I'm interested to hear about your first day. Mistakes you made, moments you got starstruck...
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I was shooting a radio station documentary at POWER92FM in Richmond, Va. It was a marathon to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims… I missed a reaction shot of the DJs cheering when we hit our financial goal. It was only clapping, so I asked the DJs to repeat their performance. That take 2 was the worst shot of the entire video. Right then and there, I developed an appreciation for actors, and we kept the cameras running at all times on the set!
Love all of these stories!!
My first day ever on a film set was back in the 60’s on the set in Ofer Colorado where the original True Grit was shooting. One of my school friend’s dad owned a large land development company in Aspen (Snowmass) and John Wayne was one of the share holders. We stayed at his dad’s house whenever we skied Aspen and It happened that John Wayne was there too. He invited me to be a “gofer” on the set and I got to work with one of the cinematographers. I attended several cast/crew parties at the Hotel Gerome and generally had one hell of a good time. They didn’t pay me but John gave me an old clock wound 16mm Bolex – and I was off and running.
Shannon: A model came to an audition (no acting CV, only print work), hoping to get cast. The director suggested she could "get a little bolder" in the scene with the actor. SO SHE REMOVED ALL HER CLOTHES. This happened at a NYC audition for one of my stage plays; it's too funny not to mention.
I like to volunteer acting, I got to the set where I was supposed to play a sleazy bar patron in a vampire movie. It took me about ninety minutes to realize it was an adult film "where are the fangs? I kept asking. I decided I have better keep my amatuer standing. Anyways it was all a little too sleazy for me to stick around but the best spread of food and drink I have ever run across on a film shoot .
Oh starstruck, how come I was the only extra to recognize Udo Kier? my jaw dropped and he looked at me and smiled.
Not the first time on set but during an industrial shoot we were getting ready for a scene when Paul Fusco walks in holding ALF. I thought it was just me and another guy doing the scene so when they brought in ALF to join us I got completely starstruck. I kept looking over at him during cuts and he looked back as if he was alive. Best day ever!
@ Daniel Lokey -- UDO KIER was going to be in an X-rated adult film?? Sad.
I almost beat up Johnny Depp
In my....guessing my 4th year acting....I was on, I forget what project i think it was a horror movie.Might have been the remake of House of Frankenstein but i really don't recall unless i sift thru old vouchers.It was just a cattle call,i didn't have a principle or even featured scene...Anyway i was set aside,by myself, in a back, office room of the nightclub being used for some sets.And it got later and later and, they forgot about me!It was embarrassing for me because by this time i had my agent, and he was also my ride,and few of us had cel phones in those days.My pager couldn't do me a damn thing! They found me some 3 hours later and,if anything, my agent made it look like i was too emotional about it (I was scared,this club was in a shady industrial part of Los Angeles).I can laugh about it now but it wasn't funny at the time.
Hard to recall my first day. I quit my job as studio camera operator in 1995 to go and be an assistant location manager on set in Harlem NY. Trying to remember my first day after so many years, I think it involved me, a skinny white guy, telling people to turn their music down and holding traffic. There was one time a NYC police officer came up to me and said, "What the f#*@ are you doing out here? If I get a call about a shooting here I'm not going to rush to answer it." This after one of the PA's having a fun pulled on them. Another time a truck started dumping gravel in a lot across the street with these guys raking it ( imagine how loud that was) and I grabbed a cooler, filled it with soda and crafty supplies and went over to and told the workers "Take a break on me, if you need anything just ask for me." and surprisingly they stopped working for two hours. I also kicked Lou Diamond Phillips off set not knowing that his wife, at the time, was the hair dresser. These are just a few of the anecdotes from my first film set job.
My first set was a union set, they were using one camera, and they kept on switching the angles of the camera and doing the same scene over and over and I thought to myself why don't they keep on going, realizes that this is how you get the different camera angle affect.
I had prepared my whole life for being on set. I was perfect. Quiet. Seemless. Never in a rush. They started calling me "Mr. Wizard" because I kept pulling useful things out of my bag. A good example of how prepared I was? It was an outdoor shoot in a wooded area, so I brought Pruning Shears. Those things got quite a work out! Clearing paths, cutting shrubs to cover a car for a later scene, and trimming a few set plants. There was this one moment where the talent was eating serial on camera and needed more milk. I instinctively turned, hit a light, and blew out the bulb. I nearly cried. Everyone on set was cajoling, saying "it's alright, happens all the time." "It shouldn't happen to me! I know better!" Hasn't happened since, because now I survey where every light stand, C-stand, and bulb are positioned.
It was a No-Budget Feature, that I line-Produced at a Hotel at LAX with no-permits and the captain of the Fire Department had lunch there everyday and asked and asked "Where's da permit"... Eventually, I palmed him 50 bucks and he went back to desert... Happy Filmmaking.
I wrote the script but ended up gaffer and anything else on set. I'm great with cords and duct tape. I also pitched in on lighting. On one set I ran off two bulls pushing in on the wrong cue. You need to be ready to do what is needed on a set so the film gets done. People who need a fancy role or title usually do not work out for crew. Like lighting just doing lighting, etc. A set is a team effort but for the star. They work hard and have their role. Crew centers around the star hub. I love being on a set. I hope again sometime. The standing, waiting gig can get tough. But what you accomplish at any level is to be proud! You can check out Turner Classics Back Lot you can go on set.
Years ago was extra no "Miracle on Ice," for one day shot at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. At one point a group of us were walking up a road on their campus. I was in middle of road, while then well-known TV actor Andrew Stevens was tossing a volleyball over my head toward a couple of other featured actors. I raised my hands for ball. While the other featured actors looked daggers, Andrew came over and introduced himself to me and thanked me for my good work. It was a great first day on set of a made for TV movie.
As an eager future filmmaker and at the age of around fifteen, I shouted 'That's a wrap!' after the first shot had been made. Everyone laughed (in a good way, luckily). Oh well... Lesson learned... ;)