OK, not live exactly.
Some of you might know my excellent friend Vy from the comments she’s made here and elsewhere. Yesterday Vy took one for the team and worked as an extra on the set of Orlando Bloom’s new film, Sympathy For Delicious. I invited her to guest blog for me and tell us how it went.
I want to thank Vy so, so, soooo much, not only for the pictures and including us in her adventure, but also for staying up until 4 a.m. writing this post!
I also want to reiterate that the post and pictures belong to Vy, so please no poaching without her permission, K? If you want to use the pics shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com) and I’ll ask her for you. Otherwise feel free to link a sister up!
Thanks again Vy, you so totally rock! I feel like all us fat jellis haters were there with you!
If anyone was following on Kate Blogsworth, I had the opportunity today to work as an extra on Sympathy for Delicious. I came upon the open casting call randomly and, since I figured I wasn’t really busy that day, I RSVPed and got confirmed the next day for the event.
The shoot was at the Palace Theatre in downtown LA. The basic premise of the movie is that a paralyzed DJ named Delicious finds that he has the power to heal. The scene that they were shooting that day involved Delicious and his band (which Orlando’s character “The Stain” sings lead vocals in) performing. Call time was at 1:00. I ended up arriving approximately half an hour early just in case, and the line actually ended up being rather long. Apparently there were also “official” extras at the shoot who were part of an extras agency and being paid, while the other half of us were volunteers who had responded to the Craigslist ad.
In the email I had received from the casting people, it stated that cameras and camcorders were strictly not allowed. From my past experience though, I figured I would just hide my camera away during bag check and bring it out if it seemed like the coast was clear. I was successful in passing the bag check but I was still a bit scared because the crew made several announcements throughout the morning saying they would kick anyone out of the shoot if they were discovered to have a camera. At that point, I stowed away my camera in my bag, thinking I wouldn’t have the opportunity to use it. More on that later though.
After LOTS of waiting outside the theatre, they finally let the extras inside. They had the official extras crowd around the stage, while the rest of us were commissioned to be in the rest of the seats in the house. After a little waiting, we were introduced to Mark, Orlando, Juliette, and the rest of the band. Everyone was incredibly sweet, especially Mark, who was so thankful that everyone was there helping him out with his directorial debut. After some setup, they started filming, with the band performing and us reacting with cheers and applause.
To be honest, the song they had Orlando sing didn’t show off his voice too well. I’m not saying his voice is bad; it’s just that it was a fairly hard rock song and so he didn’t really get the chance to demonstrate much vocal range. The song overall was okay. I think Orlando had a little trouble getting fully into it at first but he definitely got better as the day progressed and you could tell that he was embracing the role of rock star more and more with each take.
After a few hours of this, many of the Craiglist extras started dropping like flies and leaving the set. I guess it was because we were unpaid and a lot of people didn’t realize how tedious extra work can be. Because they weren’t really doing wide shots anymore and the crowd around the stage had apparently gotten smaller, I ended up moving from my seat in the audience to standing in front of the stage. I technically wasn’t supposed to be doing this but no one was really monitoring and I figured I wanted to get closer to the action. Anyhow, it ended up being a good decision.
I ended up getting to see Orlando in action from a very prime position. I was able to maneuver to the edge of the stage, putting myself within mere feet of him. And goodness, he was a sight to behold. He was wearing this flimsy vest-like thing and his chest was bear for all to see and he looked pretty good too, although he certainly wasn’t at his fittest (but who am I to complain?). Orlando turned out to be a complete darling and was very kind to everyone. Between takes, he would heartily thank the extras and compliment them on their energy. He also proceeded to make some random chit-chat with the people in the crowd. At one point he was sitting around drinking a Coke Zero and he joked that it probably wasn’t very good for him with all of the chemicals but he said he was on a diet because his stomach was getting a little big. It was adorable. Also, from my new vantage point near the stage, Orlando and I made eye contact on numerous occasions and much eye-sex was had. 😛 (Not really but I’d like to think that’s what it was)
Anyhow, Wanda had earlier suggested that I scream out “dingo!” in-between takes on behalf of the girls to demonstrate our disapproval of she-who-will-not-be-named. I was too scared to do it alone and ended up mentioning it to a few people next to me in the crowd. While they didn’t understand my motives behind it, they thought it was a funny idea and proceeded to scream “dingo!” numerous times, which then evolved into screaming “a dingo ate my baby!” in Australian accents. It was hilarious. Orlando was definitely within earshot of all this but he didn’t really seem to pay heed, so I don’t know if the mission was truly successful or not. He probably didn’t get the joke, or perhaps he was just in denial about the whole thing. Anyhow, Wanda, I must say that I tried!
