The Day I Was An Extra

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A week ago today (last Sunday) I spent the entire day at a bar. No, no, not because of that…. I was hired to be an extra in an music video for the song “Beautiful War” by Kings of Leon. And even though it was a really long day, if I could go back and do it again, I definitely would.

When I received the email notifying me that I was chosen to be in the video, I was estatic beyond words. The email also gave me information about bringing extra clothes so the wardrobe department could choose what we would wear, but call time and exact location were still unknown. They did know it was going to be filmed in Stillwater, OK though. The day before I was to be on set I called the local casting agency’s hotline number to receive my call time and location. Call time was 9:00am…which I wasn’t exactly happy about at first because I knew I had to get ready and still have about an hour drive ahead of me. The location ended up being this local bar/dance hall that is apparently really popular with the locals in Stillwater.

When I arrived, there were already quite a few people there. We were required to fill out a release form and then have our picture taken. And here is where the fun part begins…. Just kidding. Not really. Me and all the other extras sat and waited. And waited. And waited. I got to the location a little bit before 9:00am and sat in the room we all were held in until about 1:30pm. I had already known that I would be sitting for a while, so I had brought my iPod and a book with me so I wouldn’t be bored. But I ended up chatting with the other people that were sitting at the table with me. It was interesting hearing about their other experiences as extras in various other local films, TV shows, commercials, etc.

I was cast as a “Prison Rodeo Spectator” for the video. The other extras cast were inmates, prison guards, and a few other people to appear as rodeo clowns. The back area of the bar was transformed into a makeshift prison with a rodeo. There were also real bulls. The inmates and prison guards had already been called outside to film a few scenes before me and all the other people cast as spectators. When we did get to go out, we filmed one scene where a few girls (including me) were to walk in front of the inmates while they whistle at us. So, it’ll be interesting to see if that scene makes it into the video.

After filming that one scene, I and all the other spectators stood on the stands and they filmed a few scenes of all of us cheering and clapping. I think that day was the most clapping and cheering I have ever done in my entire life. Haha. One of the many highlights of the day was getting to see the actor Garrett Hedlund. He wasn’t in his costume yet, but he was hanging around the set for a few minutes before he was to start filming his scenes. Another scene that was filmed was the actress that plays the wife of Garrett Hedlund in the video is in the stands with all the spectators (I chose a good place to stand because she was in front of me, kind of caddy-corner to me) and Garrett’s stunt double filmed a scene where she reaches for the fence (there was a tall chain link fence separating the spectators from the area where the rodeo took place) while one of the bulls runs by in the background. We were out there for about an hour or hour and a half till they called for a lunch break.

After the lunch break, we were all outside filming from about 3:00pm till 6:30pm. The second half of filming was when I got to see Garrett Hedlund film his scenes. They did quite a few takes of him and the actress playing his wife reaching for each other through the fence. I guess they filmed it again because they needed to get shots of Garrett’s face since the first time they filmed it was with the stunt double. Another scene they filmed was of Garrett on top of a mechanical bull. Obviously it was a close up shot of his face so when people watch the video it will look like he is actually on top of a bull. Also, I got to see Caleb Followill (lead singer for Kings of Leon). He wasn’t a part of the filming, but I saw him hanging back behind the cameras with some of the crew members.

We weren’t necessarily filming non-stop. There were moments when they would film a scene with Garrett or film the inmates, so there were moments where I and all the other spectators were just standing/sitting around. But, it was kind of fun. I got to know a few people I was standing next to. It kind of felt like this small little community of people that are a part of something really cool that nobody else is. And since I’m such a FILM JUNKIE, I found it very interesting watching the crew setting up all the cameras/shots and watching the director and assistant director discuss what kind of shots they wanted to do.

