Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dispatch from Indie Movie-ville

Today was supposed to be a movie star day.  Today was supposed to be the day that I  had  to work at flipping all the relatively easy drama and tears of  last week and suddenly invest some charisma and charm into making my character "likable".  Is there a more hateful word?  Clearly there  is not.

Well thank god the generator blew and I got to pretend like this "likable" thing is never going to happen.  So I found myself instead on location in someone's beautiful house in my underwear, in their bedroom, getting ready to shoot my character saying a prayer, (which is another thing I don't do easily) and waiting and waiting and waiting for lights/camera/props/
to get ready to shoot.

Now this is where Im supposed to say that I realize all the other people on  set have important jobs too and I guess I did just say that but we all know how insincere that sounds.  Of course they are artists who have visions as well but I honestly will never be convinced that there is any tangible benefit in hurumhping for interminable periods over the question of whether the light should fall 1/2" or 1/8" to the left of my right eyebrow.  And really Im unspeakably vain.

On a any movie the crew is far and away the single biggest entity on set.  The sheer number of people and gadgets it takes to competently produce even the cheapest movie is utterly astounding.  This movie alone easily comes with a  crew of 20 or more and it seems like all of them wield  some kind of  hand held contraption with flashing lights and read outs that obviously justify the vast amounts of time it takes to get the lights to flash differently.

And then you've got the solo actor in his underwear with no gadget, no grips or pa's, no truck full of equipment, no camera or trailer full of costumes.   But finally after a long passage of time the actor in his underwear decides, for today anyway, whether movies are about lights and camera stops, or performances. And he opens his mouth.  Loudly, so as to be heard.   And quickly we shoot.  And tomorrow he eats lunch alone.

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