The other day I discovered why Angeline Jolie gets paid so much. And why she always always looks incredibly hot on screen. The other day I was a bit extra on a tv commercial. I had to smile and smile and smile and smile and smile. And then smile some more. An 18 yr old sixth former starred as my ‘daughter’. I stirred an empty pot of mythical culinary delights while she regaled me about her day at school. Smile lovingly. Concernedly. Captivatingly. Then I had to brush my already styled hair while she brushed her teeth with no toothpaste and told me about a boy that likes her. More smiling. Love. Concern. Interest. Fascination. Then I had to walk her to school while she told me about a friend she was arguing with. More smiling. (have u tried smiling with intense interest and concern AND walk straight at the same time? Its not easy.) Then i had to say goodbye to her outside her school while she told me how much she loved me and how grateful she was that i was such an incredible listener. Yep, you guessed it, more smiling. Finally, i had to meander down the road like i was ‘going to the market’ (yeah…i REALLY meander down roads to the market…) It was blazing hot and they had to shoot FIVE takes of me meandering down the road. Sweaty, antsy, irritated, sweaty, and gritting my teeth because they kept telling me to SMILE SOME MORE! Happy, happy, happy. Joy, Joy, Joy. The entire thing took four hours.
All this will be chopped and edited to make a 30 second ad on tv about the importance of listening to our kids. Caring about them. Paying attention to them. Now, dont get me wrong, I am 100 % in favor of this concept. However, I do have trouble with the fantasy i was portraying. Who in their right mind smiles that much? And what Samoan parent will joke and laugh when their daughter tells them about a boy whos crazy about her? Ahem…more like sharpen the sapelu. And who walks their 18 r old daughter to school? Hmmm obviously i am not living in the same universe as the makers of this commercial.
But i digress, i wanted to reflect on WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT FILMING FROM MY FLEETING MOMENT IN BOGGLYWOOD?
1. Acting is 2% acting and 98% fussing with lights, sound, camera angles, and angling diff shots. Most of your time is spent, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. And smiling. While the film crew sorts out their film stuff. No wonder real actors need such big trailers. They must have swimming pools, shopping malls, beauty salons, and personal gyms in their trailers since they have to spend so much time on set just sitting around.If it took 4 hours to film 30 seconds, then how incredibly boring it must be to film an entire movie. And imagine the amount of smiling one has to do for THAT.
2. The crew who filmed us came from the US and seemed like they knew what they were doing. However, they neglected to bring with them the necessary masses that REAL actors take with them to filming. Masses like, makeup artists, hair stylists, wardrobe crews and more. So in other words, there is no hope in hell that in my commercial, will I look vaguely as good as Angelina Jolie. However, seeing all the hoopla that goes on with lights/camera/action I will never again gaze covetously upon an actress and wish for her perfect hair/face/figure/smile because now i know it aint real. If we all had twenty million people fussing over our every pore and stray curl like they do – then we would all look like Lara Croft Tomb Raider. (okay, maybe I wouldnt ever look like lara croft…but YOU might…)
3. Similar to number 2, i will never again gaze covetously upon a super fine actor because he probably looks just like the guy on the bus next to you, the guy who puts gas in your car, the guy who directs traffic, the guy who yelled at you when you cut him off at the last intersection. In fact, I bet if Edward Cullen walked past me on the street WITHOUT his film crew making him look good, then i wouldnt even reecognize his sparkly self. (but i bet a million bucks I’d still recognize Jacob BLack without his film crew though….esp if he took his shirt off.)
There you have it. Just in case you never get the amazing opportunity to film a 30 second commercial and have your facial muscles get a cramp from all the smiling – you now know that you aint missing much