One of my favorite moments from that day that happened towards the end of shooting, was during a little break where the crew was figuring out some shots, the extras that played the inmates started singing that old Garth Brooks’ song, “Friends in Low Places.” Then when Garrett walked back to where they were about to film a scene where, after the 8 seconds of being on the bull, he stands up and raises his hands in the air, he looked towards the inmates and cheered them on and then he turned toward us spectators and said that we were all awesome. Looking back on it, that whole moment was extremely awesome. It still cracks me up even a week later. Haha. 🙂

Then it was a wrap! All of the extras stood in a somewhat long line to retrieve our money (sometimes extras don’t get paid, but for this production we were paid a good sum of money–in cash). It was such a good day and I knew that that wasn’t going to be my first and last time being an extra in something; it would be my first of many. I knew I was going to submit myself to be an extra for other productions whenever they come along. And speaking of which, I have submitted to be an extra in a movie that is being filmed here in Oklahoma. So, hopefully that ends up working out in my favor! If you ever get the opportunity to be an extra in something–do it! It is a very fun experience, you can possibly get some extra money, meet some new people, and will make for a great story to tell people. You don’t have to an actor (or aspiring to be one), I’m not an actor, nor do I plan on being one. There were plenty of people there that have normal jobs and have families and choose to be an extra in various productions just for the fun of it, kind of like a hobby. I was kind of nervous about it at first because I had never done anything like that before and I knew I wasn’t going to know anybody there, but my excitement outweighed the nervousness and I really hope I get to appear as an extra in something else again!

I really look forward to the video’s release. Unfortunately I don’t know when that will be, but hopefully sometime soon. I not only look forward to the video to see if I am visible at all in the video (there were quite a bit of times where the camera was facing in my general direction), but to also see how the whole thing gets pieced together. When it is released I will post it on here.

This was a sign outside of the bar directing the extras. This was the only picture I was able to take that day. My phone had died, so the entire time I was outside filming I didn't even have my phone with me. Plus, they told us we weren't allowed to take any pictures anyways.

This was a sign outside of the bar directing the extras. This was the only picture I was able to take that day. My phone had died, so the entire time I was outside filming I didn’t even have my phone with me. Plus, they told us we weren’t allowed to take any pictures anyways.

13 Days Til Halloween

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13 days ’til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, 13 days ’till Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

Who can guess what movie that is from?

So, it has been quite a while since I have posted any reviews. I have been so busy lately; it’s ridiculous how much I have had going on. But, I’m writing today to announce that it is almost Halloween…13 days! 13 is my favorite/lucky number, hence, why it also appears in Film Junkie’s URL. I’m hoping to post a few things these next couple days until Halloween about some of my favorite and/or iconic horror films. I’m thinking something along the lines of reviews, trivia, and where are they now posts.If you have any suggestions of horror films that you would like me to review or do a where are they now post, then please let me know! Comment below with your suggestions. Also, I will try to continue with Trivia Tuesday.

I also have some VERY exciting news. It is somewhat movie related, but I will announce the news sometime tomorrow.

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Now You See Me

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Now You See Me movie poster

Now You See Me movie poster

Warning: Contains spoilers

Now You See Me is a crime/thriller/magician movie released May 31. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier. It is rated PG-13 for language, some action, and some sexual content. The film has a 7.5 out of 10 on IMDb.com and a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.

When I first saw the trailer for this film I definitely knew I was going to see it and it did not disappoint. I really liked this film. It has a great cast (Woody Harrelson is one of my favorite actors) and interesting story. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine also have parts in this film; Michael Caine also appeared in The Prestige, which is also a magic-themed film.

The story revolves around four magicians, J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). The group are brought together (mysteriously) and end up becoming known as The Four Horseman. The group is sponsored by Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). For the finale at their performance in Las Vegas, the Four Horseman invite a man from the audience to help with their last trick–rob a bank. The man is teleported to a bank in Paris and the money is then vacuumed up by an air duct that ends up “raining” down on the crowd at the show in Vegas.

The Four Horseman (from left to right): Henley Reeves, J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, and Jack Wilder

The Four Horseman (from left to right): Henley Reeves, J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, and Jack Wilder

FBI agent, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is partnered up with Interpol agent, Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) to investigate the robbery. The Four Horseman are taken into custody and interrogated, but are eventually released. Dylan meets with ex-magician Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Thaddeus makes a living out of revealing magician’s secrets behind the tricks they perform. Thaddeus believes that the Four Horseman actually stole the money before the show and somehow tricked the audience into believing it all happened in real time.

