Fun at the Movies

Emily got called onto the set two days early, which (once again) tossed all my plans out the window. But welcome (a little late) to part 2 of our little summer adventure: my daughter as an extra in Warner Brothers' new movie, "Flipped", directed by Rob Reiner. (I'm so sorry that no cameras are allowed on set, cuz I'd love to show you everything!)
Hair Trauma
Last week we spent two hours at the Production Studio. After Emily was fitted for her 1950's outfit (a robin's-egg blue, fitted bodice dress with a full skirt featuring a vintage blue&white checkered hem; bobby socks and black flats), we headed over to the "Hair" department. I stood back about ten feet to give the hairdresser room to do her magic, but was startled to hear Emily frantically whispering for me once the hairdresser stepped away. The look on her face concerned me, and I swooped in to ask what happened.
"They want to cut my hair!" Tears welled.
"They what?"
"She asked me how short I'm willing to go!" Emily's crimson face tugged at my heart. We had not been asked if she wanted a haircut, nor informed that one was required for the movie. Clearly Mom needed to step in.
The hairdresser attempted to convince us that a chin-length bob was just the thing, but we stood our ground. We consented to the removal of a mere inch and nothing more. When Emily balked at super-short bangs (the height of fashion in the 1950's), a slight trim sufficed. The hairdresser said they would work with barettes on set.
Trauma averted.
Day One on the Set
We arrived at an old middle school in the Ann Arbor area at 8:20 am, and followed signs to Extra's Holding--the gymnasium. Against the wall on the right stood the wardrobe station: about 20 clothing racks with two large tables between them. The rear wall housed 4 changing stations. Check-in tables were at the front of the room. Wooden lunch tables surrounded by plastic chairs in the center of the room became our home base.
Kids with their allotted one blood-relative arrived little by little. The day's procedure was simple yet time consuming: Wait in line to check in at the front of the room, fill out a non-union voucher (to get paid), then take it over to wardrobe to (wait in line again and) retrieve the appropriate outfit. Next Emily headed into the changing area, then hurried over to get in the hair line. She stood in line for over an hour (3 hairdressers=not enough!).
The make-up line came next, followed by a quick visit to props. Emily's prop was just one book, covered with brown paper. Other kids carried a clarinet case, vintage lunch boxes, sack lunches, etc. Every kid looked authentic and, well, innocent!
Time Warp
After shooting one hall scene "at least 50 times" (s0 declared by Emily and her new friend, Hailey), the extras (all 64 of them) were called outside to film a morning school arrival scene. I stood outside to watch with a few other rogue parents.
Two circa 1950 school buses and assorted classic cars served as the backdrop at the school's front entrance. Several boys pushed vintage bicycles toward a bike rack, girls pantomined greetings, laughter, chatting, and groups and pairs of kids strolled into the school. Over and over. The scene was rehearsed for about 45 minutes before local police officers stopped (modern) traffic in front of the school for filming.
Another scene featured kids getting off one of the buses. You guessed it...over and over.
Lunch was served at 2:45 pm (which explains the stampede) and Emily's first day as an extra ended at 6:45pm. We arrived at our temporary home with nary a functioning brain cell and promptly crashed.
And started the entire routine over again the next day.
Thanks for sharing a small part of our unique summer fun with us. What's going on in your neck of the woods?


15 comments:

Jean Wise said...

Thank you for such fun insights. love that you are sharing this with us. I look forward to more adventures. by the way, this cool wet weather is NOT typical midwest in July.

Melinda said...

What an adventure, Julie! And what a cool mom you are for dropping everything and facilitating your daughter's adventure. You're making memories and some of them will be captured on the big screen! How cool is that??

angela said...

Love you, Jules! It is so fun to get a detailed account of how you are spending your summer. No movie sets here in M. Continue to keep us informed, please!

-Angela J.

Jody Hedlund said...

Ah,Julie, I've been following your days on Twitter and enjoying all of your updates! How fun! I'm sure you'll be so exhausted after this, but what an experience! Keep us posted!

Bonita said...

What an adventure! I enjoy hearing it because it reminds me just a little bit of filming the DVD for my writing curriculum except that I was the one person in charge of everything for everybody! Isn't it fun to shoot the same thing over and over and over and over? Gives you a whole new respect for the jobs of actors and actresses, doesn't it?

How has this affected your daughter's desire to act? Does she want to pursue it further or just be done with it?

Cheryl Barker said...

Maybe if they served lunch earlier they wouldn't have to do so many takes! Good grief :)

What a great summer adventure for you and your daughter. She'll always remember Mom coming to the rescue to save her hair. Hero Mom! :)

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I sit here with horror as I listen to my husband on the phone seeking employment speaking with different agencies and employers. One in particular, as I listen in, he speaks of making a living in SoCal. We live in the Seattle Area. His father lives in SoCal. I'm terrified of the outcome; because in my mind the outcome is: He wants to go stay with his father in SoCal while leaving me here in the Seattle Area to fin for myself not knowing when he'll be back. I don't know if I can stand it. I know all things are possible through Christ. But, is this really what God wants?

Thanks for reading my concerns.

Deb said...

Nothing nearly that exciting going on in my neck of the woods.

So, thanks bunches for sharing yours and Emily's escapades.

Glad you're having fun!

B His Girl said...

I guess there is more to it than we realize. This will be a interesting experience for Emily and it makes an interesting post. Thanks for sharing. B

Lelia Chealey said...

How exciting!! My favorite part was at the beginning of all of this in another post I believe when you said that you all prayed, gave it to God and forgot about it.
Total trust.
What an incredible experience for her. Not many young ladies can say they have been in a movie! :)
Enjoy her.

ginny said...

Thank you for sharing. It still sounds like so much fun! What a great experience for your daughter, and for you also!

KelliGirl said...

Julie,
I've been away for a bit, but am so happy to visit here and catch up. Boy, you have been busy!

What an exciting venture you and Emily are on! I'm enjoying reading all about it and look forward to reading more. Emily seems like a natural.

I hope you get some writing time in.

Praying for you,
Kelli

Melanie said...

I just got caught up on your posts.
'Sounds like an exciting summer adventure for your girl & you!
'Hope you meet your writing deadlines and have a sweet time at She Speaks.
'Wish I could be there...
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Chatty Kelly said...

LOVED THIS! I don't know how I missed it in the first place, but glad I saw it. So fun!

Abhayan said...

I stumbled on to this blog. Seems like a lot of fun the way you are describing things. Anyways good luck.

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