Sunday, November 9, 2008

And We're Walking...

So, continuing our story, we walked out to set, as they say. I'm loving these new terms I learned doing the commercial shoot; call me bored with theater lingo. Another new term I learned was, "Restore to one," which means return to the starting positions to re-shoot the scene.

The giant pinata was located in a fenced in parking lot. Our job was to walk toward it as if we were excited. You could tell the SAG actors because not only did they look well-rested (their tent probably had coffee), they were carrying props.

So we spread out around the pinata and the SAG actors carried lawn chairs, iron pipes, walkers, brooms, and baseball bats. So after getting up at 3 in the morning, and then sitting around for five hours, and carrying weird props, we looked more like "Night of the Living Dead," rather than a crowd excited by a giant pinata.

"Cut." Came quickly. "No," We were told, "You're excited but you're keeping it inside. You are in awe and wonderment at the pinata. You walk slowly alongside the wrecking crane as if you are ushering it toward the pinata." I didn't get that ushering the crane in bit but whatever.

We tried awe and wonderment a few times (always restoring to one) when the director appeared on a bicycle to admonish us for overacting. So it was back to one and trying again. At one point, I and a couple of other extras started outside the chain fence. My note was to check the pinata out. I tried to get more specifics from one of the red shirts but she kept saying, "You're checking it out." They weren't so much with the specifics.

It was outside the fence that I started chatting with another extra about yoga and running. She told me in no uncertain terms that running was bad for me and that I should swim. I started arguing with her, probably due to a lack of caffeine, when I realized I was not going to change her mind. Besides, who cares what she thinks?

The next time we restored to one, I snuck over to stand near Jim. At least he doesn't care if I run or swim (as long as I'm in awe and wonderment).

We broke for lunch, which for us lowly extras consisted of sandwiches, chips, fruit and drinks. SAG actors and the crew got a hot lunch. And then it was back to walking toward the pinata again, only this time the SAG actors had fewer props to carry. I guess they realized we looked more like an angry mob than a crowd in awe and wonderment.

After the director, still on the bike, was satisfied with our awe and wonderment, we sat around for an hour or two while they set up the last shot. This shot consisted of the crane hitting the pinata and candy spilling out. A few special actors were chosen to grab the candy. The next day would be when the pinata would really be destroyed and the candy distributed. They had even invited the public to the event.

Finally, the sun was too low and we were released. I decided against returning the next day because truly, how much excitement can one person handle? But I kept the excitement on the inside. On the outside it was all awe and wonderment and walking...checking it out really.

Post Note: On Sunday, the crowd that gathered was was too big so the police had to shut down the commercial shoot and it's rescheduled for another weekend with just extras, no public.

1 comment:

  1. Kate,
    I'd been reading a number of blogs last spring, but had stopped...they were all getting boring and I didn't even know the people! Now, I'm happy to report, I've started reading yours. As I read, I can just hear you saying all these things; it's exactly your voice running through my head. Too funny!