Saturday, April 21, 2007

Leatherheads Day 5 - End of the day surprise

Friday, April 20th (pm) Today went along rather uneventful. In the morning we were doing reaction shots as "fans" in the stands. The directors and production crew had to get us to realistically react to a football scene.

The walks hundreds of us out to the stadium and bring us down aisles. With only a few hundred extras (I think there may be around 500 now), they bring us down the aisles of Memorial stadium and start to get up to fill up the first 5 rows of the stadium in about the first 3 or 4 sections from the endzone.

Our job as fans is to react in a variety of ways to get very good action shots. There is no actual game going on. We are looking out on the field at camera's, production crew, microphones, carts, etc. I assume the guy in the movie credits called the Grip is somewhere out there as well, but still want to find that person as for years I wondered by a key grip is.

All the production crew are on radio freqnencies to each other (including different channels depending on what job you have). The directors and production assistants continually talk with each other throughout the day to coordinate everything from who should be taken from Extra's holding, to when they are ready to shoot the scene to where to place the actors in the scene.

I am sitting in the 2nd row next to two women, both dressed in those beautful 1920's hats and clothes. On my left,(in real life) is Jody, a real estate agent who lives just West of Charlotte. On my right is Sharon who calls herself a "Jill of all trades". She teaches Swing dancing, creates antique jewelry, does photography and interior design. While waiting around Jody takes a call on her mobile phone she pulls out of her 1920's purse. It is from her 9 year old son, who is also an extra in the movie sitting somewhere else in the stadium.

The directors now tell us to be ready and describe the scene we will be looking at and how we might want to react (cheering, booing, bored or like nothing special is going on).

The first scene is a play that is a big play for the other team. So our reaction is to be upset at the defense of our team for letting up a big play. In the stands also the prop people have handed out props from that time period such as buttons, game programs and cigarettes.

One of the things we also have to do is to have some fans start standing, but not all at the same time. The directors instruct all people with a birthday in April, Stand up. As the plays develop on the field the rest of us will stand to cheer or boo the play. Today we also do some acting like talking to the person next to us, pointing at the play, or congratulating each other after a big play.

After that, they moved us to the endzone for more shots. However, the asst director said anyone on the sideline needs to be out of the shot. I left to go to the sideline as a photographer again. As I moved from the stands to the field I stopped by to see the propmaster. He let's me pick my camera (a 1920's vintage camera) from the prop table. I enter the field and we are instructed to go to the place where we were standing previously. For me that was on the 45 yard line right next to the cheerleaders, coach and trainer in front of the team bench.

I am standing on the sideline and all of a sudden I am told to move back off near or behind the bench. There are now about 20 people behind the cameras with two cameras pointing at me. One is from the left at about 10 o'clock the other is straight ahead at noon..The third camera is down the sidelines to my left at about 2 pm.
The production assistants take a tape measure to measure the focal point.

The director places Wayne Duvall (Coach) to my right) there is also a trainer with the team mascot nearby as well as well. When they call for action, I realize at this point it doesn't get any better than that. This might be my moment as we are looking at a play on the field and reacting to it. Could this be my close up? Only the editors will know. It was a great way to end the day and start the weekend.

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