“The Farting Corpse” movie. Movie fans and film critics dubbed it so, after it’s premier at Sundance earlier this year. Some critics held it among their favorites and others walked out in disgust. So why did I choose to see Swiss Army Man on my birthday to watch by myself?
We’re visiting family in NE Pennsylviania, and my awesome wife asked me what I wanted to do today, so naturally, I looked up movie times! There were several choices at the theatres that my wife and I could see together, or maybe we could take our three kids to their first theatre experience. (They’re 4, 3 and 1 and no they haven’t been to a theatre yet though the oldest is dying to go and it’s something we’ll do with her before she starts Kindergarten in August!) But she really pressed me and wanted me to choose the movie I wanted, regardless of restrictions. You see, as a self proclaimed movie fan, I say, “I could watch any movie and probably find something I like about it” so often times I end up choosing to forego the movie I really want to watch and settle for the path of least resistance, which leads to watching the movie that my wife/kids would like or won’t be put off by because of content or subject matter. So rather than seeing some lighter fare I went to see Swiss Army Man, by myself. (It was totally the right decision, my wife wouldn’t have liked it and neither would any of my inlaws!:)
Paul Dano stars as Hank, a lonely man on an island trying to kill himself, when a dead body washes ashore. The dead body is that of Daniel Radcliffe, who’s farting corpse catches Dano’s attention. From then this becomes a buddy comedy as Hank finds many interesting uses for the corpse, from chopping wood, to shaving, to miraculously getting water. All the while Dano converses with this corpse, eventually calling him Manny. Manny we learn is not truly dead but doesn’t understand anything about the former life he left behind. He can converse and even repeat concepts he’s learned from Hank. He helps to reflect Hank to the audience and to himself. Hank is a lonely guy who can barely work up the nerve to tell a girl he likes her. However when meeting this “corpse” he opens up and begins telling him things he’s barely told anyone and finds acceptance and even friendship.
The directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (also called DANIELS) use beautiful music and imagery to tell the story in addition to the amazing acting by Dano and Radcliffe. The Production Design is outstanding as well. There are MANY beautifully made scenarios that were brought to life in the woods by trees, and other found items. All this serves to flesh out the environment the story is told in and enhances the beauty of the film. If you like indie films it will be worth your while. This story is primarily about friendship. It’s about acceptance, love and sacrificing yourself for you friends. It’s a universal story, as all of us have felt rejected and a friendship or multiple friendships have helped us to rise above. The film is worth watching if you love smaller indie films, and have a quirky sense of humor. There were plenty of people laughing in our theatre, and I was one of them. It was an awesome birthday and this movie helped to make it so!
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I have a lot of DVDs! I can’t tell you how many but it’s A LOT! Even now, I LOVE to buy them (especially if they’re in a discount bin with lots of Special Features! Really my collection started in college, where I’d buy movies arguably without discretion. Sadly though, while I’m a huge movie buff and do watch lots of films, and tv shows, for whatever reason I have a hard time ACTUALLY WATCHING my own movies, yes including the ones I bought in college! (This could be my own attempt to psycho analyze myself.
So I’d like to go through my collection of films and watch each one and write about it. Initially I wanted to start at letter A and go through every film that way, I still may… even though I watched Cloverfield a few weeks ago. It was fun to revisit that movie especially given that I haven’t seen it since it was in the theaters. Similarly, I rewatched “Batman Begins” last night. I hadn’t seen it since the summer of 2005 in Kittanning, PA in a crappy theater. It was my first summer out of Grad School. I enjoyed it then and wanted to rewatch it for awhile as “Batman V. Superman” came out a few months ago and I wanted to do a Batman deep(ish) dive. Anyway- I finally watched it again.