We broke for lunch at 5:00 (yeah, 5:00). Most people then started flooding out of the theatre in order to grab the provided food but I stuck around a little bit longer, which ended up being a somewhat good idea. Someone in the crowd asked Orlando if they could have a photo with him and he heartily agreed. A bunch of people then proceeded to pounce in order to get photos with him (while MOST of the extras had left, a still relatively sizeable portion remained to witness the photo-taking. I guess that’s why Orlando agreed to the photos; I don’t think he would have done so had the entire crowd still been around). I ended up not being able to get one WITH him but I did get a few shots of him in general.
Returning from lunch, it turned out that Mark Ruffalo was hanging out near the stage assessing some things and just making conversation with some people. One of the girls I had met in the crowd ended up taking advantage of me and the fact that I had a camera by calling me over to take a photo of her and Mark. The one perk of it all was that Mark ended up joining out in the calling of my name and so I was very pleasantly surprised to hear my name come off his lips. I would have much rather preferred for Orlando to have spoken my name, but Mark isn’t too shabby either. 😛 He was certainly a total sweetheart during the entire shoot and you could tell that he was passionate about this project. He spoke to everyone with a huge smile and really made all the extras feel important (Because only the official extras were allowed access to the catered food during the break, he ordered a ton of pizzas for all of the unpaid extras with his own money. It was incredibly sweet)
They then proceeded to do more takes of the same scene but from different angles. During one break when they were setting up a shot, Juliette Lewis entertained the crowd by singing “Proud Mary” in a very energetic, crazy, typical-Juliette Lewis-type way. The crowd and crew ate it up. Mark Ruffalo stood by laughing and filming her on his iPhone. It was tons of fun.
They finally finished doing the main performance scene and let the extras hang out in the holding room downstairs. They started pulling out extras for various random shots and I was eventually called up for a scene upstairs where they were filming the band members arrive at the venue. This is where two awesome things happened. First, they ended up changing their minds regarding the camera rule and actually wanted to have people take photos because it was appropriate for this particular shot. Since I had brought my camera to the shoot in the first place and was one of the very, very few in this particular crowd who had the camera on her person, I was moved to the section of the crowd in front of the main filming camera. So basically, I was given free permission to take photos of Orlando AND get a prime spot in main view of the camera. I really lucked out! The second awesome thing was that Sidi was in the shot! The band was supposed to be walking by us in all their cool, rock glory and Orlando ended up coming in with Sidi in tow…while walking with a pimp stick! lol. It was quite amusing. Sidi was SO obedient too; Orlando had to keep bringing her in and out and it was raining outside. She didn’t whine or disobey at all, although she did look a little like she wished she was at home. 😛
The rest of the shoot after that was rather uneventful. The lure of possible speaking lines in the film had been dangled in the casting call for extras but they ended up just picking people who were already with the casting agency, which was a slight disappointment. I also had a moment of panic when I was told that the parking structure I had parked at was closed for the night and I would not be able to get to my car until the next morning. FORTUNATELY, I was able to come across a security guard at the facility, who unlocked the doors to the structure for me and allowed me to get my car. Thank God! An added bonus was that I got away without having to pay the $15 parking fee!
I got home at approximately 1:45 (I can’t believe I was on that set for over 12 hours), ate a really late dinner, and then got to work on this special report to share with you lovely ladies. It’s now approximately 4:00 AM Pacific time and I am POOPED. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure and I hope it wasn’t too long/boring. All in all, I’d say it was a pretty darn good experience and I had a ton of fun and came out of it with a few cool photos of the stars, as well as a possible tiny appearance in the film. If anyone has any questions for me, I’d love to answer them. Oh, and, for any random visitors of this site who are reading this, the photos and story belong to me so please do not use/copy them without my permission. Thanks!!!