Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmasss

I'm posting this video until Youtube makes me take it down.

Casey Tatum, u so fine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today was a lot of "hurry up and wait", if I may quote, well, at least a dozen people today. Guys, making a movie is hard. Me, I was just standing around while stuff happened around me, so I was perfectly fine waiting. My job wasn't the hard one.

I was an extra in SUPER, primarily because I had a full free day and because, really, I like observing. I was torn between film and 2D animation when I entered college, then debated a double major, then opted for the cheaper, quicker option, which was a single course of study. I did make some delightfully vapid student films in the film classes I did take.

I also know how much I enjoyed being an extra in 'A Time to Kill' when I was a teenager (and entirely violating child labor laws because no one checked my ID when i showed up for 2 weeks of work). I liked the fact that I was doing my French homework and Oliver Platt chatted with me about it, and I liked watching Kevin Spacey put on reindeer antlers and dance and sing because it was nearly Christmas. I really liked the fact that even though I was sheared off the left side of the screen in the television-formatted pan & scan, when my part of the movie comes up, you can still hear me go "NO".

fast forward to 2:00

Eh. It was fun. It's the little things.

Never mind the fact that 'A Time to Kill', upon its release, painted everyone in not just my hometown but entire home state of Mississippi as either a racist or a hick. And none of us owned air conditioners. They kept spraying our faces with baby oil to make us glisten. "But the Madison County courthouse HAS air conditioning," we'd say, half joking, half wishing they'd stop spraying us with baby oil. The funny thing is, as cringe-worthy as it all is-- Kevin Spacey's horrible accent especially-- everyone was so proud of that movie. People saw that movie as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, things that in most cases, never really came. One kid was even profiled on CBS' 48 Hours; they came and did a feature on how the town of Canton came alive with a flurry of activity surrounding the film. I had a piece of paper "autographed" by all of the guys who played baliffs; they were all planning on getting agents. Canton was, the film commission hoped, going to be Hollywood South.

Of course, it wasn't, and for the time being, I'm again in Hollywood South. Which is, in a way, ironic, because I swore to myself two things:
I would never move to Hollywood
I would never move back South

One or two people today were grumbling, because it was cold, or because they'd been standing or any number of things. They'll forget that when the movie is released, and 15 years from now, they can point out where they're either visible or oh hey, there's their shoulder! or just the general area of the screen where they think they should be.

The morning of that scene above in the youtube clip, I woke up late for the 5am call-time and we sat in holding for 5 hours. I had a sinus infection, and maneuvering behind some scaffolding to avoid the crowd of extras, I physically ran into Kevin Spacey and may or may not have accidentally stabbed him with the pencil I had been doing my French homework with. I got on camera because I'd become friends with the second second assistant director. It was a pretty good day.

I hadn't set foot on a movie set since then aside from walking past sets in New York but this was a pleasant experience and it made me wonder if I shouldn't have pursued a double major after all. The thing is, I enjoyed myself today, because I was watching the people actually making the movie. So I didn't mind hurrying up and waiting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How are you doing?

I'm doing (art for a movie called) SUPER.


It's like this: the fairly badass James Gunn wrote this fairly badass script, a hilariously dark take on a man who attempts to reinvent himself as a superhero. It's starring equally badass actors Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, and other household favorites.

Rainn Wilson's character, Frank, is... well, I don't want to say sadsack, but he hasn't got a whole laundry list of things going for him. What he does do, is he likes to draw, and tape those drawings up to his wall.

That, ladies and gents, is where I step in.

"But Danielle!" you cry. "You can draw real good."

"I know," I say. "I do draw real good."

Thing is, Frank doesn't. A local studio in town is working on some vfx for the film and due to my close, personal ties with "someone" working there, when their initial passes didn't cut the mustard (ie, they were too good), I decided to give it a go. I basically drew as I did when I was 8. Which was really quite fine for an 8 year old, but pretty bad for a 30 year old professional artist.

James Gunn liked them.

I lost count of how many drawings I did that weekend-- I was told on Friday I was working on the project, and on Tuesday we had to deliver something like... I don't know, 100 drawings? James gave us a list of about 50 things to draw, and the rest we just started brainstorming. They became rather ridiculous. All the while, they all had to look like how I'd been drawing. With 3 different people that can be difficult so I'd end up redrawing some things. We put in one 14 hour workday, and at the very end, we were emailing drawings of one shot to James, and he was writing back saying, "They're too good, make it simpler..." I was so exhausted, I had lost the ability to be truly awful.

Wednesday morning of that week was the first day of shooting. The first scene being shot was a wedding scene, and they needed someone on set to draw. I went out there, in 30 degree weather, and surprisingly managed not to snot all over the drawings. They were filming inside of a local house, so the art department, where we were finishing up some work, was the bathroom, which we actually had to clear out of when one of the star needed to use it.

And I can't very well show you photos of my artwork, or how it looks in the movie. You'll have to just wait for the theater. Or! Or! How about, how about you buy it on bluray and we'll freeze frame it! And then look at it! Rainn Wilson told me not to get too attached, since it'll be in there for like 4 seconds, so I think that's what we just hafta do guys.

Check out James Gunn's website for any SUPER production details.