Monday, September 10, 2012

Makin' Movies, or, why nobody likes BG

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The other day it was time to film the wedding scene on the set of The Film That Shall Not Be Named.

Wardrobe Team, having been worried about this scene since before we started filming, gets to work an hour early. I'm steaming clothes like a crazy person (seriously, where do you keep this suit? In a plastic bag at the bottom of your closet?) when BG (extras, or background) starts to arrive and, of course, fuck up our shit.

(Now let me just preface this rant by saying I understand BG are human beings with thoughts and feelings and needs- like going to the bathroom, or having some water, or getting tired. That's totally cool. I've been BG myself in the past. 

But to be perfectly blunt, you are not that important. We need you because a wedding with no attendees is not really a wedding, it's an elopement. You are essentially human set dressing. I need you to sit or stand in the same spot until we are done rolling. I know it sucks, and you're only making minimum wage, but seriously I don't care. You're not going to be discovered as an actor on this set, especially not if you continually piss of the 1st AD. [ And don't fucking tell me about how Nicholas Cage did that, because his uncle is Francis Ford Coppola. Also would you want to be remembered for Ghost Rider?])

the industry (is counter-intuitive)

So anyway. BG begins to arrive, and get in the way, and act like I should prioritize approving their outfits over prepping the wedding dress (worn, by the way, by the actress who also happens to be Wife of Extremely Important Actor), when what do I see? a BG who has shown up in a lace cream dress. 
To a wedding scene. 
For which they were given very specific instructions regarding clothing. 
She was fired immediately.

There were of course also little children on set who would not be satisfied by removing their costumes and throwing them on the ground- no, pasta sauce had to also be applied directly to their clothes during lunchtime.

But the final straw in my contempt for BG comes when during the champagne toast scene one of them asks me for "a few more empty champagne glasses. I need them for my seltzer." He asks ME. The wardrobe intern, the girl who has only been pestering him about his clothes all day. He is met with a long, hard gaze, and a vacuous but contemptuous "No."

It can be good to be the unpaid help. They really can't fire you.

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