Saturday, April 21, 2007

Leatherheads - Day 5 - Getting ready for the day

I woke up at about 5:30 am with around 5 hours sleep and arrived on the set for my usual (oh it's routine now) visit to the Extra's table to fill out my paperwork and a visit to hand it off the Maryann who is always smiling (she said her father is a dentist) as she takes the paperwork to allow me to go into the wardrobe tent.

I walk into the Men's wardrobe tent. It is one of 3 tents that are setup in a parking lot outside the stadium (women's wardrobe, men's wardrobe and makeup/haircutting. In the Men's tent are about a 5 large rows or racks of clothes. Each of the actors/extras has their own # to identify where their clothes are. My place is at the end of the aisle on the right. There is a plastic divider with my name, cast ID#, and a list of wardrobe that has been provided to me by the wardrobe department, a brown coat, a cap, and a scarf.

I exit the Wardrobe tent and then stand in a line of about 20 Men waiting to enter the makeup/haircut tent. People in these departments are walking down the line to see if anyone needs a trim or haircut to keep us in the style of the 1920's. Short on the sides and back of the neck. They also check to see how clean shaven we are since in the 1920's it seems that men shaved very close, so the face is smooth.

A production assistant is playing traffic cop within the tent. On the far wall are about a dozen hairstylists. Some specialize in men, some with women and some with children. The women really have a lot of work done each day to give them the hairstyle of the 1920's. I am signalled to get my haircut. The women who does not cut my hair but styles, combs and puts mousse in it. She has a dollar bill pinned with a saftey pin to her lapel. I ask her what that is for and she tells me it is her birthday. We have a conversation about being on the road and working on a movie production.

I then leave the chair and have to be checked by makeup. They tell me that I need to shave this morning. I sit at a table near the entrance to the tent. It is a giant makeup mirror with 3 or 4 electric razors to choose from and some spray lubricant (that is essentially like shaving cream) so as to not cut up your face. As I sitting there shaving, the makeup artist next to me is applying "blood" to a soldier who is appearing in the movie.

The last step is to apply sunscreen. The sunscreen is a very important part of this process. On Monday, I thought it was just to protect us from the sun. Now I realize it is for a few reasons - to keep us from tanning and there for looking different in each shot (since all week we are shooting the same football game)..It would not be realistic to get a great tan from the 1st quarter to the 4th quarter, although many of us would love that.

i walk down a long road between the stadium and production trailers to the building (in real life called the Grady Cole Center), but for our purposes it is called "Extras Holding". Although it is only 7 am, hundreds of extras and actors have been madeup and fully wardrobed. We walk into the front door of the building and down the stairs to a large room which in real life is a 50 year old gymnasium with a converted basketball court. There are about 30 or 40 long tables with white or blue plastic tableclothes. The white tables are for the extras sit at for lunch and the blue tableclothes are for the crew.

Caterers who have been preparing the breakfast have a buffet set up each morning with Cereal (Raisin Bran, Special K, Cocoa Puffs), danish, and then grits, oatmeal, sausages, hash browns, and scrambled eggs. For drinks there is orange juice, coffee or water.

Looking out among the three hundred or so extras dressed in costumes from police officers, referees, league commisioners, soldiers,cheerleaders, football players, team trainers coaches fans ad press, someone commented that it looked like a soup kitchen from the great depressiion (although the clothes are much too nice).

This room reminded me of my train commutes from Stamford, CT to Grand Central at that time of day. Some people are talking, some are reading their newspaper and some are sleeping. I have a relatively late start time. Some extras have to be there at 4:30 or 5 am to get dressed.

At about 8 am, a production assistant makes an announcment and helps to wake us up a bit. From the large stage at the end of the room he begins to call for various grops of people to assemble by the door leading out of the "extras holding" to the football field. By now most of us have specific groups we are in, Sideline Press or people on the home team side, sideline press for the away team, Fans, trainers, football players, etc.

They call for sideline press and we exit the building and walk about 50 yards to the entrance of the stadium.

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