Original image

15 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Lost

Original image

There are countless untold tales and hilarious mishaps from behind the scenes of LOST, which debuted in 2004—and lucky for us, some of the former cast, crew, and creative team were kind enough to share a few tidbits from their experiences working on the show with mental_floss. Enjoy!

1. According to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, there was a time during the filming of the show when it rained for 42 consecutive days on Oahu. “[The crew] had an incredibly hard time shooting because everything was so wet and the mud was thigh-deep," he says. "Producer Jean Higgins was scrambling to figure out how to put a shooting schedule together to get anything shot in that weather. They had a truckload full of wader boots that people had to put on to shoot in the mud, because you couldn’t go out there in regular gear.”

2. The day before filming at the under-construction Swan hatch for the Season 5 episode “Some Like it Hoth," the entire set was flooded due to heavy rain, in spite of drainage precautions they built into the location. “[There was] so much rain that the drainage area filled up and flooded back into the set," Production Designer Zack Grobler explains. "The construction and SFX crews rushed out and pumped water out, and they still managed to have the set ready for shooting the very next day.”

Zach Grobler

3. The Swan hatch drill and derrick featured in Season 5 of LOST were actually made of plastic, because everything had to collapse into the hole with Juliet in “The Incident, Part 2." "The production crew created the machinery using PVC pipes, plastic pumps, vacuum cleaner motors and various lightweight plastic pieces to make the parts resemble a drill," Grobler says. "The painters then did their magic to simulate real metal.” 

Zach Grobler

4. According to actor Eric Lange, who played DHARMA Initiative member Stuart Radzinsky, one of the jungles where they filmed LOST was located downhill from a pig farm. “After it rained, no one dared to touch the ground and sanitary wipes were passed around!” he says.

5. Grobler enlisted his wife Kristina and her sister—who both have degrees in physics—to help him create the equations on the chalkboard in the off-island Lamp Post station featured in the Season 5 episode “The Lie.” According to Grobler, the chalkboard “contains physics and mathematical formulae, which predict the position of the island by calculating magnetic anomalies around the globe—so that it may be predicted at which point the flight path of the plane might intersect with the position of the island. The calculations even take the Coriolis effect into account, which is caused by the earth’s rotation.” 

Zach Grobler

6. Were there more Dharma stations than what we saw on the show? Cuse says that “we definitely talked about other (Dharma) stations. We discussed a lot about the Dharma Institute’s relation to the Hanso Foundation, what the projects were, what their goals were. The metaphor for the show was always the iceberg; you have to construct the whole iceberg but only the top 20 percent is above the water line.”

7. Cuse, Damon Lindelof, and the writing staff contemplated many possible romantic pairings while creating the world of LOST—including Sawyer and Shannon for an on-island relationship!

8. When it comes to exactly which characters were in the LOST series finale church scene and why, Cuse admits that “there were a couple of people that we might have included in the church that just weren’t available when that scene was getting shot.” But he added that choosing and excluding certain characters for that scene was very strategic for the type of theorizing that fans lived for.

9. Everyone knows that they filmed two alternative deceased characters in Locke’s coffin—Sawyer and Desmond—for the Season 4 finale, “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3,” in order to throw off potential spoiler seekers. But Cuse and Lindelof forgot to let Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) know that they were merely fake-out scenes, and that their characters were NOT going to be killed off! Holloway called them to ask about it, and then they called Cusick immediately to reassure him. “I think for two minutes, when Josh was told that he had to get in a coffin and play dead—he thought he had been killed. We’d never be so callous as to kill a character without telling them ahead of time!” Cuse recalls with a laugh.

10. Daniel Roebuck, who played Dr. Arzt, says that while filming his infamous death scene in the Season 1 finale, “the dynamite in my hand had an actual charge. They needed to know where the explosion would emanate from, so the stick was wired up my arm and down my leg. It went off with a pop!”

11. In the Season 3 episode “Expose,” Roebuck had to work with a live centipede. “It took two entomologists to keep the centipede from ripping off my face," he says. "They had to restrain it between takes!” 

12. The cast and crew filmed the “Dr. Linus” Season 6 flash-sideways high school teacher’s lounge scene with Arzt, Ben, and Locke on Halloween. Roebuck remembers it fondly because the entire crew was dressed up for the occasion.

13. “Dr. Arzt and Hurley formed a friendship beyond that island,” Roebuck says. Of the many actors that Roebuck had the opportunity to work with over six seasons of LOST, he truly bonded with Jorge Garcia—primarily due to their shared love of the horror and monster genres. Garcia is the narrator of Roebuck’s Monstermaniacs Shockumentary on his “Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror” documentary DVD.

