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Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Released from the Hollywood Bubble

The concept of time is such a strange thing when you work in the film business, especially when you can spend 6 hours or more filming a scene that will end up being 2 minutes in the final cut.  It feels like at least 3 months have passed since I’ve been able to blog, yet it’s only been a little more than a month!

I was sucked into the One Heart movie filming bubble on October 8 and it abruptly popped in the early morning hours of November 10 after the production had some money problems and paychecks were delayed.  (There was threat of the Teamsters shutting us down at lunch, but they generously allowed us to finish our day.)  For now the movie is on hiatus.

There were three weeks of night shooting because football games take place at night and the sky needed to be dark.  On one of the first nights of the shoot, I was sent back to the wardrobe trailer (it was basically the same as the one pictured here) to do some sewing at 3am, and man, is it hard to thread a needle when you are a little punchy and still trying to switch over to night-shift!

It’s really weird trying to comprehend time when you are sleeping during the day and working through the night.  I saw many sunrises on my way home from work.

Sunrise from my driveway when I pulled in one morning.

As is normal on most shows I’ve worked as a costumer, I was lucky if I managed to get 6 hours of sleep before I had to get up and do it again.  I found myself looking around at the rest of the crew and seeing that they all looked as tired as I felt.  It’s truly amazing with such minimal sleep that there aren’t injuries on film sets all the time – if you think about it, you hardly ever hear about film shoots making the news because of accidents!  That’s rather incredible considering most days are about 14-16 hours long with little sleep between.

We had many days (or actually nights) of 400-500 extras.  That’s a lot people to dress and a lot of herding to do!  Our biggest day for extras was over 2000 (most were volunteers).  They quickly learned how boring and uncomfortable it can be as an extra, and we usually lost about half of them at lunch every day.

I usually wear a hat whenever I am working outside, and I have a large collection of different kinds (some of which I made).  For this job, I bought myself a silver sequined hat to wear on set when we had large numbers of extras.  That way I could be found easily from a distance by cast & crew in the middle of football stadiums full of people.

My sparkly sequined hat that made it easy to find me on set.

The weather did its annual “Texas-can’t-decide-if-it’s-summer-or-winter” thing and some nights were pleasant while others were cold & miserable.  The crew could dress according to actual temperature (winter coats usually came out before a night was over) but actors had to dress according to script.  On cold nights, this meant I had to collect actors’ coats just before we rolled and hold them during takes.

I’m a human coat rack!
I was wearing a fleece ear-band over my sequined hat to
keep my ears warm the night this was taken.

There is only one week of shooting left to finish the movie, and I sincerely hope that the money issues resolve themselves so that the movie can be completed – it really is a wonderful story and all that has been accomplished so far has been fantastic.  It would be sad if all the hard work just ends up being put on a shelf in an incomplete state.

Overall, the production itself was great but my personal experience with the project simply wasn’t fun.  I love what I do, but this movie made me hate my job.  I’ve always believed that there is a reason I get every job I get, even if it’s just to meet a new friend in the business.  And I know I at least managed to accomplish that.  =)

Here’s hoping the next job is more enjoyable.  I’m glad I can now get back to my blog and some of my personal sewing projects!

9 responses to “Released from the Hollywood Bubble

  1. Leila November 16, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I really enjoy hearing about your snazzy boring job. 🙂 But I’m shocked there aren’t more accidents. Now I’m feeling a little spoiled when I say that I won’t sew when I’m tired. Perhaps learning how to sew when tired and avoid mistakes is a good skill to have. Glad to hear you found a new friend in the biz.

  2. Leila November 16, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Oh and I can’t wait to see what you sew up next.

    • Brooke November 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Not sewing when you are tired is a good practice if you want to keep sewing fun! It can become stupidly frustrating when you are tired. I’m always amazed at what I’ve been able to force myself to do when I don’t have a choice on a job – but it definitely takes a lot longer to do the simplest things like threading a machine! And I usually need a seam ripper handy.

      I’m hoping to be back to feeling more normal and rested by next week so I can start back on my fun projects. =)

  3. Athene November 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I can’t believe they didn’t finish it! That’s so crazy! Do you think that is common? Glad you’re getting back to normal. It’s really hard when you have to spend time trying to figure out how you’re possibly going to get any rest.

    • Brooke November 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

      They still have plans to finish, and with only 5 more shoot days, they are really close to it being completed. It’s just a matter of when actors’ schedules, location availability, and everything else lines up at this point.

      The question is will they need any reshoots of anything we’ve already filmed… that’s something that they will have to determine once it gets to editing.

  4. Cation Designs November 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Welcome back, but I do hope they get to finish it! It would be so sad if all your hard, sleep-deprived work went to waste!

    • Brooke November 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks! and yes, and we had some really great acting – I enjoyed watching some of the actors work during the emotional scenes as we shot them. It’s impressive when you can see how many little pieces a scene is shot in and how even just a few seconds here or there still seem real even in person.

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