Wednesday September 23, 2010
First day [of production; only day for (most of) us]
The transit worked out well; the slow spot was the transfer from the MTA #18 to the Montello #10 which initially was a half hour wait.
On the #18 schedule map it clarified where the M-10 first turns onto Whittier: at Atlantic.
So I got off at Atlantic with my transfer
(.35¢ as opposed to $1.10).
The M-10 arrived on time, and I asked the driver to notify me of Sorenson so I would not miss my stop.
Around the time the schedule figured I'd be arriving, I began to pay attention, and noticed with some dismay that we had arrived at and was now passing Sorenson.
"Is that Sorenson we just passed, that I requested be announced so we wouldn't pass it?" I asked the driver
(and pressing the stop button so I could at least get off at the next stop).
After a moment he unapologetically replied, "Yes it was."
I figured he must have been an MTA driver wanna-be.
The next stop was one block farther, at which the bus turned left off Whittier onto Philedelphia, which thankfully was the very intersection at which was the front gate to the location.
So due to the driver's incompetence and/or early morning inattentiveness, I had less of a walk
(and I knew the return bus stop location),
and I had arrived at 6:15am for my 6:30am calltime.
The breakfast was delicious, infinitely better than the inedible eggs served allegedly as "food" for the
previous movie shoot
on which I worked.
I noticed on arrival in holding
with whom I'd worked before, as well as
with whom I'd worked on the
As the day progressed, Tracy and I met
playing one of the students, but turned out the youthful man was an experienced
feature film director.
I had been set up as a gym teacher; I wore my own jogging-suit jacket and black sneakers and socks, and wardrobe's blue shorts and golden George W. Bush high school t-shirt.
We were brought to set before 8am, and students placed around what came across as a Quad.
It seemed to be lunch but apparently it's breakfast.
As Tracy was also playing a teacher, we were placed to "monitor the students" as they ate; we also acknowledged those students whose crossings had them pass us.
The one and only Kevin Smith came forth, wearing a bright blue and orange hockey shirt with the name Smith emblazoned on it, as well as it being from "Puck U."
He greeted everyone, and thanked us all for being there, the film's first official day of principal photography
(later I was told it was a scheduled 28 day shoot).
While we couldn't hear everything of the dialog
(though some of the foreshadowed premise seemed to present itself),
it was clear than in that single conversation, it seemed this film's script was trying to make the kids from South Park seem as though they were biographical episodes about Mother Teresa.
Various angles and coverage was handled, most shots of which Tracey and I were there, later shots the camera wasn't facing our direction so we could rest.
With Bryan and Ryan
(the actor with whom Bryan was seated at the table between the principals' table and the Tracy and I),
the four of us hit the distance non-SAG "craft table," where we chatted with the pleasant set medic, who has been to these facilities several times, telling us of the main prison area behind the building in front of which we were standing.
After a very pleasant lunch, which had a bit of drama on its own, as somehow not enough chairs and tables had been ordered.
The background talent "had to" sit on the floor until the crew was done eating at the tables
(which for the majority of us was not really the big issue a few others made out of it).
The quad scene was finished up, and, moving to the gym scene, the majority of the students were released, as was Tracy.
Bryan and Ryan were originally not to be used but got chosen to remain as gym students.
When we finally went into the gym, I learned the production's
was playing the Coach
(meaning, so much for any chance of an upgrade).
The students were placed, set up for push-ups, and they rehearsed the dollying camera movement.
I stood at the far side of the students, and one of the friendly ADs came over and said they were keeping me for the reverse shot, albeit were I to have been where I was, it would not have shifted focus from the principals or their Coach.
I waited, and they got various coverage shots, and eventually outside as I spoke with one of Kevin Smith's friends, suddenly I heard one of the higher up ADs announcing other than the three students he's just selected, the rest of us were wrapped.
I clarified with him about the shot, and was told they had changed the shot so I'd not be in it.
"Well that happens," I understood.
We were signed out at 4:52pm, so we'd had a bit of overtime, no mileage as production was smart enough to have the location as the production office location.
In fact, I was already across the street and waiting for the arriving 4:52pm M-10 bus back to downtown with a minute to spare.
I arrived back home in about two and a quarter hours.