Welcome to Hollywoodland!

9 Sep

I live in LA. I have friends throughout the entertainment industry. It was only a matter of time before I was involved in some project, right?

If you said yes, gold star to you.

I recently had the opportunity to wear a few hats on the set of a short film. NerdLush friend, Tara Platt– you know, from Shelf Life, duh- gave herself a personal challenge to film and complete a short film in a 48 hour period. Putting the call out via social media, Tara put together a team of volunteers who would come together on a recent weekend to create… art. And yes, yours truly replied to the call with the following response- “not my area of expertise, but I can move things”, or something very similar. I figured an extra set of hands couldn’t hurt and if they had enough help, I’d be informed- no harm, no foul. But my help was appreciated.

I wish I could tell you about the film in more detail than this post will contain. But as it is being sent to festivals for possible entry, I will stay spoiler free. Sorry. It’s really cute and fun and clever though.

the film making process... from behind

the film making process… from behind

Somehow I ended up getting the title of PA and also Script Supervisor. OK- so what do these titles mean? I interpreted PA to mean essentially slave labor- do as your told and whatever is needed. No problem. While my real life work mostly is defined, there is an aspect that is basically “do as your told”- so I’m used to this. Alright, but what is a Script Supervisor? I have a theatre background so in my head I picture this job as being the person who gives lines when needed and follows the script to make sure nothing is missed. Easy peasy. However, if you Google Script Supervisor you’ll find out that the position is essentially god- all knowing. And has to connect with just about everyone on set. And pay attention to what shots the director et al liked. Um… what? So I texted my friend Brenna, who went to film school and is a PA professionally. She said I could do the job. But I somehow managed to also convince Brenna to be a part of the project- thus making me only a PA. Phew!

But wait! In the week prior to filming, Tara was still looking for a hair and makeup person(s). I put the call out- specifically to Myria, another high school friend, with a fashion education who also knows her shit when it comes to hair and makeup. But she had to work. I tried our Emily, but she already had plans for the date. And somehow the job became mine. If you know me, you are laughing right now because you know that if it takes more than 5 minutes to do my hair, I won’t do it. And makeup-wise, I only ever put on a tiny bit of eyeshadow and mascara. So, me as hair and makeup? Kind of hilarious. Especially, if you want period stuff. But once I accepted the job, I Googled simple stuff and BAM! I knew what to do.

Just don’t expect to see me in fancy dress because of this. I’m still as lazy as ever.

So the day of the short was finally upon us. We’d all received the script a few days before- an adorable sci-fi story, in 3.5 pages- and Brenna had made it down to LA. What I truly learned is this- there is a lot of waiting around on a film set. Someone else always has to set stuff up and you have to wait for it. And also, on a small set- though you don’t want to be in the way, there is always something to do. Another thing, though theatre and film are very different mediums, they are also very similar. The same tricks are used in lighting; an actor or set piece can be “cheated” to adjust for space/angle that is needed.

a semi meta shot the explains how making a film works... sort of.

a semi meta shot the explains how making a film works… sort of.

For my gig with hair and makeup, the same tricks are used- though adjusted. Wherein on stage, with an audience of 1000 people, makeup is done so that it can be seen in the back of the room, for film makeup is closer to what would be worn on a regular basis with thought put into highlight and shadow, as well as the effect set lights will have on a person, and related to period/film style. Relating to the latter, if switching to Black & White or similar, makeup has to be altered in order better suit the film. Where as on a daily basis a touch of blush to add color is worn, in Black & White, more would be needed so that it would be visible.

What else did I learn? I don’t know that I’d want to do this professionally- while my real work has a certain amount of waiting around included, I also have piles of work that needs to be one while I wait. It would be different if I was into lighting or camera work, but that gets too technical for me- it’d be fun for a bit but then it’d get boring (to me). Or maybe if I worked for a company and did props or something on several projects at a time… at least I’d be busy all the time. However, having said that- for fun on weekends? Sure thing, I’ll be happy to help out friends with their projects. I had a lot of fun being on set and getting to help out.

And getting to observe the creation of something clever and fun? Yeah, that was especially cool.

I should note, we didn’t meet the 48 hour goal Tara set for the project- technology was against us. But everything was done within a week and, again, the project is being sent off to many festivals. I had a chance to see the final project the other night and it turned out great! Even cuter than I had thought it would be.

And getting to see my name in the credits? Pretty damn cool.

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One Response to “Welcome to Hollywoodland!”

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  1. Highlights of 2013, a NerdLush year in review | NerdLush - January 13, 2014

    […] the end of its run later in the year), which led to growth in the relationship- got to help on a short film! We even reviewed their mockumentary, Con Artists. Additionally, we were able to help out the […]

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