So, on sunday I was a background actor for this movie called Safe, which has been shooting all over chinatown this month. I was in the disco scene, course we weren't inside, we were just outside all night. We were standing on line to get into the club. It was kinda funny, we're standing out there trying to get into the club and we never get into the club. Then we have to run out of the club, and then get sho-oed away by the po po. It was pretty interesting, though I was doing this in a sparkly black betsey johnson dress and heels. damn my feet were hurting like a mofo!
If you do a quick imdb search for Safe, you can see that the Transporter guy aka Jason Statham is in this movie. Yes I got to see him, but being that we're background we're not suppose to talk to him or harass him for a picture or anything, we have to be totally professional and invisible in a sense. Its kinda whack that they want to be treated like "normal people" but don't want to talk to us. whatever. We weren't suppose to take pics of him either, but one of the girls I met last night managed to snag one quickly.
I will say at one point he was standing right next to me talking to his fellow actors in the scene but I couldn't say anything to him, cause they were very clear in that you're not suppose to talk to them, unless they talk to you first. Pfft. Otherwise you'd get fired on the spot. He's a lot shorter than I had imagined. Yes Transporter dude all bad ass fighting, I was taller than you in my heels.
Now I will tell you about the oh so glamorous life of an extra. I got there at 5:30, changed into my sparkly dress and heels. Got my make up done quickly. The guy put lipstick on me, and said hair could take over. The hair guy did my hair crazy fast in like 5 min. He had this huge barrel curling iron, curled my hair, sprayed it, tucked it behind my ear and went there you go! wow, talk about efficient!
Then we got some food from craft as they like to call it. Snacks and juice all around. Wardrobe lady came around the costume designer came around to see what we were wearing. Some people were casino gamblers so they were in suits and stuff, which is odd cause chinese people don't wear suits to the casino, I mean seriously here. Then she went over the girls for the club scene. They changed our jackets to short skimpy jackets to show off the short dresses we were wearing. God no one wears that to a club!
We were all in insane heels by the time we started to shoot, I mean insane! NYC ladies may rock the shoes, but hell we also bring flats or flip flops after so we can walk! Don't movie ppl know this? And they dressed some of us weird, and did our hair weird too. One girl got this weird side pony tail and this pink sequin butterfly in her hair along with a fake pink shrug. She was like I do not wear this in real life!
Most of the time was spent waiting, we were sitting in holding for 2 hours before they called us to the set. The set was under the bridge literally. They closed off the street and used the mall entrance as a club entrance.
We stood there in our heels waiting for them to set everything up. They had ppl in cars driving by, and pedestrians walking. The PA's all set us up in different areas.
The first scene was an establishing shot, and they spread us around. To make it look like we were in a busy area, and the club was happening. Me and 2 other girls were standing across the street from the club. One girl was this old looking korean girl that thought she was 20. She wore this white stretchy sparkly dress, that was 1 size too small, and a green thong that everyone could see because her thong was also 1 size too small. ew. White dress 1 size too small + green thong 1 size too small = barg. She was wearing this UGLY headband too, which she insists wardrobe made her wear. riight. She was bragging about how she was SAG and how she gets all these gigs. She said she was in a starbucks commercial as a principal, that means she gets to talk. But she wasn't very eloquent and had a horrid accent. God is that what ppl put out there these days? Ugly, old asian women who can't talk? I really didn't know that starbucks even made tv ads these days, but whatever. She was kinda transparent as who she was talking to, and how she would always talk about herself, she just droned on and on about herself and her cat. Figures. No where was a mention of a man, bf, or significant other.
And yes I tweeted a picture of her talking to one of the principal actors. Home girl was trying real hard to mack it to him. He wasn't having it. Sometime tweeted me and asked if homegirl was preggors. well that dress was about a size too small and she was standing there all proud too. lol. They put her in these zebra heels cause her ugly boots that she brought were just fug.
The other girl I was talking to was also SAG. She seemed a little dim at times, but they really dressed her weird, she was the one in the pink fake shrug, and she was like no one would EVER wear this, maybe in the 80's! lol!
Then there was the scene of of people on line trying to get into the club, I got to walk and cut the line in my sparkly dress.
Then there was the scene when the transporter guy finally showed up. It was basically he and his crew were going into the club. His crew beats the bouncer over the head with a shotgun and walks in. The people on line at the club react and leave. Then Mr Transporter walks out of the club happy with what he's done.
And that's the last we ever see of him. The next scene was with all the po po. The po po all come and shoo us away, as they run into the club to see what's happened. Mr Transporter guy and his crew shoot up some gamblers in the casino and a few other ppl and walk out smug. This is the people in the club that got out of the club that the po po are trying to get rid of. Some of these actors actually had the full on po po uniform. They had to wear large white shirts over their costumes, cause they looked really real, and you can't walk around nyc in a costume that realistic, cause ppl will think you're a real po po.
For that scene, they made me take my already small jacket off! it was freezing! Yes around 3 am it got real cold! The PA was like yes the camera will capture the sparkle of the dresses. lol! I was seriously freezing. But we got to chat and talk to ppl. They gave us a 10 min break which turned into 30 min of me sleeping.
They also gave us lunch around 12:30. No Mr Transporter wasn't around. A few of the other actors were. Course cast and crew got to eat first. Then we could. No biggie, they fed us, gave us snacks, and were pretty much nice about it.
The last scene was us running out of the club. The idea was that people were shooting up people in the club, and we're all running out trying to save our skins! Imagine running in heels, now imagine that with several takes! eek! One guy just carried the girl out! It was funny!
By the end we were all braindead. We wrapped at 5am. I got a SAG waiver for this gig, so I got paid more than a non union person would. I also got OT cause once it goes over 8 hours, which it did, cause of the 2 hours of us sitting there, and setting up stuff. I'm not complaining, its something to do if you don't have a 9-5 job and are looking for work.
Then there are some serious actors who would kill to be an extra in a film. For me its just money.
Production was pretty nice as they rented out the Mud truck for coffee and stuff at 3 am in the morning. You just had to tip them, course I didn't know that, and I didn't want to be caffeinated cause I had my lifetime gig in a couple of hours. (That's not my hand in the pic, its someone else's pic actually. I met him that night he was playing a po po)
It was pretty fun, at the end I was dead tired and just wanted to sleep. I had to do the stupid lifetime event, so I dragged myself back to queens and then got up in 2 hours to go back to union square.
The extras casting agency I used was Grant Wifley. They're legit and get you work if you register with them. I didn't pay anything to register with them, they took my pic and I filled out a form and that was it. There are a couple of more background agencies in NYC that I'm going to check out. I get to meet a lot of cool ppl, actors who know which agencies to go to, and where to get work and how to work it.
If you're ever stuck between jobs and searching you can try and do extra work, but its not as glamorous as it seems. unless you're the star of the film you're not gonna get much out of it.
And these are some of the girls I met Sunday night. The one on the left with the crazy pony tail, told me she doesn't wear her hair that way at all! The girl on the left doesn't like how her hair is working out. And I'm pretty damn shiny by then...