Sunday, September 8, 2013

Movie Stars

I don't know why I receive emails from "Be in a Movie", but for whatever reason I do.  I've received three emails over the past 18 months.  The first requested people to show up wearing 70's clothes for a scene in the Steve Jobs' movie.  I didn't have any of my 70's clothes with me (and I do have some at my dad's house but unfortunately my waist back then was as big as my thigh is now).  The second email was for a beach scene in SHARKNADO and I'm sure you're thinking that having to wear a swimsuit on camera would be reason enough for me not to attend (which by the way, they did not want any swimsuits worn).  I couldn't attend this request because I was on a trip.  

So when I received an email to be an extra in a scene in Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner's movie, ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY- I sent the email to my friend, Karen, who is also temporarily living in L.A.  We decided that it might be fun and interesting and if nothing else it would be a new experience.  We were asked to wear nice casual clothes as if we were parents attending a school recital.

We got on the road by 7 a.m. to get to our designated location in Pasadena, a parking lot at a community college.  We arrived an hour early and joined the others already in line after completing some paper work.

We even had our movie star sunglasses on for this shot!

We eventually got on the bus which was our transportation to a local school.

We then found a seat under a tent and waited for approximately 1 1/2 hours with about 200 other people.  There were giant misting fans blowing to keep us cool and water, apples, oranges, and bananas were provided for us while we waited.  We were also "entertained" by Dante who told us some of his personal encounters with  different actors/actresses.  According to Dante the nicest star on a set is Adam Sandler who gave his segway to one of the "Be in a Movie" extras one time and the worst is Tommy Lee Jones.  Dante helped pass the time with trivia games and stories.  He writes for Joan Rivers and also just wrote a screenplay for the film, BRO, WHAT HAPPENED.  You can read more about Dante here.

Pictures were not allowed once we left the tent which was around 11 a.m..  We filed into a school auditorium that was not air conditioned and we found a seat.  It was exciting to actually be on a movie set with the lights, cameras, and all the necessary personnel.  Had we done this before, we would've found a seat under one of the balloon-like lights floating near the ceiling.  Later we realized that these lights indicated where the scenes were going to be filmed.

Karen and I were soon split up, I was moved to the seat in front of her.  And soon after that the rehearsal began followed by the real thing with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner running down the aisle right beside us again and again and again.  We were not allowed to speak to them, but one of the times that Steve Carell was coming back up the aisle he said, "It's awfully quiet back here."  He just makes me laugh just by looking at him and Jennifer Garner is so pretty and tiny!

After that scene was filmed to the director's satisfaction we took a break for lunch.  Walking from the tent to the auditorium we passed by some catering trucks and the food smelled really good.  Well, that food was not for us.  We had a box lunch with a sandwich and chips.  It wasn't bad, but we also knew what was being served outside to the real stars.

Around 2 p.m. the filming process began again and for the next five hours (with a 30 minute break) the same scene was shot repeatedly from the same angle and from different angles.  I was moved again, further from Karen, about three rows from stars but not right behind them.  We were glad that we stayed until the filming was completed (7pm.) because Karen was moved to the row behind the stars when they were filming the close up shots of Steve and Jennifer (by this point we were on a first name basis!). 

At the very end, Steve left quickly without saying a word (he had to be extremely hot wearing a full suit and tie in that auditorium), but Jennifer thanked us all for our coming and helping out with the film.

 Karen and I were very glad that we went.  It was very interesting watching the process of making a movie and very hard to believe that it took all day to film two very short scenes.  No wonder movie tickets cost so much!  The movie is set to be in theaters in October of 2014.  

We ended our night with a delicious dinner in Pasadena after a long day of acting.  Red carpet - here we come!


  1. What fun Melanie! I'm so glad you and Karen have filled your time with such fun experiences. Hope y'all are in it.

  2. So cool! I can't wait to see the movie!