SURF CITY FITS THE FILM FESTIVAL BILL

LA Times

By Michael Miller

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Midway through the shoot of "The Toy Soldiers," Erik Peter Carlson set off on a quest for a location that would match the vision he'd crafted lovingly on his storyboard.

In layman's terms, that meant finding the right bathroom.

The director needed the right dimensions for an intense scene involving his teenage cast, and the facilities at the Moonlight Rollerway, a skating rink in Glendale where much of the action was filmed, didn't suit what he had in mind. So Carlson went scouting for the ideal lavatory, and when Briton Saxton, Huntington Beach's film and sports commissioner, pointed him to the city gym, he found his answer.

"Right when we walked in, it had a very similar layout to how I storyboarded it," Carlson said. "We walked in and needed a big, open space where the wall where the character would lean up against [would be] and basically the majority of the talking would be happening, and that wall had to be facing the entrance to the bathroom. And it had to be a distance thing, so there could be equipment in there. We had to do some dollies and a lot of other things, so it was a size matter."

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