Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Stumbling Into Television

Last week, I missed class because I had this terrible migraine. By 3:00 pm, I had taken every kind of headache medicine I had, and my head still hurt. I knew that being around those chemicals could only make it worse, so I skipped class for good reason! Since I don't have anything about class to write about right now, I will report on the two [narrative] film projects in the mean time. ... Okay, I only worked as a background extra on both projects. But, as a friend of mine put it, "without [extras] the scenes would all be weirdly empty and totally unrealistic!!"

The first project was a student film by my friend Luke Bruehlman called "The Stragglers". The scene was of a garage band called the Dirty Socks who takes a gig at a Christian rock show. I guess Luke was expecting about a hundred extras, but only twelve showed up. Man, I felt bad for him! But, he took what he had and ran with it, so everyone shows up in this film a lot!

At one point the script called for a metal band, and Luke asked five of us (including myself) to headband. I haven't head-banged/moshed/etc. since I was about sixteen. That was eight years ago, and by the end of the night, my head reminded me that I'm not sixteen anymore! Those of us head-banging take-after-take could feel our brains literally knocking around in our skulls! The room spun, and by the last time "cut!" was yelled, we all collapsed on the floor! By the next morning, my neck was aching. No more with that craziness! It's time to grow up!

Three days later, I was playing another background extra that was grown up. I worked for "One Tree Hill". They pay in cash instead of favors, and it's cool to watch a professional crew working on a project that will be seen nationally. I afraid to be specific with the content of the scenes - non-disclosure and all - but the first scene we filmed involved a man and woman arguing in a public place. (Yeah, that sounds like general OTH plot!)

Last spring, I was in an acting for non-majors course, and I remembered what my instructor taught us: be in the moment even if you aren't the focus of the scene. So I did. I reacted to what going on. After the coverage was filmed, the director said, "Okay, let's film some background. I want reaction from the girl in the blue shirt." He was talking about me! All of the sudden, I was surrounded by lighting guys putting an extra light on me and the make-up girl came over and powered my nose. I looked over and I saw that the camera was pointed at me.

There was one small part of me that wanted to just scream like a giddy little girl, another small part that wanted to be like Cartman and sing “I’m gonna be on television!”, and a third part of me was saying to play it cool and just react. Fortunately, I listened to the third part.

Then when everything was ready, the director said action, and I did my thing. However, I have to say that the coolest part was that the actors played the scene again, despite having no camera on them. Twice. That’s professional! I may not like the show, but I now have respect for the cast and crew themselves.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Where have I been?

Okay, I admit it. I haven't been writing in my blog, but that is going to change.

The past few weeks have been pretty exciting! I haven't worked with stop motion since I was a freshman in high school (which was in the last century, btw), and I haven't done any hand processing since 2002! I almost forgot how amazing it was to be under a safe light and watch the film (or back in the day, the photo paper) turn from white to a light-etched image. It is perhaps the closest to magic, in my humble opinion. The only problem I've ever had with film processing is the smell the chemicals gave off, but that's a given.


Recently, it was announced at my church that we're going to have a talent show in December. I'd love to show one of films I've made here at school, but (to be honest) I don't like any of the films I've made with the exception of the elements film we've made over the past few weeks. I'd like to do something experimental like that again where the film is physically manipulated, but this time including film of the local area, my friends, classes (if possible), etc. I probably need to look into how much it will cost for 8mm film and chemicals. I'll probably try the caffinol developer for biodegradable purposes. I wonder if I can borrow the fixer from the class stores?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Student, New Day

Hi, I'm Sam!

I'm new to this class, so I'm still learning about this class's procedures. I hope I get it all soon! (By the time I'm out of class today, I expect I'll have a pretty good idea.) I'll see everyone at 3:30pm!