First Thing's First - Film Report
I have been stupid busy and have a ton of things to share but I wanted to quickly post about the Angels & Demons shoot, because people are wondering.
The shoot was down rather far south in Inglewood in the parking lot of a giant racetrack. It was a fight down the 110 freeway but I did arrive on time to find a long line of people queued up at the entrance. I figured I'd have to wait, but when I got there, I was asked "are you one of the singers?" I said I was and was ushered quickly in, where I was taken to sign in. We went past the extras tent (I was confused!) and over to the trailers (I was double confused!) and it wasn't until I was in my own trailer with a contract in my hand that I realized this was rad. It was my first bonafied SAG film contract that wasn't some kind of waiver or had to do with not being paid. This was, in fact, about being paid, and about my role, and my credit, and residuals. This means I get to put this on my resume. Hooray!
After signing my contract, I stepped out of the trailer with my black mourning outfit and my crucifix and rosary to have the costumer check me. He said I looked great but he wanted to add a splash of color, so we went to the vast wardrobe tent and he gave me a purple sweater to wear over my dress. It was super cute, and he said I looked like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (I didn't, but that was nice).
It was then that I found out that there were 400 extras there that day to do crowd scenes, and they were being given their own meal in a separate tent, but we were ushered to the fancy pants tent to have a fancy pants meal consisting of pretty much anything your mind could come up with to eat. That Brian Grazer knows how to throw a shindig, I tell ya.
Then they gathered all the singers up (there were 25 of us, I think) and we rehearsed the song (Immaculate Mary in Italian, which was lovely). Everyone had a chance to sing solo to sort of audition for Hans Zimmer's assistant (!!!!), who was leading us. He was great. The other singers were really fun, delightful people, who regaled me with stories of Broadway shows they'd done and what it's like to tour with Robert Goulet (hilarious). We were told we would be mourning the passing of the Pope and that we should be very sad, and that we'd have solos and then the camera would pan out to the rest of the crowd. We were told we'd be there all night, probably until about 5:30 AM.
We had practically no down time before they were already ushering us to the set. The huge, massive, amazing set. I can't say much about it but I think if you do even cursory Googling you can find out what I'm referring to. We got there to discover the 400 extras already shooting. It was a 2nd unit shoot so no Ron Howard. They placed us in strategic places within the crowd and were told we were Happy! And Excited! And should be singing because our lives were saved! So I threw a temper tantrum and said "I did 20 hours of preparation to be sad! I can't work under these conditions!" ...and then I stormed off the set.
Just kidding. It was so much fun. They placed us in the crowd and seemed to direct the cameras in our direction, but there's no guarantee you will see me in this film. There were some moments where the camera was right up in my grill, but there were no solos like they'd intimated, so who knows. The moon was hanging in a crescent above the set and through the lights the stars were out and I was singing in my ancestral language and just felt so close to my grandmother and my mom and everything nice in this world and just felt grateful.
We did I guess about an hour and a half of moving around and doing different shots of us singing, and then we had a break to set up a new shot, at which point my little posse of new friends headed to the most excellent craft service table (again...go Grazerhead!). We were under the impression it was going to be a very long night, so we crammed our faces with caffeine and sugary snacks. We got back to the set and the AD gave us a very strange look and said, "What are you guys doing here? We sent you home a half an hour ago."
...uhhhh....somehow we missed that. So we were actually out of there before midnight. It was rad. Probably the easiest shoot I've ever been on. And a cool credit! Yay.