Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

“I just wanted some coffee. I’m still not sure how this happened to me.”

Today, we had a scene which required a security guard. The guy that the casting agency sent over didn’t look much like a security guard, and the producer (and the director), at the last minute, decided that he just wouldn’t do – he was more ‘underaged hall monitor’ than ‘menacing authority figure’.

One of our juicers is the nicest, most fun guy in the world (and completely harmless), but he looks like he’d kill you and eat your skin for fun on a Friday night. Our producer ambushed him at the craft service table and talked him into playing the security guard role (no lines, of course -then they’d have to pay him more and possibly taft-hartley him into SAG).

His first question, of course, was “How much extra are you going to pay me?”

His second question was if our boss was okay with it – if you have one of your crew in front of the camera, then you’re down a guy, and some gaffers are not okay with stuff like this.

Our boss said we were set up for the shot and he was fine, and the producer said that she’d pay him non-union background actor wages (I think it’s $50 or $75 – and that’s on top of what he’s getting paid today), so he agreed.

They put him in wardrobe, he did the scene (where he looks menacing – and he did it really well. He didn’t look stiff at all, even though he told us later that he was nervous as hell), and afterwards graciously endured about an hour of catcalls and wolf whistles from the crew.

As soon as he got back into his real clothes and onto the walkie, his first statement was “I just wanted a cup of coffee. I’m still not sure how this happened to me.”

Quote of the night.

We have a 10 am call tomorrow. If I can, I’m going to go to one of those cheap tourist joints on Hollywood Blvd. and get him a fake Oscar ™.

Filed under: Work

7 Responses

  1. Byron says:

    He better not show up tomorrow and say, “But what I really want to do is direct.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    No Bryon, thats exactly what he needs to say, then he gets a donut and a cup of coffee while carrying a baby, stand, stinger, etc. to the set.

  3. Anonymous says:

    $54 for 8 hours minumum. After taxes it works out to a tank of gas. Makes you feel for all those BG folks hanging out all day in their fishing chairs, raiding craft service.

  4. Karl says:

    Uh…I believe the going rate for an extra is $122/day if this production signed any kind of SAG contract.

    Technically it would be tax free, since you could claim that you were paid less than $800 by this employer (production) on your tax return.

  5. RJ says:

    Oh man, that happened to an assistant I used to work with and it totally went to his head. He got his SAG card and started pestering every producer and director we worked with to put him in the picture somewhere. Hysterical.

  6. hey peggy… trying to put photos on my blog….anyh suggestions??

  7. Ed Araquel says:

    I got tagged to do a small part in a film in Turks and Caicos when I was doing stills. I had to play a cop and say something like 6 lines of dialogue. It was fun especially when the actors and I thought it would be cool for me to draw my gun at inappropriate moments during the scene. :)

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