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.

No comments: