Sunday, February 9, 2014

What I Learned on a Film Set

"Quiet on the set! Scene 19B. Take 5. Action." My kitchen was used as a film set today. Lights, camera, a dog, and beings were everywhere. I underestimated how many bodies would be involved, at least a dozen. There was the director, cameraman, gaffer, sound man, actor, actress, and a whole lot of others who did I don't know what as I was trying to be unobtrusive. 

Our house didn't feel like our house; it felt strange. The sofa and chairs were full of people. Piles of equipment and computers dotted the surfaces and blocked the fireplace. Fluorescent bulbs were installed in all of the light fixtures and were then augmented with additional lights on stands. They even brought a ladder. Still it was cool to see a story in the making, and the crew was very polite.

The director asked, "Kim, do you have a coffee pot we can use?" I chuckled. We use a stove top espresso maker known as a moka pot. I rarely offer to make coffee,  but I did. The director rolled with the pot. The coffee was from someone's thermos. 

I didn't realize they would cook in my kitchen. At lunchtime the crew made tacos, and I found several film students staring at my can opener in an attempt to open a can of beans. I did a demonstration. They murmured appreciatively. 

My daughter and I were holed up in the attic. She had several homework projects to complete. I sorted DVDs into sleeves, a painful chore that I can tolerate only in small doses. She kept going down to help and check on the dog. We ate hummus and pita chips for lunch.

The film will be the director, Michael Greene's thesis project for graduation. He assures me there will be a screening uptown and then it will be released to Vimeo (about May 2014). 

If you should offer your home for a film set, be prepared to be invaded or make yourself scarce. Making art is messy.

Equipment for the film set