Oh my. I loved re-watching this film! Chris Nolan wanted to update Batman and set it in an ultra realistic world. Prior to this incarnation of Batman we last were subjected to “Batman And Robin”, and the cheesy, campy lines and set pieces therein. As a kid I loved the Adam West Batman, and Joel Schumacher tried to tap into that cheesiness and failed miserably. Nolan on the other hand achieved his goal of creating a believable Bruce Wayne and Batman! From the opening shot you know Bruce Wayne and his motivations, you watch him train, you watch him strike fear into the criminals of Gotham by embodying The Batman. The entire film is cast brilliantly which adds to the believability of this film. Liam Neeson shines as a mentor/foil to Bruce. Michael Cain almost steals the film as Alfred as does Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox. Props to Warner Brothers who said yes to every casting choice of Nolan’s. Who would have thought that Gary Oldman would be such a subtle and interesting Jim Gordon? But besides that it’s Rachel Dawes played by Katie Holmes that really serves to tug at Bruces’ heartstrings when she said “What chance does Gotham have, when good people do nothing?” She, along with the memory of his father, is Bruces’ conscience and motivates and inspires him to do what he does. She calls him out on the fact that he’s wearing a mask as Bruce Wayne and the REAL him is The Batman! Fortunately for us there isn’t going to be a shortage of Batman films anytime soon. And moreover we can always look back at the Nolan trilogy even if we don’t love the current state of Batman films! (To be clear, I’m not an ultra downer on Batman V. Superman and I REALLY liked what Ben Affleck brought to the table, so I feel like we’re in good hands coming up… but if anyone disagrees they can ALWAYS look back and find Batman films of the HIGHEST quality starting with “Batman Begins”.)
What did you think? Let me know in the comment section below!!
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Hello awesome background extras!
This week we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. Let’s just say it involves a lot of spreadsheets, Diet Coke, and phones to our ears. We love all of you and love going to work everyday. First sneak peek? Andrei at work in our Dallas office.
Look for more pictures and tidbits this week!Read More »
Dick is a salty, offensive and most of the time foggy, ex roadie who still relishes the glory days of arena rock touring. With a crude mind, and no filter, his redemptive qualities still show through with certain co-workers (Kent and Shannon). He’s incredibly ingenuitive and loves his job as lighting technician, which is the only redeeming quality about working at theAtrium, in his mind.
email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org with The Atrium and desired role in the subject line. Include a recent headshot, resume, role you are applying for and contact information. Any reel or example of previous work should be included if available.Please share with others that may be interested or repost, but do not alter the content.
I get calls and emails ALL THE TIME, asking “please can I get a ‘featured’ role on the project you’re casting for.” I never know how to answer that because I am not in charge of where you get placed on set, or where the cameras get placed. Nor do I do the editing. So booking you as a background actor even a “Featured Extra” DOES NOT EVER GUARANTEE that you’ll be in the final product of the film, TV Show or Commercial we’re casting for. You do not need to keep asking if you’ll be featured. Below is an idea of what we go through to select the so called “featured extras” and how you can put your best foot forward to possibly be considered.
Sometimes when working on a particular Film or TV Show, we’re asked by directors to submit photos of “specialty” or “featured” background actors, that may be in front of camera or may be interacting with one of the lead actors. People that are shown to the director for consideration are called “picture picks”. When we’re asked to do this, we typically create a www.mycastingfile.com character breakdown or open call and also post something on Facebook giving specific dates of what’s needed. Sometimes we’ll even call and email you to ask for different photos etc… (We usually use these multiple platforms because film and tv is a hurry up medium, and people want to see their picture picks NOW!) But we also need to make sure that our background actors are actually available on the days that the scene is supposed to film before we can submit them. (There is nothing worse than showing a great photo of a great person to the director, having that director chose them and then having that person tell you they are not actually available for that date! Then you have to go back to the director and tell him/her “I’m sorry that person isn’t available…” and it makes you look bad, ticks the director off and generally wastes everyone’s time…)
Before picking our picture picks we meet with the director and he/she tells us what he’s looking for, and then we seek it out in our database. When we ask you for different photos, it’s because we know a different look may sell you better to the director. We’ve worked with some of you for 6 years or more and have seen you in a VARIETY of different roles. These directors may not have ever seen you before and are only going by the 1 or 2 photos you’ve sent us. If we’re looking to book a “Body Guard” spot we may ask you to send a photo of yourself looking more imposing. Maybe wearing a tank top instead of a business suit. Similarly if we’re looking for a nurse we may not need to show a photo of you in a cocktail dress. It doesn’t sell the image we’re looking for. So we may ask you to take a new photo of yourself in scrubs and send it to us.
