Tuesday February 02, 2010
With a relief-providing calltime of 11am, I was in no desperate rush regarding transport.
Leaving North Hollywood at 8:55am would get me there in time to hike in and arrive just after 10am.
"Unfortunately," on shoot days I tend to get wound up; not wanting to miss a bus or have a missed connection, I tend to leave even earlier, and even willfully taking my time, I got to NoHo station just before 8am.
No problem, I thought.
I can take the slightly earlier one at 8:30'ish and take my time once I'm up there.
Suddenly the Santa Clarita but arrived, at about 8:05.
Fine, I thought.
I'll just take this then...
I arrived at Newhall Station around the time I should have been leaving North Hollywood.
Despite taking my time on my hike, I arrived at Melody Ranch Studio before 9:30am for my 11am calltime.
I was almost first; main aspects of production had not even arrived.
I eventually was directed to
[AD or PA]
who would be background-wrangling for the day.
I was early enough that breakfast was just being put out, so I had some nice hot food, considering I'd chosen not to wear my back-east winter coveralls I had ready.
I foolishly thought it would warm up... not so much, it turned out.
It wasn't blisteringly cold but it was brisk.
The old-west costuming helped, once obtained and into which changed.
I came across
who recognized me from our working on an episode of
(I actually do not recall working that series, but it sounded familiar, so I figured I worked and somehow I'd neglected to write up a report on it for some reason; we'd definitely worked together on that or something, as he knew of and had seen
since together we'd worked).
Once we were done up, some quick photos of my outfit were taken.
As Wayne lived albeit north of the Valley, he offered to drive me back into the main MTA bus lines, and at the end of the day dropped me at the Woodley Orange Line station from which I took the 233 south on Van Nuys Boulevard to Ventura Boulevard to home.
Throughout the day as we waited, he and I discussed various aspects of science fiction and such.
It was a goodly turnout call for background, maybe about thirty of us, and maybe ten or so children.
Eventually we were brought over to the main street and from our number those in the Most Sunday Best clothes were chosen for a segment which in the sequence would be the second angle.
The 2nd AD explained to us what the sequence entailed and what was to happen, detail into which I won't go here
(I do not believe in providing storyline spoilers myself [such generally currently and/or eventually being readily available Elsewhere notwithstanding], I only convey indications of where I can be seen).
Our "holding" was behind one of the main street building facades; a few air-cannons were set off with their quite-loud "puff" blasts.
As we were too close to "the sets," Christian was directed to warn the background not to take photos there
(about which he'd just been notified),
as they were simply getting shots of themselves in their outfits.
It was a good thing photos of my outfit had already been taken several hours earlier
(as it was, nowhere near the actual sets being used).
After a while we were brought out onto the main street where AD/s
(and most likely the director),
were to select some people for the next segment
(which would be the first part of the bit).
Considering many of us were given props, most of us thought we'd be doing street crossings and/or sidewalk walks, but we went back to sitting and waiting.
While on the main street sidewalk, look down the wide, vacant street the camera was still facing, Wayne and I noted the obvious lack of as much as a single horse.
I knew even if it was a Sunday on which the scene was set, there would be substantial activity in an Old West town main street.
"Maybe they'll all be CGI'd in later," I joked.
I also consider/ed the possibility that the angle/lens/focus could be tight enough on those on the street as to render anything beyond them as distracting within the frame.
The main street shot angle was done, and we went to the church nearby.
This would be from which those
(in the street angle)
would initially emerge, along with the congregation.
was filmed within the church, just our coming out.
The props that would have worked for street pedestrians were taken back
(carpendry materials, etc.).
The Best Dressed were out the door first, as it is they in the reverse angle shot of the street.
I emerge just behind them; it is possible I will be visible.
After numerous takes, with crane shot and a static shot, we began running late, the 5pm lunch was about to strike, and grace was called
(a somewhat dishonourable way around a meal penalty; it's done all the time so I'm not faulting the production, just pointing out that the practice in general is rather unethical on the part of SAG for allowing it to exist).
We were done, but timewise it was so tight that instead of letting wardrobe photograph us so we could change out and be wrapped
(yet still stick around for the meal, or choose to depart),
we were "forced" to stay to have lunch, and eat still wearing our outfits, having been given hastily made plastic bibs.
A few of the background were selected to remain
(there was some night shooting to be done with principals);
those remaining were being bumped to Stand In status
(and pay... and the overtime therewith),
whilst the rest of us were wrapped for the day.
The meal was very good, after which wardrobe lined us up for continuity photos, and we hastened to change.
Christian was being quite equitable, signing out first the children before the adults.
One of the adult background pointed out to Christian that he "could not work 'non-union'," apparently not recognizing at the start of the day that he had been given a non-SAG voucher.
Christian politely pointed out to him that the man was not listed on the casting list as being SAG
(and/or to get a SAG voucher).
Christian accurately pointed out that this was an issue with Rich King who booked the background, whom the man began loudly calling an @sshole, and yet still giving Christian major attitude about it, even though Christian had no authority to handle it, particularly so late in the day.
Had the guy paid attention when he got his voucher, he could have called Rich King at that time to clarify things.
It would not have been the only hiccough; during sign-in one booked woman was not on the list: a quick call to Rich King clarified she was booked, somehow her name just missed the final list.
(The last of the children not back from changing and thereby not signed out yet),
the growing-irate man all but demanded "at least" being signed out, which Christian mock-happily obliged, obviously to get the problem guy out of there.
Even I know that one does not blame the guy who validates the vouchers for a problem caused by someone else
(I don't blame production for its payroll company practicing the criminal act of conversion: taking my property
[compensation for private-sector labour],
and giving it to a third party with which I have no nexus: it is not the payroll company's property to give to anyone but me).
With the guy gone, Christian left intact on the guy's voucher the Out Time as the actual time he was signed out, as a flag with which to remind Christian later as to Who Was The Problem Guy, to make sure production/s knew/know not to hire one who clearly can give such attitude.
I doubt any AD with whom I've previously worked would disagree.
For the rest of us, considering how late it was getting, the Out Time was moved back to accomodate accurately the rest of us being signed out; while no real overtime, we did get sixty-five miles for the mileage bump.
On learning on what project I was working, my comic-book author/artist friend
conveyed very much looking forward to it, the graphic novel series being one of his favourites
(certainly earliest on in its series).
Considering what was filmed, I really don't think it was reshoots as much as simply Second Unit stuff.
It should be interesting to see how it all looks.