A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cruelty Update

Having never been on the set of a real movie, I jumped at the chance to be an extra on the set of Cruelty. Cruelty is the project of local actresses, Kristen Zaik and Monica Green. I have writen about the project for the Sturbridge Times Magazine October Issue, link to the right and the Cruelty web site link is there as well.

Last Tuesday evening at Thirsty John's I was background with a few others as one of actresses is talking with an actor whom she is enamored of and whom she has been having an affair with. Wednesday, I was part of the background of the funeral scene at the Oak knoll cemetery. Both locations are in Palmer. Sean Doyle, Jeff Paolone ran the show and Josh Leonard directed. There were others who deserve notice, but my memory fails.

There was a lot to learn and though my knowledge of the film industry is not exhaustive, even after two sessions of movie making, I can offer some insights.

Acting is work, even for extras. Of the actual production staff, the poor fellow who had to hold the sound boom has quite a job. There is a lot of hurry up and wait. I am sure the director and production folk have worked a lot of it out, but planning beforehand can only take you so far.

As part of the hurry up and wait, you have to be a very social person. I am not a grand champion schmoozer so I don't think I am cut out for that life. Don't get me wrong. I didn't have a bad time. There was a lot of fun talking and joking with other extras and some of the of the production folks. Still, I know that more stamina then I possess is necessary to be in film.

Take after take is necessary to get the smallest segment of dialog translated to a finished scene. Attention to detail is necessary and the first 5, 10, 20 takes may be needed to get it all right. Eventually, they get it done. It is as high a level of skill as most trades and many professions.

Another problem, from the point of view of a gourmand, is the food. Now, ribs and wings are food groups unto themselves and I was happy to partake of them. There was no lack of candy. Just too much temptation.

So, I know Brangelina et al seem to be just foppish publicity hounds and they probably are. Publicity, after all, is coin of the realm in that industry. Don't envy them, though, they probably work a lot harder than you do.

Cruelty will continue filming in Sutton, Mass.

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