After the pictures have been looked through and the director makes his choices, someone from my department will reach out to you to tell you you’re booked, congratulations! The bummer is that for every 1 or 2 people that book the role there are 20+ people that didn’t book and are disappointed. I’m always sad that people are disappointed but keep plugging away at it and your day will come too! The best way to continue to be considered for “Featured” background roles is to A) have a good headshot that I can show to the director (if your headshot isn’t good I likely won’t show it.) B) Be willing to work as a background actor even though it’s not a “Featured” role. When I see people come to set and have a great attitude, and do it over and over again regardless if they’re seen or not, it makes a HUGE difference to me. It makes me want to cast them more often and continue to give them further opportunities.
So please realize that there are PLENTY of times on a set in which you can be a “Featured Extra” and never be seen at all on TV. There are other times when you are seen really well on a tv show or movie and you weren’t picture picked at all. You were cast by us the casting company who knew you’d have a great look for the scene and knew you were a reliable background actor! If you have any questions about this or anything else please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Friday the 13th, 2012,
Recently we have been doing a LOT of work in our database and have also been learning how to use MyCastingFile. Some of you really have great photos in the database . . . but then there are some of you that the photos don’t do you justice, so we have compiled this list, in David Letterman style, of “The Top 5 Photos to NOT Submit to a Casting Company.”
1. Photos with a hat on, or sunglasses, or a MASK — we can’t see your hair color or length. If we need a bald guy, how do we know if that is you? If we need someone with lots of hair, how do we know that’s you? Um, really, it’s called a headshot for a reason! LOL!!!!
2. Submitting only a photo of your head. A “headshot” is a great start but it’s also REALLY helpful to send in a full body shot so we can see your body type/build. Then we know if we can book you as a bodybuilder, a champion food eater, an anorexic mother, whatever!! We need all kinds!
3. Photos with lots of people in the picture. How do we know which one is you?
4. Sending in two photos in which you look TOTALLY different. How do we know which is your current look? We don’t want to know what you looked like five years ago!!!
5. The photo from your awesome trip to the Pyramids — so we can’t actually see you because you are so tiny in the picture.
So, what should you submit? Great photos are of just you, are current, are well lit and show your face and body. (It’s best to submit one photo from your chest up and one photo of your whole body.) Photos should also be in color. Black and white photos are artistically beautiful but it is hard to tell your hair color, eye color, skin tone, etc. And remember, photos do NOT need to be professional!!!
See you in the database . . . and hopefully on set!!!!Read More »
As many of you know, Louisiana is one of the top three places to film in the United States behind LA and New York! Here’s a chance to meet some of the people that are in charge of bringing and creating films in the North Louisiana Area! Below you’ll find my blurb on Facebook, but further below you’ll find a Press Release from the Robinson Film Center itself. To get involved and volunteer to work/act at the parties please contact Sherry Kerr her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, headshots and phone numbers!
SHREVEPORT MOVIE PARTIES SEEKING VOLUNTEERS- Hello awesome Actors/Background Actors!!! You all rock!! I was contacted today by one of the Party Planning Committee members for 2 BIG parties coming up in Shreveport,LA. Party #1 is at the Robinson Film Center on March 15th. They’re expecting 100 guests. These guest will be the 100 most influential movie people in Shreveport.
Party #2 is at Millennium Studios on 04/14. They’re expecting 1,000 guests for this. Producers, actors and directors coming from ALL OVER the USA for this event. They’re looking for actors to impersonate famous characters, and actors. They’re going to make it look like a real movie set, and they’ll need pretend photographers, camera operators, stunt people etc… it’s a GREAT way to network and gain exposure. She said you can bring your business cards and pass them out etc…
The contact’s name is Sherry Kerr and her email is email@example.com. Please email her a headshot, with your contact numbers. She’ll be glad to hear from you and will give you the next step in what to do. Thanks y’all! Let’s make these events amazing and all get some additional exposure and work out of it!!!
Robinson Film Center announces blockbuster ‘Backlot’ gala
April 14, 2012, at Millennium Studios
SHREVEPORT – Millennium Studios will swing open its downtown studio doors April 14, 2012, for the “Backlot”
gala of the Robinson Film Center (RFC). All proceeds from Backlot will benefit the nonprofit film and media
education organization, which operates daily in downtown Shreveport.
“This party is going to be a blockbuster!” said Waynette Ballengee, the RFC board member who is serving as gala
chair for Backlot.
Millennium Studios, a movie production studio complex in downtown Shreveport, opened its doors in early 2011
and serves as headquarters for Nu Image/Millennium Films’ Louisiana operations.
