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Random tidbits of Hollywood Midwest

In no particular order:

  • Patricia Belcher is down-to-earth, professional, and an all-around class act. I am now officially a fan (amilyn, you now have additional leverage to feed me more Bones), and am privileged to have spent a day on set eating stone cold hamburgers with her.
  • I know "interior" does not necessarily preclude "freezing frickin' cold." I KNOW this. Next time I neglect to pack longjohns? Shoot me.
  • SAG "ultra low budget" (which has a specific definition that determines requirements for pay levels, how many non-union actors you can employ, etc.) is still "way more resources than almost anything else I've ever been in." Which is just...so much less stressful a way to work, I can't even begin to tell you. For a zillion little completely practical reasons. I could totally get used to working in that sort of environment, lemme tell ya. I don't need some big wasteful blockbuster loaded with superstars with a zillion frivolous riders on their contracts. Just a nice professional set with a good day's work to do.
  • Favorite moment: Brian Krause (who was directing second unit while I was there; he plays the title character in the present day) bounding into the talent trailer announcing "I just made a hamburger on camera!" Which was immensely cool because "usually they hand you the stuff already done, but I don't think I ever actually put food together on camera before. This is so going on my reel!" (I, of course, was thinking "Well, maybe if Piper hadn't been quite so possessive of her kitchen..." Because I pride myself on my professionalism, but I will never not be a geek on the inside.)
  • Runner-up favorite moment: While getting my makeup done, listening to a conversation between an assistant director and the SFX makeup guy that started with "We need to kill someone with a pitchfork," and wended its way through "All the extras want to get killed." -- "Wouldn't you?" to "One guy wants to be decapitated" and everyone in the trailer cracking up. Yes, there are limits to the magic, folks, at least on location on the spur of the moment. Sad but true.
  • I missed Lance Henriksen by about three hours, which makes me sad. My current wishlist involves some sort of premiere party where I will get to shake his hand and think "Dude, I am IN A MOVIE WITH LANCE HENRIKSEN." Because that's just not going to stop being cool anytime soon.
  • Though of course the people I actually worked with are no less cool, cast and crew alike, and I would work with any of them again in a heartbeat under pretty much any circumstances. I wish it had been for more than one shooting day!
  • Joel Castleberg is, like, the complete opposite of the Hollywood producer stereotype. He was right out there with us in the cold, always upbeat and personable and just plain nice.
  • When I took my leave of the wrap party (which, judging by the pictures, I'm really sorry to have missed most of on account of having to drive back early the next day), the director, Mark Vadik, thanked me for "making my job easy." Considering the company I was in, I can't think of anything better for him to have said. If there's anything I want to get a reputation for, that's it: I do my job, do it well, and don't create bumps in the road to getting the day in the can. That's the thing that will get me hired again, and just incidentally the way I actually enjoy working all day. And his saying that helps me believe this wasn't just a fluke, and motivates me to keep putting myself out there for more and better.

There's probably stuff I'm forgetting, but mostly I'm just happy to have felt so at home and felt like I did decent work. It just felt like the right place to be working. I learned so so much, but wasn't so green I didn't belong. It was perfect.

Dear Universe: More, please?

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
therealjae
Dec. 7th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
That is soooo cool.

Have you thought about sharing some of this with the director, once it's all over? I bet he'd be grateful.

-J
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
I need to send him a nice note on Facebook. Joel too. Thanks for reminding me!
yahtzee63
Dec. 7th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
OMG, you got to hang out with Caroline Julian! I am most envious - she's awesome.
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
She could hardly help it, because Patricia is exceptionally awesome. She landed on my list of "people I want to be when I grow up" before we finished the 20-minute drive from hotel to set. I just kept thinking, "Dude, I am ON FILM talking to this awesomely cool person! I love my life!"
mekkasimian
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
WOOT! (AS KIDS SAY)

=M=
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
They do indeed. *g*
kevenn
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
What an AWESOME experience! I hope more come your way!
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Your keyboard to Somebody's ears!
butterflykiki
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
OH yay! I am so glad that you had fun and no real problems! Sounds like a blast.

And definitely longjohns next time, what were you thinking?
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
I was thinking that I wouldn't really be walking anywhere outside. And forgetting (not for the first time, which leaves me no excuse whatsoever!) that heating systems tend to make too much noise for filming purposes...
amilyn
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
YAY for stories! I'm so glad it went great and you were acknowledged as the pro you are.

Patricia Belcher is wonderful and you're going to love her as Carolyn on Bones. When you wanna get together? :-)
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Soon, definitely. We can figure it out this weekend.
maiac
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
You go, girl!

"All the extras want to get killed." -- "Wouldn't you?" to "One guy wants to be decapitated"

This reminds me of the charity auctions I've been involved with at SF conventions, in which authors auctioned off naming rights for "red shirts" in their novels. I have a friend who was totally geeked when his friends pooled their resources to get the winning bid for him to be a corpse in a Timothy Zahn novel.
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
*chuckle* There are a number of FK and HL fans whose names were used in Gillian Horvath's scripts. Julie Beamer is forever known as "the dead hooker," and Gillian swears to this day that she didn't realize until she saw the final cut of the episode just how many times the victim's name actually got said!

She named the dog breeder in the HL ep "Leader of the Pack" after me, but she shortened the last name and the first name wasn't said aloud in any of the scenes in the final version. So my ears kind of perked up when Duncan addressed her as "Ms. Meach," but it was a couple months before I actually emailed Gillian and said "Say, was that...?" and she was like, "Yes! I was waiting for you to notice!" Now that IMDb lists guest cast for TV eps, of course, the credit is out there with the first name, which is fun.

And I was totally envying the extras who got to be corpses. *g*
(no subject) - maiac - Dec. 7th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wiliqueen - Dec. 7th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
unclehyena
Dec. 7th, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)
Brava!

"Thanks for making my job easy."

That is just SO cool...
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? There is absolutely nothing better he could have said.
allmightybecca
Dec. 7th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an amazing experience! (if I was an extra I would want to be killed too! By pitchfork would be extra cool geek points!) Hope you get to do many more like it!!!
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
I wish I could have seen the pitchfork person. I'll certainly be thinking of them when I see the movie!
darkmagess
Dec. 7th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Bahahaha. Who knew making a burger could be so empowering? :)

I hope this helps in landing even more work. =)
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
It certainly can't hurt!
thanatos_kalos
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
This sounds like an absolutely incredible experience. I'm so happy for you! ::hugs::
wiliqueen
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks! {{{ hugs back }}}
celli
Dec. 7th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
:)
yeopard
Dec. 10th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
SAG
Will you be able to get into the SAG after having worked on this film?
wiliqueen
Dec. 10th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: SAG
No -- I was contracted as non-union.

I wouldn't want to be just yet anyway. I'm not at a point where I want to be restricted in accepting non-union work.
fuzzyspacekitty
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Hee Lance! I am spacey and imdb isn't loading fast enough. What is this movie again?
wiliqueen
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Serial killer thriller. Intrepid young reporter heads out with her cameraman to find out the truth about the County Line Cannibal. Hits jackpot. Is perhaps unwise in how she goes about it.
(no subject) - fuzzyspacekitty - Dec. 17th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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