I didn’t think I would ever want to be a film actor.
I graduated with something of a complex, which happens to many actors like myself…THEATRE actors. You know, theatre-is-the-real-art blah blah blah.
I could go on and on about the differences between film and theatre but that’s not what I’m talking about today, kids.
I sort of “fell” into film. The very first actual filming I did was with two friends of mine. We were cast in a PSA for Mohegan Sun about gambling. I found it incredibly strange..And also…refreshing. It was so DIFFERENT from theatre! In a weird but awesome way.
And by “falling” into film, I immediately fell in love with it. You know those people who say “UGH I hate brussels sprouts,” but they’ve never even tried them? And then they try them, and love them? Yeah, I was one of those people I guess.
Film requires long hours, spontaneity, flexibility, the ability to shoot at all hours of the day or night, MONEY, lots of people, and many different resources.
When you think about it, filming is sort of insane. WHY would you want to put yourself through it? Quick, think of your favorite film. Okay. Hold it. THAT is why filmmakers and actors put themselves through it.
Just to capture that one beautiful, perfect moment on film is priceless. You can watch it over and over, and it’s recorded, it is a MOMENT that is PROVEN over and over again. How freaking awesome is that?
To be honest, filming for me is very zen. Yes it’s hurry-up-and-wait and extremely stressful most of the time. This past month I’ve worked anywhere from 10-14 hour days, many of them completely overnight. On a film set, you have no clue when you are going to begin or end filming. You just know that it’s going to be a long one.
In this past month alone I have worn extensions, zebra striped pants, hipstery outfits, men’s shirts, kid’s clothing, etc. EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL in film shows up. Every piece of hair, makeup, the way the clothing hangs, is scrutinized. For example…have you ever watched a tv show or film where there’s let’s say..a high school Halloween party..and EVERYONE has costumes that are a little TOO perfect? Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. You know why it’s like that? Because it CAN be like that. Movies are always a little bit more polished than real life.
It’s hard for the average non-film-worker to realize that the actual making of films are not all that glamorous. But you know something else? I think that’s what makes films all the more magical. Between all the work and sleepless nights and coffee guzzling and script changes and massive equipment and location lockdowns, glamour is essentially non-existant. But does that matter? Ask me and I say HELL…no! We are selling the product of art. And isn’t art supposed to make you feel a little bit more, question decisions and actions with more conviction, essentially get lost in a story so you can more easily get through your own? Well, I certainly think so.
So let the people line up across the street, aiming to get a photo of Kate Winslet with their camera phones. Let people freak out when they spot Jason Reitman at the local Starbucks. Let the people gossip around town when they see a bunch of camera equipment piling up in someone’s yard.
Film is amazing and there’s nowhere else I’d rather spend a 14 hour day. Not even Aruba.