I go to Hollywood.

Current Theme Song (aka what's currently playing on my ipod right now): Kiss From a Rose by Seal.

Yep, you heard me right, and it was awesome. Okay, well it wasn't Hollywood Hollywood in the sense of California and all that, but I did get to go behind the scenes and on set to see a short film production being made. They were redoing a scene from Fight Club (yes, with Brad Pitt) for a directing project for their film school class. It was the famous "kiss"/lye scene where they were making soap. My "Guess My Adventure" photo of what looked like a rock party gone horribly wrong came from that scene.

It was very cool, and as Shannon Messenger can attest on many occasions (she originally was studying to be a screenwriter in a top movie program), the movies aren't everything you expect. Here now, I get to give you the inside scoop (a very small scoop, at least).

First of all, in the movies, there is a lot of waiting. I mean, the filming of the scene itself takes a relatively short time in comparison. This photo you saw yesterday? They wanted me to take it as a reference shot of everything that was on the counter, since there would be thrashing and twitching and all sorts of movement around, and they had to be able to line up all the pieces again in a psycho jigsaw puzzle for the next take. Continuity is vital, and takes so much more prep-work than you'd think. One poor girl had to sweep up the "lye" (baking soda) after every take and put it back in the jar. Low budget can mean a lot of work.

Some Movie Magic tricks:

Gross, slightly disturbing meat locker door? = covered in Pero and hot chocolate powder.

Tallow? = generic bar soap cut up beyond distinction.

Other misc. props? = raided from everyone's apartments. That means free. :)

Also, it is really funny to see just what is beyond the camera lens, just out of sight.

Electrician's tape to hold up the creepy, flickering single light bulb they brought in. (they even had a machine that made it flicker. Very cool).

Creepy "mood" lighting.

A $5000 camera that they treated like a baby, and for good reason. Oh, and by the way, all that trash and props to make the place look dingy? Yeah, from all sorts of sources you don't want to know about. One kid even went dumpster diving for an old pizza box that never made it into the shot. Ah, the life of Hollywood.

Speaking of stars, the actors were really good, like really good. I was impressed. I'm not sure if it is this way with all cast and crew relationships, but there was a lot of easy and open conversation between them. It was a really fun environment to be in (but hot. That is something that doesn't translate to the final film. Stuffy too).

The back room you never see with all sorts of cords. Lots and lots of cords. They had color-coded tape too for different aspects of the production.

I got up close and personal behind a lens camera. I even got to be a boom operator!

The ever elusive and amazing director. :)

His name is Matt Knect and he is working to be a movie producer. I don't have the final video of the night I was there with them , but here is a demo reel of what he is capable of. There really isn't anything he can't do. If you can think of it, almost guaratneed he can do it, and do it with a crazy amount of skill (just look at that lighting! These aren't any cheesy,backyard productions). Right now he's in school, but keep an eye out for his name in a few years. I know you'll be seeing it. So if you or someone else is thinking of doing a book trailer or any kind of video, I wouldn't rule him out.

Greenlight Reel from Mystery Box on Vimeo.

So overall, a total blast and a crazy awesome experience. :)


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

How fun! Please please please post a link if they end up putting it on YouTube :)

MissAttitude said...

I love Kiss from a Rose =D

I still haven't seen Fight Club yet, I need to watch it. People always make references to it and recommend it.

How do you go on all these awesome adventures?! Sure it wasn't the actualy Hollywood with all the rich people, but that's probably next for you :) I always suspected film sets would be hot and stuffy, all those cameras and other equipment. But I did not know that there was so much waiting.

Heather Zundel said...

Juju - Oh, definitely. Can you not see vimeo videos?

MissAttitude - Kiss From a Rose is GREAT song. :) (I actually haven't seen Fight Club, either! It sounds too violent for my tastes. Maybe if it ever comes on tv...).

And that is actually one of the big points of my blog. I DON'T have all these grand adventures. I just try and experience everything I can, soak up the world all around me, and then share it with people. I say I'm a "superhero" but I say my superpower is "ordinary girl extraordinaire."

I just try to live life, and have fun with it, and show everyone else they can too. ^_^

Lenore said...

That's something I would love to do one day. I love getting to go behind the scenes and see how things work.

Erin said...

I always want to laugh when people wish they could be in the movie business because "it's sooo glamorous!" When, in actuality, it isn't. Long waits, stuffy rooms, dumpster diving, what-have-you. But what it IS exciting and adventurous and, if you're passionate about it, the best best best thing in the whole world. :)

Heather Zundel said...

Lenore - It was so much fun. I have always been dying to know just what is behind the view of the camera.

Erin - So true. On all counts, Erin.