Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bo Knows Videos

January 21st, 2006

I worked my first music video today. I sort of hope it's my last.

Today I worked on a music video that was as inefficient as the day is long (and it was a very long day). They did pay in cash, however, which is better than a couple of the gigs where I have not been paid. Which reminds me, I guess I ought to call them again. It's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another . . .

I had sort of heard of Bo Bice in a nebulous, vague sort of way. I assumed he had won "American Idol" last year or the year before. Turns out he was a runner-up.

Regardless, it was his first music video too.

At first it was fun, since the huge crowd (300 plus people) thought it was going to be a short day.* The song wasn't bad, and Bo seemed friendly (sort of a Country-Rock guy, and totally gung ho to repeatedly pretend to sing his song in front of crowds of adoring fake fans). But as the hours stretched on and the sun came and went and still we sat there, people started getting grouchy and ready to leave. Most of the time we were shooting in an alley between two warehouses downtown in Los Angeles. First the alley was cold, then once the sun rose high enough, it became warm, and by the end of the night, it was back to cold again.

The track was called "The Real Thing," and was catchy enough I thought I would download it when I got home. Around noon, I was pretty much convinced it would be a hit song, and by one-thirty, I was SURE that Coca-Cola would use it as their new jingle someday soon.

Unfortunately, after hearing it again and again and again and again (about eleven times more times than the goram Foo Fighters song two days ago), I not only hope Coke doesn't use it, but I don't want to ever hear the song again, even if my gruesome face is all over the video.

The director was a young man, but if he wasn't, I'd be sure he was the same guy who did "West Wing" the other day. People were friendly, the girls were beautiful (I recognised many of them from "CSI:Miami," the Aleve commercial . . . and my own fantasies), and a lot of us really got into it, dancing around, jumping and waving our arms in the air, and eventually even singing along.

At one point, though, one of the guys leaned over and said, "Dude, this is totally that song by Avril Lavigne." Sure enough, the chorus of "Complicated" fit PERFECTLY over the chorus of "The Real Thing." Strange.

When we weren't shooting the video, we were all sitting in a coldish empty warehouse and around six o'clock, the water ran out in the honey wagon toilets out back. You can see why some people didn't count it among their favourite days of the year.

It was seriously inefficiently run, and terribly understaffed for how many of us there were. Also, because they were paying us in cash, the wait to get checked out stretched off into infinity. First they had us line up to hand in our paperwork, then they gave us numbers (I assumed, if they gave us numbers, they'd be checking us out in numerical order), then they ignored the numbers and wrapped people alphabetically. I have NO DOUBT there are people with last names that start with W or Y that are still in line to be checked out.

Because it was non-union shoot, we realised, the crew could keep us just as long as they wanted. They were paying no overtime, no meal penalties, no bumps, and because it was non-union shoot, we realised, the crew could keep us just as long as they wanted.

So, what seemed like a cushy, easy gig in the morning, ended up trying the patience of every man, woman, and in-between at night.

But I'll say it again: it still beats working.

Or wearing a leprechaun suit, come to think of it.

Rish Outfield

*They had told us we'd only be shooting until the sun went down, so while that's not a super short day, it's still a reasonable one.


Julie said...

Hey Rish, Enjoyed your recap. As a big Bo Bice fan, I'd like to know more - what was he wearing? Was he accompanied by a band? Any other details about Bo? Thanks.

Sunny said...

I too am a Bo Bice fan, but man, wouldn't have wanted to experience the overflowloo-joys you apparently did...

Anyway, did you talk to the Biceman at all, or was it all strictly hands off for the "lowly" extras?

Rish Outfield said...

He did have a band with him. A drummer, keyboardist, and guitarist. Bo was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with some kind of logo on it, and a big red leather(?) jacket or slicker over that. He has long hair and a neatly-trimmed beard.

Like I said, he was very friendly and very patient. I did talk to him for a second--that's how I knew it was his first video. He didn't think it would take much longer and figured it would be airing in a couple of weeks.

Yes, extras are extremely lowly, but in this case, Bo talked to us and smiled for several pictures.