“We’re thrilled to be holding this gala on an actual soundstage at Millennium Studios,” Ballengee
said. “Millennium has graciously donated their space. This will allow us to offer our supporters a behind-the-
scenes movie experience they will never forget.”
Backlot will offer more than just great music, great food, and great entertainment. By staging the gala on a studio
soundstage, RFC and Millennium will recreate the mystique of an actual movie studio’s backlot – like the ones
idealized by Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Performers – playing actors, directors, and crew members – will restage the filming of classic movie scenes. Table
decorations and displays will showcase some of the coolest props from Louisiana-made movies. And partygoers
will grab their lunch trays and dine from the catering trucks that serve actors and movie crews on a daily basis.
(Adventurous partygoers might even be asked to act in a classic movie scene!)
“Everybody is going to get some star treatment come April 14,” Ballengee said, “and we can’t wait to turn on the
Tickets for the gala will be $125 for individuals, and gala sponsorships are now available for between $1,500 and
“The Robinson Film Center will actually honor its $15,000 gala sponsors by installing a permanent named star in
the sidewalk in front of the film center. How cool is that?” said Lampton Enochs, RFC’s development committee
chair and a cofounder of Shreveport’s Moonbot Studios. “Our Sidewalk Superstars program is like the Hollywood
Walk of Stars, only these honorees support the critical mission of Robinson Film Center.”
Planners of the gala hope to attract 1,000 supporters and secure ten $15,000 sponsorships.
“This is a big goal, and we need the community’s support to reach it,” Enochs said. “This Backlot gala is a great way
to get a little taste of Hollywood movie magic, plus support an outstanding, vital nonprofit organization.”
Mission of the Robinson Film Center
The Robinson Film Center is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization based in Shreveport, La. Its mission is to
provide a venue for independent, international, and classic cinema while serving as a resource for film production
and media education. In addition to daily film programming, the Robinson Film Center offers film and media
production classes for all ages and provides a variety of resources and facilities to the region’s burgeoning film
Alright everyone, Tina here … I’m checking in with you guys again to continue telling you the low down on my latest adventure in the world of background acting!
I can honestly say that my last experience is the most fun I have had on set yet! Before I go into the gory details, I do want to emphasize that I am writing about the inner emotions I am currently feeling due to my own personal accounts working as BG. I don’t want to be blamed for fooling anyone into believing that any of this work is easy for everyone simply based on the things I say. I want everyone to always remember that my perception and my experience, as background, may seem even better than winning the lottery from my description. That’s honestly because I think it is better but that’s probably just me!!! I should also probably include a disclaimer saying, ‘that results not typical, outcome may vary’. I can’t help but LOL at that last comment.
I’ll be skipping and hopping right into the good stuff now.
I arrived on set around 9:30am Friday morning. I parked at the Municipal building parking lot then gathered my things from my car. I proceeded to walk across the street to the honey wagons that were sitting in clear view. Once I got to them there were two familiar faces standing nearby. I didn’t know either of their names but I asked one of the gentlemen if he knew where I needed to go. He first pointed to a building about two blocks away and said, “do you see that building across the street to your right?” and quickly laughed then told me, “no, no, I am just kidding! Do you see that girl in white over by that truck in the parking lot? That’s Ashley and she will send you where you need to go.”
I laughed and admitted that he had me fooled then thanked him for his help. I left the honey wagon area and walked over to Ashley. I knew Ashley because I had met her on Tuesday. She pointed me into the Municipal building where I then got a very pleasant surprise! I finally got to meet the man with the plan! Sitting at the table where I received my voucher was none other than Andrei Constantinescu! It truly was a great honor to meet him and I was looking forward to catching up with him later in the morning but unfortunately time didn’t allow for it and you will find out why.
I took my voucher down the hall to wardrobe where I got in line to get fitted.
A fellow veteran BG actress who I had met on Tuesday joined me in the line. It is an amazing feeling to bond with new people and make new friends. I think it’s safe to say that is one of the many reasons why this is so much fun to me.
Once wardrobe picked out what she wanted me to wear, I went downstairs to change. The outfit she had picked for me was a jumpsuit in a sort of sea foam green color with shapes/patterns including yellows, pinks, oranges and whites. It would have reminded you of a curtain or tablecloth if you could have seen it. Very retro! It was FAB-U-LOUS!!!!
