Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rolling Out the Red Carpet: My Premiere

I'm pretty sure--I didn't actually check--that I had this blog three years ago when I filmed a small part in a film shot here in Georgia. Now, this was a real Georgia movie, folks. Not one of your celebrity-spotting, Hollywood tax break on-location, SAG-legit shoots. Oh no. Everyone working on this film, from the crew to the actors to the agent that booked them, were down-home folk that like to pretend they are all of these things.

But I'm not ripping on this movie for the simple reason that it's one of the few film projects I've ever worked on that was actually completed--WITH receipt of my copy (the only compensation I'm generally offered). Not only was the movie finished, but there was a world premier at The Strand in Marietta complete with - yes indeed - a red carpet.

I did not however walk that carpet. Because, silly me, I got there when the invitation said to arrive. Patrick and I sat around for no less than an hour and 45 minutes being dubiously "entertained" by an amateur improv troupe, some scantily clad Indians, a hula-hoop act, and a family of for-realz hillbillys. After awkwardly admitting I've forgotten both my character's name and what the movie is about chatting with a curious man nearby, being not-recognized by my scene partner with whom I spent a 12-hour day of filming, and slowly nursing the single beer I could afford at the prices they were charging, I was really looking forward to the movie starting.

I know my stage peeps will feel me when talk about the special brand of excruciating that is watching oneself on film (I can only assume you get used to it if you do it more often, but maybe I'm wrong and everybody hates it). It's rather astounding how many thoughts can flicker through one's mind in just three short scenes. Among them:

Heh. I wore that dress to work the other day.

If I look that fat on camera a month after my wedding, how fat would I look now?

At least my boobs look awesome. Take that, skinny chicks in the swimsuit scene.

DEAR GOD do I really sound that Southern/ditzy when I talk?

At least you can hear me.

Maybe my hair actually did look OK short.

How is it possible to have both too many freckles AND too much blush?!

Dang it, they cut my line!


And so on. I don't know how people who had, like, more than two minutes of screen time were able to deal. Despite the pain, it was still a bummer that I only had three scenes (a 4th that I remember shooting must have been cut) and like, two lines. It's a weird dichotomy of hating to watch myself, yet wishing I was on screen more. I guess it's just the actor's compulsion towards face time. The same thing that forces me to the front row in dance class, even in styles at which I suck. Scowl, Hip hop.

Anyway. The movie itself could be described as sci-fi thriller. What is it about? Hm. I can only offer the analogy of a fat man's plate at Ryan's Buffet. Buffalo wings, macaroni and cheese, snow crab legs, fried okra, spagetti and meatballs, shrimp dumplings, coleslaw, and a couple greasy rolls, ending with swirl soft-serve topped with gummi bears. In other words, a delicious, stomach-churning mess. If you're interested in seeing it, hit me up for my copy, since it's not likely to be making it to a big screen near you. You'll probably want to prep with more than one beer though.