailer.


09-29-2010, 03:56 PM
There is a feature for the new trailer on Sportsillustrated.com today. Great publicity! About midway down that page.



Hawk Teflon
09-30-2010, 04:07 PM
Just saw the trailer on the front page of The Daily What!


12-07-2010, 07:54 AM
Thanks, Hawk!

This weekend we had a local premiere for the finished film, and it will be online this Friday, on Dailymotion.com. We had a great turn out Saturday and the film seemed to get a great response. It's nice having a comedy shown in a theatre, as opposed to action or drama. You don't really have to sit uncomfortably wondering if people like it. If people laugh, THEY LIKE IT! Here are a few pictures from this weekend.

A painting Matt's (co-director) fiance's dad did of Rod.





The after party!

This Friday...

Thanks for checking this out, can't wait to see what you guys think Friday!

12-13-2010, 09:06 PM
Just watched the final product. Man, you guys did a WONDERFUL job. The humor is dry and witty. Also, you can tell that Ed and Dennis are enjoying themselves (there is a real chemistry between them actually). I know a lot of people my age (26) who grew up with SBTB who would love this.

Big thumbs up.

12-14-2010, 10:04 AM
Hey thanks man! Yeah, Ed and Dennis really had a good time, and I agree. I was pretty blown away by their chemistry. For anyone else that would like to check it out, here is the link. It runs about 22 minutes long. Almost 18,000 views already!


12-16-2010, 01:12 PM
Hey thanks man! Yeah, Ed and Dennis really had a good time, and I agree. I was pretty blown away by their chemistry. For anyone else that would like to check it out, here is the link. It runs about 22 minutes long. Almost 18,000 views already!


Awesome job - super funny - SBTB is such great material because within a certain age range people know every episode of SBTB like the back of their hand - I'm 30 and it feels like I just saw that original episode with Rod Belding yesterday - what a great idea and execution - really really great work.

01-08-2011, 02:05 PM
Thanks! Really glad you enjoyed it. I love to hear reactions from "Saved by the Bell" fans, as I'm obviously a big one myself. The film got featured this week on Sportsillustrated.com and The Daily What! Here are the links, close to 30,000 hits so far.


The Daily What

01-08-2011, 06:48 PM
It's cool it has an own "style"....

But the zoom in out in out in out in out in out are a little to much for me...

01-09-2011, 10:03 AM
Thanks for checking it out. I personally like the zooming in and out style, but I can agree that we may have overdone it in a certain areas. Thanks for checking it out though, glad you liked it!