The movie industry is very unpredictable. Things can change at anytime and that was the case on Friday when I showed up on the set for the making of the fifth installment of the Home Alone series.
I was told by the casting agency that I would be playing the part of a detective and I should bring along clothing and accessories that a detective would wear. Trench coat, leather jacket, suits, etc. I was really loaded up when I walked through the doors. I brought along five suits to choose from.
The guy at the door directed me into the cafeteria to await my call. There were three other extras already waiting. There was a hot buffet just sitting there for us actors, silent or not. In another corner, a table was laden with bagels, fruits, deserts and more. I like waiting. And I like acting. Did I mention that they even had sushi on the menu? How do these actors stay so slim?
To my disappointment, they decided to scrap the detective and go with four cops instead. So much for the suits, I was fitted for a cop’s uniform and went back to waiting in the cafeteria.
When we finally got our call, it was 11:15pm and I was five pounds heavier than when I showed up.
If you have never been on a set before, it’s an interesting experience. There were us four cops and three villains in this vast warehouse type place with about thirty members of the production staff. It’s funny the way the noise comes to a sudden stop as soon as the director yell, ‘Shooting!’ There is a person for everything. Even a guy that sweeps the floor between takes. It took us over an hour to get our part to exactly how they wanted it. We had to walk maybe fifteen feet for our take.
The last ‘cut!’ was yelled at about 1am followed by ‘That’s a wrap!’ We were done! We shook hands with the crew and each other, then went our ways.
Now comes the wait. No, not for the movie, silly, for my pay cheque to arrive in the mail. You thought I did this so I could be in a made-for-tv Home Alone movie? Ok well that too.
My on-set experiences make me wonder, do actors really enjoy going to the movies especially those that they are star in? Or is it anti-climatic? I mean it’s not as if they do not know how it all ends. I have found that since working as an extra, I pay more attention to the extras on movies. I think, look at those people at the table pretending to have a conversation. It can and does take something away from the credibility of the movie and the enjoyment.