Monday, November 14, 2005

Bounty Hunter show

As in many industries, the unions run the film business too. If you're in the union (the Screen Actors Guild) as an extra, you're in luck. They treat you better, feed you better, and you can almost make a living on what they pay you. If you're non-union, however, the kid gloves are off (it's possible that, technically, if you're a non-union extra, they don't even have to provide you with water).

Most extras want to be in SAG, especially those who hope to be real actors one day (oh, sorry, I meant "real" actors, P.C. fans). The three best ways to move up from non-union to union are:
1) Be a hot chick;
2) Make friends with the casting director or crew of a show; and
3) be a last minute replacement for someone who is in the union.

That's not exactly what happened to me today, but it's close. Still smarting from what they did to me over the weekend (which I won't go into for fear of looking even more pathetic than the stepkid of a homeless guy, or maybe his step-nephew), I was out of work today, about to read "Harry Potter" again, when I got a call to replace some guy on a TV show about bounty hunters. Would've been nice to work with Bossk and IG-88, but they didn't show.

Not even Dengar was around, just a guy who stunt doubled for Steven Segal, a soft-spoken tattooed long-haired dude, and the guy who played Vin Diesel in his death scene in FAST & THE FURIOUS: The DVD Edition. We were doing a reenactment (my first) about a team of bounty hunters who bust into a suburban house in the middle of the night to catch a fugitive, shoot the place up, tie up a couple of teenage girls, rape a cat*, and terrorize a little boy . . . only to find out they're at the wrong address.

I was playing a uniformed police officer (one of two) who comes on the scene afterward, questions them, checks their bounty hunting paperwork, and makes sure Zuckuss and 4-LOM keep their names straight. I guess they were going to do a firefight later, involving squibs and weapons with blanks in them, but alas, I didn't get to participate in that.

They cast another guy to play my partner, and he arrived really, really late. He explained that he had driven up from San Diego (about 170 miles) and had traffic problems. Sadly, they had already gotten someone to replace him and he had to go home. The guy they pegged to be my partner was about twenty-five, with long blond hair, and at least a week's beard growth. The man they'd gotten to advise on weapon use, special effects, and police procedure said, "If I was directing this, you'd be in the back of the squad car, not driving it." So they made him grease his hair back and shave (he had no shaving cream, but the man told him to use soap). Unfortunately, he cut himself pretty badly on the cheek, and spent half an hour dabbing at it with tissues. He still got off easy compared to the San Diego guy, though.

The production was small and there were few of us. They shot it all in and around a nice Burbank home in a casual and quick manner just like the best college film shoots. They had three hand-held digital video cameras that they used simultaneously, and I'll bet you could make a fine feature film just that way.

The real police came by at one point and said the neighbours had complained, so there could be no firearms (real or rubber) in the front yard. As soon as the cops left, the pistols and sawed-off shotgun came right back out. Also much like student film work.

The afore-mentioned technical advisor was a craggy ex-police officer who must've so doubted his own masculinity that he had to throw his weight around to prove he was the Alpha Male in the room. Even though I only had to stand there in my scenes, he took it upon himself to show me how to hold my baton ("Everybody in the movies gets it wrong"), where to place my badge ("You mean your target? A badge just makes a bright shiny target for perps to shoot at"), how to squeeze someone's fingers together when you're taking them in custody ("You can even squeeze their thumbs"), and how to hold your right wrist with your left arm while standing (That way, your right arm is covering your firearm, while your left arm is free to elbow the extra you're demonstrating this on in the stomach).

He then asked me, "You ever use handcuffs? Besides putting them on your girlfriend, I mean?" I guess I should thank Buddha he didn't say "boyfriend," but I wasn't feeling super grateful.

He showed me how to handcuff an arrestee, that you press the cuffs down into place, neither clasping nor slapping them on. Then, so the girls would REALLY be impressed, he pressed one of them on me. "I only did one of your wrists," he said, "So that you'll have the other one free to try and find the keys to those things." Well, he may have thought this was funny, but it might have really not been. Luckily, I was . . . "blessed" with having the wrists of a seven year old girl, and I simply squished my left hand and slipped it out from the cuffs. Otherwise, I think it's safe to say he would have been an asshole.

Oh, it wasn't all bad. It was a very short shoot, and there wasn't much traffic on the way home. This gig was unique because I got to do so darn much (on camera). The director said, "Talk to the family, let them know the situation and make sure everything's alright," and we got to improv our scene. We did two takes, and I got to basically be the Senior Partner, since I was better at ad-libbing than the other cop. And then we were free to go.

It's for the History Channel, which I don't have (of course), but I wouldn't care if it was for the White Supremacy Channel, the Sodomy Channel, Lifetime, or the Let's Make Fun of Ugly People Network: money is a good thing to have.

Rish Greedo Outfield

*Okay, maybe I made that part up. But not the rest.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Jeremy Uejio's Blog
More on SanDisk MP3 player I've had my SanDisk 1Gb MP3 player for about one month now.
Your Blog. It's educational. No better time than now to stop on this website about scommesse calcio . More than scommesse calcio