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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!

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