Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to be in a movie

How to be in a movie:

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I thought we should go over what the film is gonna be like, or at least, what the battle scene will be like, but before we do, let's talk about what movie making is like.

It's boring.
You wait around and wait around, then you act for a few seconds, then you wait around some more. So bring something to do to occupy your time. (Although there's gonna be 100 other guys to talk to.) Whatever you bring should be able to be stuffed in a pocket before I call, "Action!" A book, a cell phone, etc.
It is also repetitive. We have to do the same shots, over and over, until we get them right. What that means is, no technical problems, (sound and camera,) no horns honking or planes flying over, no, actor mistakes. Due to the fact that we are shooting sequences with 100 men, we will be taking the time to watch our shots and make sure we got them right.
Then we move on.
First we do the big, open "Master" shots.
Then we get in your face and film a million little shots.
And you will get the opportunity to your bit, over and over again.
There are also certain rules about being on a film set, for the most part, they're obvious:
No cell phone ringers on.
"Quiet!" means Quiet!
Nobody stop acting until you hear "CUT!"
Never, ever look at the camera.
We musn't be able to see company logos, (So it's ok to wear Levi Jeans, but don't wear a shirt that says "Levis") More on this later...
"Reset" means, "go back to where you started."
"Take a break" means, "remember where you are right now, you might have to come back to this exact position, after the break."
"Background Action!" usually means, "you people in the background, start doing your thing."
"Action" means "action."
Sometimes you'll be asked to make a commotion, sometimes you'll be asked to be quiet.
Please do what is expected of you. Do not deviate from your instructions.
Do not strike up a conversation with your buddy in the middle of a take. You might make him laugh and 100 guys are gonna have to run down that hill again.

Then there are certain rules for Battle at Beaver Creek in particular:
Everyone must look bad. You've all been in the woods for days. Not sleeping. Fighting, killing, not eating properly, etc.
You should all need a shave. (About 10 days growth would be good.)
You should all be dirty. (When you show up on set, make yourself dirty.)
Some of you will already be bloodied. (We'll do that!)
The film takes place in the future, and in the future there are fewer amenities. (So no hair products, for instance. No make up. No fancy running shoes. Try to be as plain as possible.)
And remember: NO LOGOS.
Try to arrive looking like soldiers. We will have some supplies to help with the look.
Battle at Beaver Creek is about a battle, so there will be weapons around.
Despite being bored and sweaty, DO NOT start horsing around with your pal, for two reasons:
1.) That might not be your rifle you're about to break.
2.) Someone could get hurt.
HINT: Laying down your weapon will be a great way to remember where you were.
Do NOT bring drugs or alcohol to the location, there will be children on set and we'll be doing dangerous things.
Behave yourselves. We'll party later, after the movie's done.
The other thing you can expect is heat. Our shooting days are Aug 11 (in the evening, so not too bad,) and Aug 18 ALL DAY. Bring sunscreen, a hat, whatever you need to protect yourself from dying.
Despite our amazing acting, there is no dying allowed.

Bring a snack that won't perish in the heat, a bit of fruit, a bag of chips, whatever you want, but bring it in a container that can be KEPT OUT OF THE SHOT. During breaks you will be able to wonder off into the woods to eat your Doritos.

For the Armstrong shoot, your vehicle will be two miles away, you will have to be shuttled to it, so make sure you have everything you need, on your person or in your personal container. For instance, medicine.

*At AUG 18 all day shoot, water will be provided and a proper meal at supper time.

Please be respectful to the property. Do nothing to damage it. Throw your trash in the bins. Etc.

In the story, there is a battle taking place between a Yukon Militia and some form of Russian Army. (It's not clear in the story, they could be Russian/Chechnyan, proper army, rebels, etc.)
During the heat of the battle, everyone become frozen by way of a mind control device called the WHEFI. (Which stands for Wireless Human Emotion Function Interfacing.) Then the sun goes down on the frozen battlefield. Then the Mind Control soldiers arrive (MKUS) and clean up the battle.
There are certain rules that must be followed when "in the grip of the WHEFI.
The WHEFI robs you of your willpower and ability to make decisions. It's almost like you're asleep, with your eyes open. You can move, you just don't. What this means is, you're unable to put two thoughts together. So, if you, for instance, hear a noise, you might look in the direction of the noise. But then, unable to make a new choice, you can't look away. If you we're in the middle of stabbing someone, you would still be standing there with your knife in your hand, in his guts, or whatever. If the guy falls over, you would still be standing there, knife in hand, stuck out.

So, in short: Don't move, unless you are moved. Don't even move your eyes.
Breath like your asleep. Relaxed, deep breaths. I want to hear breathing from everyone in the grip of the WHEFI.
The MKUS have the skills to motivate you, let them.

Finally, have fun.
Volunteer movie making is a unique enterprise, it's the opportunity for team created art.

If you have any questions, please contact Brian at any time 250 307 3352
or email him at brian_taylor(at)

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