The Four Horseman’s next show is in New Orleans; Dylan, Alma, and Thaddeus attend. The finale for this show involves stealing money out of Arthur’s bank account and giving it to members of the audience. Dylan attempts to arrest the Four Horseman, but they get away. Alma does some research on the Four Horseman and learns about a secret society of magicians called “The Eye”  and she suggests to Dylan that all this might somehow be connected to the magician Lionel Shrike that was exposed by Thaddeus and that Lionel was so embarrassed by being exposed that he attempted a underwater stunt and drowned.

The Four Horseman’s last performance is in New York City. Before the performance, Dylan and Alma find the Four Horseman’s secret hideout. Jack is there. He escapes and a car chase ensues. However, Jack’s car ends up flipping over and explodes. At this point, it begins to look like Alma might actually be involved with the Four Horseman; she definitely seems suspicious. The Four Horseman have targeted a particular safe which has been under surveillance by another FBI team that has taken over the case. The safe is intercepted, but is found empty. Dylan begins to suspect there must be a fifth member of the Four Horseman, thinking that Alma or Bradley are in on it.

The Four Horseman (which consist of only J. Daniel, Henley, and Merritt at this point) are almost arrested, but they jump from the rooftop of 5 Pointz and seem to turn into money (the money from the safe) that again “rains” down on the crowd. However, it is discovered that the money is actually fake; pictures of the Four Horseman appear on the money. Thaddeus, returning to his car, discovers that it is filled with the real, stolen money. He is then arrested and taken to prison. While there, Dylan visits him and it is revealed how each trick was performed. Here comes the big reveal: Dylan is the fifth member of the Four Horseman. Dylan is the mysterious person that brought together the Four Horseman in the beginning, he is the mastermind behind everything.

Dylan leaves the prison and meets up with the Four Horseman (Jack is there too; he faked his death earlier) and they are surprised to learn he is the one behind it all. He initiates them into The Eye. Later, Dylan visits France where he meets up with Alma. He reveals he is the son of Lionel Shrike. He came up with the Four Horseman idea to get revenge on those that were the cause for his father’s humiliation and death. Dylan admits to being in love with Alma and Alma decides not to turn Dylan in.

FBI AgeThe closer you look, the less you see...

The closer you look, the less you see…

 

I have to admit, the reveal that Dylan was behind it all did surprise me; I really didn’t see it coming. Of course, looking back on the film, I feel like I should have been able to figure it out. I can’t wait to be able to watch this movie again and it will be interesting to see if I can pick out certain moments that might hint at Dylan being behind everything since I now know that he is the mysterious benefactor. Another thing, when Jack gets into the accident I kind of had a feeling that he somehow wasn’t really dead. Especially considering just before the car flips, Jack smiles and says something along the lines of “A-ha!” And now looking back on that scene, he reacts that way because he knows he outsmarted the FBI and that the plan is working out. This film really kept me engrossed throughout. The acting is great, although Jesse Eisenberg still has that somewhat annoying persona that he tends to have in some of his other films. Sometimes when I see movies I check the time just to get an idea of how long the movie has been playing, but with this film I didn’t do that once; I didn’t care about how long the film had been playing because I didn’t want it to end. If you like magic/caper type films, I highly suggest you watch this film.

A quote that is said in the film, “The more you look, the less you see,” really fits well with the whole plot of the film. As the audience you are looking closely (in my case, really thinking that Alma and/or Thaddeus were involved somehow), but you end up seeing less (Dylan, the least likely to be involved, actually is responsible to everything).

Long Time, No Write

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So, it’s been a while since my last review. I guess June 10th (my review on The Purge) was only a few weeks ago, but it seems like it’s been a lot longer. I have been pretty busy with some things. I still have found time to go to the movies though 🙂 So, hopefully in the coming week I’ll be able to get some new reviews rolled out. I’ve seen a lot of new movies in the past couple weeks and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them.
In the meantime, for my fans of horror films, here’s a picture of Exorcist Twister.

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