It’s funny. Although I love working on films for the magic of it (see this post for a little more about that) it’s a job and I’m sort of used to it. You turn up to a location, move all the original furniture and decorations out or around, move in the movie bits and decorations and then be on standby to continually re-arrange or replace props for the next ten hours.
I don’t really look at it from other peoples perspective anymore. But this post on the Fitzroyality blog shows it from another angle. The author, Brian, turned up as a extra on the last film I was working on, Exit, and he both photographed and wrote about his experience.
It’s great to read about being an extra, I’ve never done it but having worked on film sets, I know it’s a bunch of waiting around, a little bit of action and a huge bunch of waiting around some more. That’s how film and tv works.
So, back to that night, the scene was a meeting of a bunch of ‘believers’ all looking for the Exit, and one of the things the art director, Esther Justin, had planned was that the believers would write on the windows, leaving messages for each other. So I grabbed a bunch of Poscas and started writing. I drew a coupld of pictures, wrote a couple of messages but decided that I needed some fresh blood. As there was about an hour before filming was to start, and all the extras were just sitting around (again, if you want to be an extra, get used to a LOT of sitting around) so I co-opted a couple, explained the idea, handed them some textas and let them rip. This was really useful for a couple of reasons. One was that it would go faster if I had a number of guys writing on the windows with me, one was that they’d have ideas that I wouldn’t (and a couple of the things written were pretty bizarre!) and the other good thing is that there’d be a bunch of different kinds of handwriting on the windows, which would lend it an air of reality that it wouldn’t have if it was all in one type of handwriting. So really, it was a practile thing that lead me to ask a couple of the extras to help out.
On Fitzroyality, s/he writes: The most exciting thing for me was being co-opted by the art director to become an art assistant for a while to draw messages on the windows that the believers would leave for each other at their meeting place.
And that’s was cool to read. It was nice to be able to make someone’s night especially since I didn’t set out to (or even noticed at the time :)And it’s nice to see my job from an outside eye.