The Chocolate Lady

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pooper's First Commercial, Part 5

With our friend, Rose, seated and finally quiet, the group sat and listened to the director. He explained that we would be filming, one section at a time, and eventually the film would be spliced together, to look like a full stadium.

The camera was located, roughly, behind the section just past 3rd base. The crew were all gathered around, and in fact, there were tens of folks sitting on those folding directors chairs, watching all of the little tv screens that had been set up.

As we sat in our section, with no seats left vacant, we were told that he would cue us to the film starting, and at that time, we should just act as if we were watching a baseball game. About 10 or so seconds into it, he would yell, "stand" and we were to stand, but not all at once, and turn and look at the camera, just staring into it until the scene ended.

For the few of us that had been in the "pool party" shoot, the concept was understandable, heck, we had practiced it all morning.

For this new group of extras, well, frankly, some of them were a little slow to get the concept. The director and his assistants went over it and over it, and we practiced, a lot, and reminders were hollered, to STAGGER the standing/looking at the camera, that he absolutely didnt want everyone standing up at once.

They even tried cutesy little things, like, those born between Jan. and June stand up first, ....things eventually worked out, but it never seemed to have the precision and finesse that the small group executed earlier in the day. I guess, however, that when you are looking at hundreds, heck, thousands of people in a commerical, you dont really need the polish that a small group requires.

So, we took several shoots in our section, and then were directed, to move to the section directly next to us.

Now, please, try to picture this. We are all sitting in a stadium section. We are then instructed to move to the section to the right, again, filling every seat. But there is a catch, he doesnt want us sitting in the same, as everyone begins walking, going to the section adjacent to us, some of us try to go up or down a bit, so as to mix things up, as directed.

This is the time, that those who didnt feel like they were in "camera view" inevitably tried to jockey for an aisle seat (sound familiar?) or move up higher or lower. All of that is fine, but we were constantly told to hurry, sit, hurry, sit. There really wasnt time for the strategizing that some seemed to be doing. The whole thing ended up being like a 300 person version of musical chairs, minus groovy music. People shifted sections, tried to get a different seat, sit next to different people, and when things started to settle, there was typically people left standing without a seat, and seats left open, without people. This is when the production assistants would direct those standing to come and fill the open seats....and sometimes this is when people would get annoyed, as if they truly had lost the game of musical chairs, ticked that they didnt really like their new seat.

We took several shots in each section, and did about 20 sections in the middle, and about 20 sections in the lower level. With the constand switch up of where we sat, it gave Pooper and I opportunity to meet a lot of really nice people.

Several people told us about their life as a professional "extra", many people suggested that Andrew should do that, as it paid about $50 a pop, and there was a high need for "extra" kids. One guy, told us that he does about 2-3 jobs a day, and is a "regular" audience member of Deal or No Deal, Late Late Show with Collin Ferguson, and The Price is Right.

Now, Ill just digress, briefly, to tell you that when I was on The Price is Right, there were no paid extras, because tourists were waiting to get in. But when I was on the Leeza Gibbons Show, it was the "off season" and the audience was bare. In fact, it was a rainy day, and eventually, someone from the staff went out to the streets, where there are a lot of homeless folks, and encouraged them to come inside, to be in the warm, dry audience. So, I guess it all just depends, but I do know they like the audience to be full, and apparently, sometimes they even pay actors to do the job.

As we moved along, section by section, watching the game, and standing, we were kind of having fun. I mean, there was definitely a part of me that thought we should have just left after the morning commercial, because we were very tired, it was hot, and nobody would really notice us in the commercial anyways. But I remembered that we were there for a good cause, to Stand Up 2 Cancer, and standing up to cancer is never easy, but it was necessary. Besides, it was good for Pooper to see that acting wasnt always super fun. We did enjoy ourselves, and meet lots of fun people, and would have one more commercial to look for on the TV this summer.

Then, something started happening below us, everyone's eyes diverted to the area behind homebase, all of us wondering about the activity down below.



Grandma J said...

I'm guessing maybe Rose was down there? I don't see the fun in all this stuff at Dodger Stadium, but if i get to see Pooper and his mom (and Rose) in a PSA then I guess it's exciting.

Anonymous said...

There's MORE! YAY!

Veronica said...

very dramatic.....suspence

foolery said...

I hope it involves Rose and a water cannon.

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