I put my outfit on and guess what? If you refer to my previous blog you might have an inclination. You guessed it! RIIIIIIPPPPP! I had another wardrobe malfunction! This time it was the top zipper. You see, the clothing was not tight it is just very delicate in material and stitch. I might not be so delicate myself and when you add me into the equation with something that is, well, you end up with minor set-backs. A little stitch coming loose was not going to keep me from begging to stay in this outfit though! I asked if we could just do a quick stitch or safety pin for it. They apparently had big plans to get this clothing on camera though and said that they were going to stitch me into the clothing. I can understand that if you are potentially going to be on camera from various angles.
I get sent to the mile long hair and makeup line as a “priority”. They wanted me fully made up and sent back to them for stitching. I was placed first to go next in line in the hair station. There were four stylists working on hair and all four seats were filled at the time but the minute the next chair opened up, I plopped down in it. Since I had been in background on the pedestrian scene on Tuesday, I was determined to have a different look for the “disco” scene. I had worn my hair extensions and told the stylist that they were in place. She loved it and said that she had just the hair-do for me! She finished me up, set my hair and sent me to the makeup line.
I stood in the makeup line for about an hour. I think I was actually supposed to go to the front of the line for that too but I knew they could stitch my top up very quickly so I did the respectful thing and got at the end of the line which there were only two people ahead of me in line at the time. Unlike the hair station, the makeup station only had two makeup artists. While I was in line I stood in awe as I watched the ladies get their hair done because the hair station was right beside the makeup station. There was so much talent in the hair-makeup department. These ladies are good! After standing in line for a good hour it was finally my turn! My makeup artist gave me some green and pink eye shadow, glossy lips, blushed cheeks and instructed me to go to the bathroom and really goop up my eyelashes! I obliged!
Once I got back up to wardrobe I scouted out the head of wardrobe but she was nowhere to be found and I still needed to get my top sewn. It was not a problem according to one of the crew because she told me that they were all on set. They guided several of us out to the van because the director and AD needed us on set NOW. Since wardrobe was there they could stitch me up over on set.
Once I got to set one of the production crewmembers guided me downstairs to wardrobe and she took me to the side. I stayed in my clothing and she just stitched the separated zipper while I stood there. After she finished she informed me that I would have to get one of them to help me out of the clothing at the end of the day.
Production grabbed me and took me into the club where the other 85 background people had already been placed. He sat me beside two guys in a booth next to the dance floor. I was given instructions to sit and pantomime with the guy beside me and on the count of 15 seconds I was to get up and go out to peer into the crowd on the dance floor. Everyone was given specific instructions and most of them were given props. They even had cigarettes that were nicotine and tobacco free for more realism. It was COOL!
When the AD said BACKGROUND and BLONDIE music started blaring on the sound system … I got up and walked/danced along the isle to the outskirts of the dance floor. I ended up looking out into the disco dancers then found a fellow background crony to pantomime with. I think I left an impression because the AD came to me after that take and told me he had something bigger he wanted me to do. He grabbed the guy that I was originally sitting with and he placed us standing at a table. We were to stand there and “flirt” until Michael Shannon got to the bar, ordered a drink, and walked toward the dance floor. Once he started walking toward the dance floor it was our cue to pull one another hand-to-hand out to the disco-dancing going on! On the next take that is exactly what we did! It slowly evolved from there! We were then instructed to walk in behind Michael Shannon and Chris Evans, stop at the table, wait on Michael to go to the dance floor, then follow suit! As the night progressed we got to walk out right in front of Michael Shannon and a couple of his cronies! It was exciting. I spent most of the night standing at an elevator door with Chris Evans and Michael Shannon then proceeded to go from that to disco dancing with both of them! II have to admit that was pretty darn cool!
After multiple re-takes, and I do mean MULTIPLE we were given the go-ahead to break for lunch! The director of “THE ICEMAN” is awesome. Have I mentioned that this film is in brilliant hands? The confidence I get in knowing this director has such a vision and such high standards leaves me anxious for the final product.
Ashley led all of the background performers upstairs and to the holding tent where we were divided into two lines, one for males and the other for females. Wardrobe came around and took pictures of everyone in groups of four because there would be an exterior night shoot after lunch. They would use the pictures to help decide who they wanted to keep and for continuity.
