Volume 91, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 28, 1998



Dr. Teeth tries his hand at Dr. Boom

By Carey Weinberg
Gazette Staff

Blues Brothers 2000 is coming to the theatres this month and Western students may feel a tinge of purple pride as a fellow student had his hand in creating the destruction.

Third-year dentistry student Victor Daveikis picked up an interesting job last summer. Daveikis builds models as a hobby, a hobby that turned into a fantastic money-maker for the aspiring tooth artist.

With a solid connection to Dan Aykroyd, Daveikis landed a job on the set of Blues Brothers 2000. What initially was a two-week gig for Victor, turned into a summer-long project.

For the film, Daveikis built a quarter-scale model of a boat that could fly. He impressed his bosses and was hired on for the rest of the shoot as well as a second movie, The Big Hit, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Mark Wahlberg (to be released this summer).

And what was this dentistry student's favourite aspect of the job? "The coolest part is blowing the stuff up," Daveikis says.

"Essentially, I was getting paid to play." His job description for the film entails "building models, blowing up cars and putting dummy bullet holes in objects. It all comes down to making things go boom," says Daveikis with a quirky grin.

The quarter-scale boats he built were shot over 100 feet out of air cannons and exploded on the ground. Another project he undertook was building a large-scale hot-wheels-style loop for a model car to fly through. What amazes Daveikis is the amount of money flying freely through the hands of movie industry production teams. The hot wheels set took a lot of money to build – and was scrapped after the one shot.

"Anybody working in the industry is making good cash. The union has it set up so that minimum wage for any job is $18 an hour," Daveikis says without complaint. The pay scale is truly something amazing. With all the stipulations unions have incorporated into contracts, Daveikis was paid sometimes as much as 23 hours pay for approximately 14 hours work.

From his experience in the film industry, Daveikis has been exposed to all of the things that occur off-camera and the hundreds of people working on the periphery.

"I can't look at a movie the same way again. When I see what's on screen, I can't help picturing what's going on just outside the shot."

From dentistry to demolition man, Daveikis is bound to make an impact, or fix an impact, whatever the case may be.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998