Sunday, June 3, 2007

Student Film? Bring A Hat

I spent yesterday playing the role of Cop #3 in a student film. It was fun, I had a line, the biggest line of any of the numbered cops - I even got a closeup - but I was still just Cop #3, and it wasn't just fun. It was also an exercise in survival. I'm now sunburnt to a crisp. My face is bright red, with a huge raccoon face thing going on from my sunglasses, a pasty white area around my eyes and two pasty white lines through the burning red from the frames.

There was nowhere for me to hide from the sun, and I skipped breakfast to get there. It was a good hour away from home - North Hollywood - out near Riverside, past Chino. They had pizza for lunch, but it had been delivered and waiting in boxes for a long time before I knew about it. I only realized because I saw somebody else eating pizza and figured that it had to have come from somewhere. In between shots I went looking for it, found it, and brought a box back to the shoot just in case anyone else was as hungry as I was. As it turned out, plenty of people were.

So, this is what I learned:

At a student film, they're not going to baby anyone, least of all an extra or somebody with only one line. When you're playing a tiny bit part, you could be out in the sun all day, waiting to shoot. You're going to need a hat and some sunscreen. Bring some food, too, in case the shoot goes longer than expected, or everybody eats it all before you even find out that it's arrived. You don't know going in so the smart move is to be ready for anything. Treat it like going camping.

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