Production and crew caught vans back to base camp first then everyone in BG lined up to catch vans back to base. This was all around 6pm that afternoon. Once back at base we got to delve right in at the lunch line. Normally background waits until the last crewmember has eaten before they can eat but since there were so many people for this particular shoot we had two separate lunch lines. Production and crew had lunch downstairs while background had lunch upstairs. I had not eaten all day so I was famished! Catering always does an outstanding job with lunch. I fixed my plate and after approval from Ashton I grabbed a seat on the stairs where I would be well out of the way of everyone else. My new friend Joy joined me. We sat, ate, and enjoyed sharing our experiences for the day.
After lunch a slight confusion set in for many people. It was rumored that we would have to do a line up for the director to come down and hand pick several of us to stay for the exterior night shoot. There ended up being a line up and head of wardrobe picked about 27 of us. Wardrobe put everyone (except me) into coats/jackets. My ‘costume’ didn’t allow for a jacket because there was not much to choose from to start and what was left for me didn’t work. Wardrobe made a wise choice because it truly wouldn’t have looked good otherwise.
The remaining background performers loaded up in the van and headed to a new location to shoot the exterior scenes around 8:30pm. We all got placed by the AD and were given new instructions. Several of the guys were asked to drive some of the vehicles for the shot. There was an array of old cars, one of which was an old taxicab. It was really cool and very nostalgic to see all of the props for the film. It really makes you feel like you are in a time warp! I honestly think I would enjoy scouting locations and/or wardrobe and props! To find these items must feel like you have struck gold!! I was very impressed. My feet felt like ground beef and I was in major pain by this point. It had also gotten pretty cold outside. The wind was the worst part but since I was standing next to a building I was able to walk just inside the entranceway to block the wind. In this scene I was placed with a new guy. We were apparently married in this scene so in other words we could have possibly been swingers since we were both flirting with other people inside the club! Haha! Once the principal actors walk across the street to their mark, my new “man” and I were instructed to walk down the sidewalk then out under the street lamp where would then pass through the shot directly behind the three principal actors. We did several takes then we were placed again. This time we were filming the shot where the actors go into the club. We were still at the same location but we went inside the building and hung out. The last shot only had about four re-takes and then we were done. I was a little torn because even though I was tired, I truly didn’t want to leave.
Anyhow, that last shot proved to be the last of background. We all loaded up in vans to head back to base. We had to turn in our wardrobe and get our vouchers back so we could get signed out. I have seen the same faces for twelve plus hours on two separate days during the week and I just can’t help but feel a sense of loss when I leave. These folks may not remember or notice me but once I see a face, I remember it and I miss that familiarity but always look forward to seeing them again one day!
I will say that the hardest part about being an extra is not standing in 6 inch heels for twelve hours. Your feet feel like you have skated on cheese graters by the end of the day and for the next two days of course but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is getting amped up and totally into the film then having to wait until it is released. “THE ICEMAN” is scheduled to release sometime in 2013. I highly recommend keeping your eyes peeled for news and press on this film. It’s going to be EPIC and I’ll be modest, it won’t be because of my two seconds as background. It will be a great honor to be able to say I participated in this phenomenal piece of work though! Needless to say I will be anxiously awaiting my next email, with my next project and my next call time! CHEERS!!!!
ICE ICE BABY!!
I can’t contain the excitement of my recent work on the set of “ICEMAN” and I want to just dive right in but first things first. I must brag on the LEGACY team! This TEAM is a piece of ACE! Without these guys, this opportunity would not be possible for any of us, so never forget how you got to where you are! I sure won’t!
I personally have to thank Rachel for being my own personal cheerleader and Ashton for not only being at everyone’s beck and call while in holding but for personally rescuing me from being lost Tuesday morning when I was trying to find base camp. Thanks guys!! You RAWK!
Okay, on to the “cool” stuff about working as background (BG) on the movie “ICEMAN”. I was booked for Tuesday as BG for a very special scene with Robert (played by Chris Evans) and Richard (played by Michael Shannon) but as is the business of show business, things changed. It NEVER discourages me and I only look at it as the opportunity for the possibility of an even greater experience! I arrived to the base location around 6:30am Tuesday morning. This was after speaking with our very own Ashton (I like to refer to him as Tom Cruise BUT MORE AWESOME). Ashton may not realize it but he rescued me from my directionally challenged GPS. Ashley (with production) called shortly after I had dialed up Ashton so I decided I’d call her back one I was no longer lost. Ashley was calling to see if I was going to make it because due to Mr. GPS taking me to the wrong location I was running a tiny bit late.
