Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wearing the Real Costume

Yesterday, I worked on the feature film for which I attended the costume fitting last week. I had a 6:30AM call time at Pinewood Studios. Getting there via public transportation would prove tricky. After much research, I decided to take the first bus from Bracknell, towards London, but get off at Langley. The production company was providing a free shuttle bus service from Langley train station to Pinewood. They were expecting people from London to arrive at Langley on the 6:11 from Paddington Station. The bus from Bracknell was due to arrive in Langley at 6:06. The only problem was that the bus stop isn't at the train station. Could I walk to the train station in five minutes?
The answer turned out to be, "no." It wasn't helped by the fact that my bus was a bit late. The train station proved to be quite far. After walking a while, I caught a bus that was going my way. I asked the driver if he stopped at the train station, but he said no. He did get me closer, faster than I could have walked the distance. By the time I arrived at Langley Station, it was 6:25. When I walked to the front of the station, I figured the shuttle to Pinewood would have left already. Maybe I could catch a cab from the station. As the front of the station came into view, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a bunch of men waiting there. The shuttle hadn't come yet.
The mini buses didn't start arriving to pick us up till just past 6:30. Technically, we were late, but as we were all in the same boat, I figured I couldn't get into trouble over it. We had been told to arrive at 6AM, if we wanted breakfast. I was concerned about missing breakfast, as I hadn't brought anything to eat with me. Upon arrival at Pinewood, I was in for my second pleasant surprise of the day. They were still serving breakfast. There were so many background artistes in line for their costumes, that there was plenty of time for me to grab something to eat first.
The only downside to this shoot was that all of the actors for the scene were men. There must have been a couple of hundred of us, but not a single female. The only women around were a couple of production runners, a couple of costume people, and all the makeup department. The makeup ladies were quite old and matronly looking, but the female runners were on the cute side. Oh, one of the assistant directors was female as well, but she wasn't so good looking. Mostly, she kept repeating, "quiet please," so often that towards the end of the day, I felt like pushing her head through a wall. Strangely, I ended up resisting the urge.
Although my agent had originally told me the job was for two days filming, I found out that the production company was going to try to cram it all into the one day. That's why we started so bloody early. Because I had been told it was for two days, I had booked two days off work at the restaurant. If they succeeded in getting all the filming done in one day, I would end up with a day off for nothing. The day was long. They didn't wrap us till just past 7PM. It was then that they finally told us for certain that we would not be needed the next day. By them, there was no one left at the restaurant for me to call and cancel my day off for the next day. Oh well, I resigned myself to spending the next day at home, relaxing. Poor me.

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