What I learned from working on a movie set this past week.

  1. The glamor portrayed about Hollywood is strictly for the actors, and by actors I mean top shelf performers not the bit part players.  All the others spend most of their day sitting like the extras waiting.  When I say waiting, I mean waiting.
  2. Eating is taken seriously when it’s able to happen.  Sitting down to a meal isn’t always an option but good food is available all the time to snack on.
  3. Shooting a scene can sometimes take an eternity to get just right, oftentimes the extras start to rumble and cheering does happen when finally completed.
  4. The best way to be noticed and used often as an extra in a movie is to show up as a cute 17-24 year old girl.  If you’re an fat old fart like me you just have to be forceful and show up even when they don’t call you (worked surprisingly well)
  5. AD’s (Assistant Directors) are the hardest working people I’ve seen in a long time.
  6. There are people in this world who are professional extras and they talk about their careers like they are a form of nobility.
  7. Short of the US military, I never seen logistics done as they are on a movie set.  Precision movement of so many by so few is a sight to watch.
  8. A scene that takes 25 minutes to shoot can last a short as 5-15 seconds on film.
  9. Other than being the star of the movie, the only job I would want in the industry would be the clicker board guy.  He seems to move at ease and doesn’t do much heavy lifting.  I could handle this.
  10. It cannot be understood the amount of time spent doing nothing waiting for a scene to be set up or reset.
  11. Some high profile celebrity types are real assholes, however, the majority of the people, including the talent, are very kind, gentle and considerate of the minions about the set.
  12. When doing group shots, try to stand near a buxom woman to get the cameraman to include you in the picture.
  13. Actors can pretend many things but transforming from a pretty boy to a home run hitting baseball hero will take some hard work in special effects to look believable.
  14. It’s really really hard work, the day starts early and goes very late with little or no breaks except for a meal.  The meal only happens if they’ve been able to capture the shot perfectly, otherwise the shoot will continue uninterrupted.
  15. Most scenes of excitement, clapping, yelling, cheering, etc…are actually done in pantomime and sound is added later.  Performing such a scene is a mind blowing experience, kind of like a bad drug trip from ones youth.
    —Getting an affirming nod from Clint Eastwood made the whole experience worthwhile.


  1. kristy m said,

    April 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Well put my friend.

  2. peacetrain5 said,

    April 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

    It was quite an experience Kristy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: