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On the set of SOF with Winter....
Montreal 1998

The fan's interview with Tim Abell / Benny Ray Riddle... 1998
























 On the Set of Special Ops Force
in Montreal
with Winter

Montreal........Day 4
August 20, 1998

6:00 am - Took a taxi over to the base camp. We were so early that the trailers weren't set up yet, just Melinda's. It was cold so Molly and I went in to keep warm. These trailers are really nice and big! Finally the other trailers are set up and we move over to Molly's office. Melinda is the first to show up along with the second team. These are people who are used for stand ins when they adjust the lights. The one for Melinda is named Nadia and she was surprised when I told her why I was up there watching. Everyone thought I was either Tim's wife or his sister. Molly comes over and tells the stand ins that they will be short one person. She looks at me and says, "Do you want to stand in for David Selby?" I said, "Sure what do I have to do?" "Just watch these guys."

So I head over to the set around 7am with the other stand ins. The set today is an old abandoned loft. It's a good thing I was staying with Molly because I never would have found this place. It's in an industrial area of Montreal. I hang around taking pictures when they all come in. They say hi to me then go over to the director. David Selby is there also. They get set to do a scene where they have to come out of a freight elevator. It takes them a little while to get the lighting and everything set up but finally they shot the scene.

Melinda Clarke In between takes I catch Tim and Melinda doing a few steps of a tango. He definitely knows what he's doing. After they are done Tim comes over to where I'm sitting and we watch as David runs around the loft playing soccer with whatever he can find on the floor. One of the crew grabs a rope and mock ties David to a pole and he hams it up.Someone comes over to us and says "Looks like David had his Wheaties today."
David Selby is sitting nearby and I snap some pictures. He gives me an odd look, and then the director calls them back over. They shoot another scene when the team meets Trout at the loft. I sit out of the way and watch. After that scene they take a little break as they check the lighting. Tim comes over and asks if I had met David Selby. I say no and he takes me over. David Selby is very glad to meet me and he smiles and shakes my hand and welcomes me to the set. The rest of the morning is spent with the cast shooting in the loft.

David Selby

12:30 pm- We break for lunch and I sit with Tim, Melinda and David E. Shaun Toub, who is playing a character called Hamzah, comes over and sits with us. He starts talking with Melinda and I find out that she had been on Seinfeld and Nash Bridges. Tim is very quiet not interrupting just listening. After a while he gets up and leaves.

I finish my lunch and head over to Molly's office. We are no where near any tourist stuff so I have to hang out around the trailers. Molly comes over and asks if I have to leave tomorrow. I said no not really, why. She was going to put me in the episode as background on Friday. I told her hell yeah I'm staying! I get on the phone and change my train ticket for Saturday.

2:00 pm - Everyone's back from lunch and we're back in the loft. Now they are shooting a completely different scene. I can't wait to see this episode put together in order because nothing I saw taped was in order of the script. They don't need Tim for this next scene and he comes over to sit with me. We talk for awhile and I find out that he went into the Army when he was 17 and stayed for 5 yr. I finally found out when he went to the University of Maryland, he went there from 1981-85. So I was at the school with him for only one year, bummer! Not that we ever would have met because the UofM is HUGE!

It's starting to get dark and the crew has to set lights up outside to shine in to make it look like day. Brad, Melinda and Shaun are filming a scene where Shaun is cooking them breakfast. In between takes Brad is throwing toast out the window at the guy on the light crane. Tim just shakes his head and smiles. Tim starts to fall asleep in the chair and decides its time for coffee. He gets up and asks if I would like anything and I said nope. Finally they are done with that scene and they all go off to change outfits.

I hang out in the loft and watch the crew set up for the next scene. Finally Tim comes back and all I can do is stare .The wardrobe people have REALLY good taste in clothes. He is wearing black jeans and a black, tight, short sleeve shirt. He sees me staring and just smiles this big old smile. What else can I do but smile back.

The next scene is David E., Melinda, Brad and Tim. They have just found out they have been double-crossed. Brad keeps getting stuck on the name Hamzah. He just can't do it and laughs. So they try again. Brad walks into the scene and looks at Melinda and they can't do it. David E. is smiling and teasing. Tim is all business but he has this little smile on his face. It takes them about 5 tries to get this right, finally it's done. One more scene and they're done. They just have to leave going down the elevator.

7:45 pm - They are getting ready to do the infamous "Van" scene. This was a scene that was to have been shot 2 days ago but they never got to it. Tim isn't in this scene so I go back to the trailers with him. He goes and gets changed then comes over to Molly's office. He had to ask her something but she had gone off to do something, so he waits. I tell him I had a great time and that I guess I wouldn't see him tomorrow because he wasn't working. He says "Yes I am." And I say "Oh darn I want to give you a hug good bye. Oh what the heck I'll give you one anyway" So I do. He laughs and hugs me back and gives me a kiss on the cheek and says "I'll se ya tomorrow I don't come in until late" I said "That's OK, Molly's putting me in as background in the deli scene." "That's great," he says and leaves.

Around 8:15 pm he comes back and he comes over and hands me a picture. "I hope you like it, these are the publicity photos for this year." Do I like it? Dumb question. They decided to go sexy this year instead of showing them all decked out in combat fatigues. I read what he signed and I smile and tell him I LOVE it. He signed it "To Laura, Our favorite Park Ranger. Thanks for watching our six! Outstanding!" He says, "I'm glad I'll see ya tomorrow" and this time he does leave.

They finish shooting around 8:30 and Molly is done around 9pm and then Bruno drives us to her apartment. I hang out and watch TV and Molly goes to the gym. These guys are starting to give me a complex, they're always at the gym!

Tim Abell

Tim Abell... autographed picture for Laura

 And so ends day 4.

 Day 1  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4  Day 5

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