Today was my first day “on set”. This is my first experience being on film, and it’s a little bewildering. I have no experience at all, by the way. There are five people in my house, scurrying about with devices to measure light and sound. I’ve agreed to let them use my living room as the set. I figure filming at home is probably the most comfortable setting anyway.
They’re all professional, arriving early to unload equipment and park their cars. The producer and director have been good about keeping me in the loop. I got schedules emailed at random hours; subject lines read, “updated revised old new agenda.” It takes a little while for me to decipher the language in the email peppered with technical terms.
“Wrap by 6 p.m.”
This I understand. Everyone will be out by six. Cool. I open my browser bookmark to check out their CVs, credits, and filmographies. I reassure myself that they’re professional and experienced.
The crew lugs boxes of equipment up several flights. The house is noisy with footsteps and the snapping sound of metal stands and braces being set in place. there’s a man outside on balcony with this device that seems to reflect sunlight directly into the room, illuminating it in a warm golden wash. I’m curious, and I’m a little bit restless, so I walk amongst the crew and check out the equipment while trying to fix myself a quick lunch.
Most of the guys are from LA, but one is from San Francisco and one used to live in Berkeley. They both recognized the Arizmendi scones I set out for everyone.
“Corn-cherry… nice,” said the lighting guy.
“I miss these,” said the other.
He helped himself to another, as he turned back toward his tablet to reference. his notes. The crew is finishing up the set, double checking cameras.
“Those two… no, those… the boom’s in the shot now, no, go back.”
The cameraman who went to get coffee with me earlier is in the corner chatting up Heather, a pretty Latina, a smiling young morena.
The sound guy is starting to freak out… “Humming! I got humming!”
He’s looking left and right, eyes settling on my refrigerator. He asks me if we can shut it off during the shoot. I help the sound guy pull the beastly appliance out enough to unplug it. I stand aside and watch the director update his clapboard.
In my head, I laughed… I never thought I’d be doing this. I sign the final releases, and maybe look nervous. The director looks at me asks me if I’m okay to go forward.
I say that I am, and I step on set, four cameras rolling.
(I can’t discuss anything about the subject of it – I wouldn’t be so vague otherwise.)