Ashton led me to the main route and led me to signs with arrows that said “ICE” on them so I knew I could find my way from there. I called Ashley back as soon as I hung with Ashton to let her know that I was almost there! Once parked, I was able to catch a van then head down to quickly check in with Ashley and head to wardrobe. Wardrobe hooked me up in 1970’s clothing, then hair and makeup did their magic and I was ready to roll! Around 7:45am Ashley said they were ready for us on set so she took me and the three other BG actors to transportation where we hopped in the van to head up the road to location.
Once we arrived on set the director pulled Ashley aside to speak with her briefly then Ashley came back over and let us know that there had been some alterations she had not been informed of and some changes were definitively being considered.
No probs! Flexibility, patience, and understanding are golden for anyone willing/wanting to work in the industry: no matter the position you are filling to help out. I think I have a little too much fun doing this to be honest because I always get a bit excited when things changes because I know it will always be for the good of the film!
Anyhow, we hopped back in the van and headed back to base where we sat in the holding tent. We were to sit tight and wait for further instruction. Again, no probs! It was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit that morning so the four of us huddled around a little propane heater in the holding tent and waited patiently.
Additional BG was scheduled to check in a little after 10:00am and as the time continued to creep by and 10:00am inched toward us, we were pretty certain that “our” BG scene wasn’t going to happen. Long story short, it didn’t happen but wardrobe took us out of our 70’s get-up and placed us in 1980’s attire so we could get placed in the next scene with the approximately 30 new BG arrivals. Filmmaking is an art form and if it is placed in the right hands, it’s beautiful! I hate to jump the gun but I am willing to put myself out there and say that “ICEMAN” is in the hands of brilliance! I can’t give any vital information away but from what I have seen thus far, this movie will be AH-mazing. I know how to spell amazing, BTW.
Back to the scene … it was later in the afternoon now and even though it had warmed up a tad that day, we found cooler temperatures starting to recur as it got later. Don’t think that you don’t have to possess acting skills to work background because you certainly do! It takes talent to pretend it’s warm outside when it’s really not. It takes talent and good lipstick to cover your blue lips!
So it’s pretty cool outside but this was a “summer” scene. Most of us were in summer type clothing with little protection from the cool air. Some of us were even in worse shape than others too. If I were “PC” I would simply tell you that I had a wardrobe ‘malfunction’ but I’m not really PC so I’ll just tell you that my lovely, white bell bottoms ripped at the seem around the zipper. My awesome turquoise panties were saying “HELLO!” to everyone and I was getting an extra breeze thanks to that new opening! I didn’t want to have wardrobe redress me so I asked if I could wear a camisole under my shirt to pull down over the exposed under garments and my outer shirt would just cover the cami. Wardrobe said it was fine so I was good to go! Everyone in BG is strategically placed on set and given specific cues/tasks to achieve once they hear “background”. We were all set up and given our instructions and thankfully mine was simply sitting at a picnic table. I didn’t have to worry about flashing everyone since I didn’t have to move around. Here we go!
CAMERA ROLLING! SOUND ROLLING!!! ACTION!!!! BAAAAACKGROUND!!!
The shoot was only around two hours, maybe a little less. I can’t say exactly because I didn’t have a watch at the time. That’s pretty quick but the director was pleased after about twelve takes and several re-shoots from different angles and close to 5pm we were wrapping the scene up and heading back to base. Once back at base, we all lined up in front of the honey wagon to get out of wardrobe and put our own clothing back on so we could turn their clothing back in and get our vouchers.
I was standing in line to turn my wardrobe in when the head of wardrobe walked up to me and asked if I would be available on Friday for a big disco scene. I calmly (on the outside) and ecstatically (on the inside) told her I’d be available. She also asked my two fellow BG friends beside me if they would be available as well. She told us that she would get in touch with casting and let them know! I know me and anyone that knows me, does too and I could NOT wait to get home to email Rachel so I could tell her this exciting news!!! That’s exactly what I did too. Then it was official … I was booked for the Friday “DISCO” shoot! WOOHOO!! To be continued …..Read More »