14. When Jack Shephard mentioned that he had taken flying lessons in the pilot episode, many fans remembered his comment and speculated that it was a hint about a possible future plot point (i.e., flying the Ajira plane off of the island). But Cuse says that it was a “non sequitur” that they wrote into the script simply because Matthew Fox had taken up flying on his own.

15. According to Sterling Beaumon, who played the young Benjamin Linus, while filming the Season 5 episode “He’s Our You,” Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia decided to surprise a family of four who had been standing on the edge of the road watching the action all day. “They were talking about how crazy it was that people stand there so long, and thought it would be fun to surprise the family by going out to see them," Beaumon says. "Of course they weren't supposed to because they were in their Dharma jumpsuits! The family first looked like they were in trouble, and then when Jorge and Matthew took pictures with them—they were so excited.”

Special thanks to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, Production Designer Zach Grobler and his wife Kristina, and actors Eric Lange, Daniel Roebuck, and Sterling Beaumon!

Original image
Fox Sports, YouTube
Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Original image
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

Original image
Lifetime Television
Check Out These 10 Fun Facts About Supermarket Sweep
Original image
Lifetime Television

Thanks to a recent deleted SNL scene in which host Melissa McCarthy lost her mind on a segment of Supermarket Sweep, we started reminiscing about the heart-pumping, family-friendly game show back in early 2016. Back in the day, you couldn’t watch the show—which debuted in 1965—without fantasizing about reenacting it at your local grocery store. On it, pairs of contestants would race through supermarket aisles, attempting to pack their carts full of the most valuable items, in between quiz-style segments. Revivals of the series stopped filming in 2003, but there's good news for fans who can't let the dream of appearing on the game show die: Deadline reports that it's about to make a television comeback. Relive the high of Supermarket Sweep with these fun facts about the game show.


In a special for Great Big Story, former host David Ruprecht confirmed, “All the meat was fake.” Former contestant Mike Futia reaffirmed the fact to The A.V. Club saying, “Everything that was meat, cheese—all that was fake because they’d get the meat juices on their sweaters. And that’s not telegenic, so they wanted to get rid of that.”


“We shot for about five months every year and they used the same food over and over again,” Ruprecht admitted to Great Big Story. “A lot of the food, having been thrown in and out of the carts for three, four months had gotten pretty beaten up.”


Given what Ruprecht said above, contestants were probably thankful that they didn’t get to keep the food. And according to Great Big Story, they didn’t get to keep their sweatshirts either. “They got $5000 but they didn’t get their sweatshirts,” said Ruprecht.


Pro tip: Heading for the beauty aisle instead of the meat freezer could very well have won you the game. “Those who [used this strategy] won,” Ruprecht told Great Big Story. “Instead of five hams and five turkeys that load up your cart, you ... get five hair colorings ... get five of all these expensive health and beauty products. With one cart, you could beat everybody.”


Supermarket Sweep was a TV show, after all, and vibrant personalities have always made for good television. “When we were going through the process, they put you in a room with a few other people and ask you sample questions,” former contestant Mike Futia recalled to The A.V. Club. “And you could sense it was because they wanted to see if you were slouching and things like that ... I felt pretty confident that we’d get the callback to have a taping.”


“It was a syndicated show,” Mike Futia explained to The A.V. Club, “so they taped all the episodes, and you didn’t even know if you were going to get the money if you won unless it aired, which could be six months later, because they then had to sell it.” On the bright side: Even if you didn’t collect, at least you could always say you played Supermarket Sweep.


Most of that time consisted of waiting around. “We literally got in a room when we got called back for the actual taping, and they said, ‘Be prepared to be here. It could be a 12- to 14-hour day because there are three pairs of people on each show,’” Futia explained to The A.V. Club. “That day, I want to say they were taping something like eight shows. So you had 48 people just in a room, and the first thing they tape is your introduction where you run down to the camera and everybody gets introduced to [host] David Ruprecht ... Then they call you back and you tape the first segment.”


Talk about dated fashion: “By winning, we didn’t get to keep the sweaters because we got paid,” Futia recalled to The A.V. Club. “But if you lost, your consolation prize was that you got to keep the sweater—but you didn’t get to keep the dickey.”


To prevent contestants from looking like chickens running around with their heads cut off, the show allowed them some time to strategize. “When you’re taping the show before the …  Supermarket Sweep round, you get about 10 minutes or so to walk around the supermarket so you can see the prices,” Futia told The A.V. Club. “Everything has a price on it, so ... you map out what you’re going to do. And it’s the weirdest things that were expensive, like hoses.”


“A little bit bigger than a bodega in the city” was how Futia described the supermarket set that was built for the 1990s revival of the series. “It’s very tiny. It looks huge, but it’s small. Even in the aisles, you had to be careful if you and your cameraman were running and another group was coming down that aisle. You had to make sure you were all the way to the side or there could have been an accident.”


More from mental floss studios