Thursday August 1st, 2013 – Mundelein, IL
I thought I was done with my dalliance in the motion picture industry this week, but I thought wrong. My character in “Killing Poe” of the bumbling security guard is an important part of the plot apparently, and there was a pivotal outdoor scene that needed to be filmed with me in it.
I was told I’d be needed at 6pm, and it’s a good thing I didn’t have anything planned. I showed up on the set, but they told me they’d reworked the order of shooting and that I’d be the absolute last shot of the entire project. My call time was now 2am, and apologized for any inconvenience.
What was I supposed to do, quit? This is a great experience for me, and I get how schedules are flexible. Everyone on the crew couldn’t have been nicer, and I guess they thought I was going to flip out or something. When I calmly said I’d do whatever was needed, I saw smiles everywhere.
It’s no big deal on my end. I hadn’t planned on having any more scenes, so what a great chance to get in front of a camera one more time and gain some more experience. If I had to wait around a few hours to do it, that’s small price to pay. I brought a book along, and was in for the duration.
Little did anyone know we were in for some nasty weather. I was watching a night scene being shot in the woods, and felt some rain drops on my face. Just then a real security guard who could have easily been mistaken for my role showed up and said there was a storm center on the way.
That proceeded to throw everything off, and tensions quickly rose around the set. Tonight was the very last night of filming, and scenes needed to get done. Period. Everyone was flying back to where they were from – and a lot of people were from all over. The clock was now the enemy.
It got to the point I could not stay awake anymore, and I assumed they wouldn’t squeeze me in. The sun was coming up, and my scene was supposed to be at night. They finally called me to the set at 5:45 to prep me for what they needed. I felt the tension thicken as they were racing to have everything fall together so they could wrap up the entire production. I was the focus of the scene.
I felt like a bench warming scrub somehow getting a chance to bat with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of The World Series when nobody expected it. The fates played out, and he gets the chance to take his swings. The whole team is depending on him, and all eyes are on the field.
The director gave me some instructions, and I did my best to follow them to the letter. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted, and I didn’t want to screw it up. This was not a time to joke around. I knew it was serious, and all I wanted was to give them what they needed and go home.
I wasn’t where they needed on the first two takes, and that’s how it goes sometimes. Everyone else knew it too, so nobody was angry but I could feel them counting on me so I wanted to come through. I saw how hard everyone worked, and I wasn’t about to be the weak link and ruin it all.
The third time was absolutely a charm, and I nailed it. The whole crew went nuts and started to high five and hug both me and each other. They treated me like I’d saved the day, and even if my part was small it felt great to be able to contribute. Spirits were sky high as I floated to my car.
Halfway there, rain started to pour in biblical proportions. One more blown scene and it would have been a total washout. Literally. In the end, everything worked out. Just like in the movies.