Saturday, December 6, 2008

Random tidbits of Hollywood Midwest

In which our Diva's illustrious movie career moves a step up the ladder with Cyrus

In no particular order:

  • Patricia Belcher is down-to-earth, professional, and an all-around class act. I am now officially a fan, 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 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?

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