My short movie career


A good friend is filming a movie here in Arizona titled “Cathedral City.” So far, it looks fabulous and stars Winsor Harmon of The Bold and The Beautiful fame and Ricardo Chavira of Desperate Housewives. Today, my daughter and I were happy to report as restaurant extras. I’ve never been on a movie set and imagined all kinds of action taking place. Of course, as any actor will tell you, most of the time they are waiting for their turn to act and then wait some more. Our experience follows:

2 p.m. –    Report to restaurant where filming a short scene will take place. Luckily, we live 1/4 mile from the restaurant, although we drove since it was about 125 degrees today in Phoenix.

2:30  –      Cast is eating, lighting is being set up, we are told to wait.

2:45  –       Order a Diet Coke, power up the iPad and read. Daughter brought a book, I was happy to read Frankenstein and tweet.

Setting up the lights before filming

3        –      Ohh, it might be time to go. The actors just changed clothes and lights are going on. “Quiet on the set!” We watch them film a scene that takes about 45 seconds. Are we in this scene, we ask? Nope, next one.

3:30  –     Producer shows up and says, “Why aren’t you guys in this scene?” What, we’re in this scene?

Eating in the booth while pretending to talk

4        –     Re-filming the scene and we get to eat fries and sit two booths away, hoping the back of our heads will make it into the shot.

4:15   –    Re-film the scene, fries are gone, we chat quietly pretending not to listen to what’s going on. (Why did we eat them so fast? It’s my first movie, how was I to know? Fries aren’t in the shot anyway.)

4:30  –     Close-up shots take place, we are no longer needed.

That’s it. We sat longer than we worked, and they will most likely use the scenes without us. But don’t get me wrong, it was great fun and fascinating to watch the rehearsal and filming of a movie. Everyone was professional and friendly, even Winsor, who took a moment to say Hello and told me that I did, indeed, have to keep quiet and only pretend to talk. So I can now say that I’ve had one encounter with a movie star and he told me to be quiet. If you know me, that’s not too hard to imagine. Works for me!

Go see the movie when it comes out. It’s going to be fabulous and stars wonderful people. Ricardo Chavira wasn’t there today, but I’m hoping to work my way onto another set just to watch.

My daughter? I imagined that at 14, she’d be thrilled at the chance to be in a movie, telling her friends and worried about her hair. No-that was me. I said, “Hey, that guy is famous and you’re going to be in a movie with him.” She said, “Which guy?”  Kids….


8 thoughts on “My short movie career

  1. What an amazing experience! I a little envious. =) I’d love to be a part of the moviemaking experience someday, so different from writing/books but equally interesting! Thanks for the post and the pics!

    • Thanks. It really was a lot of fun, and nothing like I expected. But I can see how people like to do it. If you do it without pay, you can probably find a lot of gigs!

  2. What a neat experience. I was telling my hubbie about your day and how cool it would be to do something like that. Having your daughter share the experience puts the bag around the bread.

    They are filming Transformers 3 down here at the Kennedy Space Center and less than a mile from my house at a small Titusville airport during August. It would be so cool for my son if he could be an extra on the set. He absolutely loves the movies. I’ll have to keep my ear to the ground and see if they have a call for extras.
    Does your daughter know how cool her mom is??

    • Gee thanks! Maybe someday she’ll realize how cool that was. If our heads are left in the scene, she’ll have something to remember it by! If not, it was a fun experience anyway. Keep your ears open, it’s a fun experience and “Transformers 3” would be awesome…much cooler to be in. Although at this point any movie would be fun to be in. “…puts the bag around the bread.” I’ve never heard that expression before….I love it!

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