I realize that the weather has been a prominent factor in my last few posts, and with good reason. On Wednesday, I was out for a walk with my family when I found out that I would be spending the next few days on set. Wardrobe asked that we dress for early spring, with lots of layers, so after lots of deliberations and hunting for lost shoes, my mom and I came out with a really cute outfit that would keep me warm if it were early spring, but that had enough layers that I could ‘strip down’ to a summery dress between takes if it got too hot.
I was on set for 4:45, got ready and was all set to go when one of the ADs decided I looked like a teenager, and sent me to hair and makeup. I came out in pig tails, and am pretty sure I still looked cute (though there were no full length mirrors). That is, until we decided to go see wardrobe. I had been told by other wardrobe people that I was fine, but all of a sudden, I didn’t fit in with the time period and to make me look younger, I got a slightly cringe-worthy costume that made me look like a 12 year old. Luckily, I am no stranger to funny outfits, most of which I had chosen myself, so I decided to laugh at my getup.
Laughter was the reaction I got from most of my friends when they saw me, but as soon as I was on set, the magic of movie making took over and the outfit was forgotten. Well, mostly, but it was kind of impossible to forget that you are wearing a turtleneck when you are basically hanging out in a greenhouse on a summer day. Every day on set it got a little better, as they tried to fix the problem, which I would say they managed by the last day.
I won’t go into the scene or what I had to do, but I have always been a wallflower, so the movie set that some people left due to the heat, it enthralled me. I don’t have any aspirations to work behind the camera, or to call the shots, but I do have a greater understanding of what they go through, and how to make things appear a certain way, even if it isn’t so. I also saw what I can aspire to. Yes, as extras we wake up at the crack of dawn, and some of us had to stand all day, even though we often weren’t on camera, while they filmed other sections or changed lenses, or all the other things that make you wait on set. But, I got to see what the actors do. They have stand ins for the time it takes to set everything up. They can go back to the trailer when their section isn’t being filmed. And they don’t have to be on set until everything is ready for them. That being said, they don’t always take advantage of this. Sometimes they hung around and chatted with the extras instead of going back to their trailers. One of them explained the scene to some newcomers while they set it up. And when one of the stand ins had a back problem (or so I heard through the grapevine) the actor decided to take his place and be his own stand in. And it was also comforting to see that they had to deal with the intense heat and pretend they weren’t melting as well. Not that I enjoyed the fact that they were suffering, but it was nice to know that we were all going through the same thing.
On my last day on set, I had the amazing opportunity to be one of the visual effects. I went to a building and got my picture taken from every angle/direction, so my likeness could be manipulated to build a crowd. I don’t think I’ll be able to tell which ones are me, but it was still a really exciting experience 🙂 Not to mention, that to thank us for enduring the weather and long days, we got two little gifts from production, that I will post here once I am able to, and will treasure forever!
I don’t know when I will next be on set, but I am using this time to prepare for my class tonight, to learn a monologue and some sides for an audition on Friday, and I spent a lovely father’s day with my dad and grandfather. I do hate waking up at a time that some of my friends are going to sleep at, but I love being on set, no matter how big or small the role, because it lets me dream. Being a tiny part of something is amazing, but it also makes you think of what it will be like when you are one of the main parts of it. When you are the actor that all the extras are watching from the corner of their eye. I hope I will be like some of the actors from this film, talking and joking with those around me…someday 🙂