My Day as an Extra on 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'. 1/31/08
I woke up early at 6:30am to make it to the shoot at the Monroeville Mall by 7:30am. I wish I could say that the life of being an extra in a movie was glamorous, but it was a LOT of waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Thankfully the holding area was in the food court of the mall which happened to be located next to a Game Stop, where I quickly sprung for a used copy of Monster Hunter Freedom. So far, money well spent.
When I finally got to be on "set" later on that day, I got my first real taste of seeing how a movie is made. Lots of setting up and repositioning of equipment. And it seems that all you have to do to work in the movies is wear a black tee shirt, hang a roll of gaffers tape from your belt and carry a thin piece of metal or a bit of a camera from one place to another. Now that I can do! And if somehow this art thing doesn't work out, I think I could be a script supervisor. If all I have to do is preserve continuity and make sure people say the right lines, sign me up. I do that stuff in real life for free.
I can't go into the scenes filmed that day, but watching Kevin Smith work in his element the brief times he popped out from behind his Wizard of Oz-ish black curtains, was a treat. He was all professional and focused on the work ahead. It was interesting to see how they dressed the mall the day before for the shoot and then the day after, everything was gone again.
A while back, Kevin Smith mentioned that he doesn't like filming in uncontrollable environment, such as malls. I can totally understand that now after being a part a shoot like that. The amount of onlookers kept growing as the day went on and so did the amount of people with cell phone cameras. But all in all, the security they had set up kept most of the public off of the parts of the walkways we were filming on as much as possible.
Oh, and the zombie movie lover in me got giggles every time we were lead through the mall slowly in single file. For those that don't know, Monroeville Mall was the mall they filmed the original 'Dawn of the Dead' in. I did my best to imitate a zombie shuffle when I could and due to a hurt leg, it wasn't much different from my normal stride.