Guess it's time I wrote what happened. Yep, I got to hang out with Ewan
McGregor and Tim Burton. They were quite impressed with me, I think. Often
I could see them looking at the crowd of people I was in and I could tell
they were just paying attention to me, and ignoring the rest. Yep.
I went to Alabama Wednesday night and went to see my friend Jayne. She was working on clothes for the movie. So I hung out there for a while and met some of her coworkers. It was a blast! Jayne keeps telling me it's boring, but she evidently is totally jaded, so pay no attention to her. They were taking these nice new clothes and putting paint and whatnot on them until they just looked like totally worn out NASTY clothes. On the outside. Then you'd see an inner seam as they examined it and it still looked clean and crisp on the inside. Kinda neat. I ended up aging a pair of shoes - which basically meant scuffing them up - so I'll have to look for those in the movie. :-) ("LOOK! Right there! Her shoes! They...no wait...dang. HEY! Look at HER shoes! That's them! No, wait, I'm not sure...dang!")
Jayne also worked on a white sweater, which someone else came in and sewed a school letter on. I got a kick out of that since the next day I saw a probable bad guy wearing it. Kinda neat.
The next day I had a call time of 4:30. So I got up at three, left, got lost, and got there around 4:20. I went into a tent, and they gave me my clothes. (A few weeks earlier I went down for a fitting and got them.) It was a fifties shirt, shoes, and jacket. They gave us breakfast, and we hung around until everyone got there. They had waves coming in every half hour for a few hours. We probably ended up with 75 people or so. I had my hair done, too, it actually looked pretty decent. They lined us up and the head costumer went down the line checking us out and making small changes. Then they put us on vans and took us to the set. Where we ended up sitting in a courtroom and waiting for a while.
They led us back downstairs and we went outside. There was this HUGE camera set up, lots of folks...looking...looking...TIM BURTON! So I was happy. They took us to our spot, and told us that a giant had been eating crops, and we were going to act very angry about it. A mayor guy stood in front of us. They gave shotguns, pitchforks, and baseball bats to several of us, but I didn't get one. My acting is so natural it just wasn't needed, I guess. ;-)
I looked around. Everything in the camera's view was 1950's. Old cars lined the streets. Everything modern was removed. There were cops to the side who stopped traffic when the camera rolled. VERY cool.
Then someone came and got me, and took me and another guy out of the crowd in front of the camera and moved us to a car. There were several folks moved around like that so that the street was populated. I wasn't near the camera! So me and the guy near me were now ready to act REALLY mad. It was terrible! But then they moved us back and put someone else near the car. So my blossoming friendship with this man was ruined. I was again ready to act furious! But closer to the camera. SCORE!
So then the started filming. We all hopped around and yelled for someone to do something. Kinda fun. After a few takes of that, they told us in all future takes to just mime the same thing. That way lines could be heard.
Somewhere around this I noticed a strange feeling...something I hadn't felt since...well, since Obi-Wan Kenobi entered the Death Star. Yep. Ewan was up there. Looking at me. Trying not to look at me, but I could tell.
So they put Ewan in back of the crowd. We were to yell (in mime) and Tim Burton would yell "NOW!" We'd all jump to the side, forming a corridor...revealing Ewan McGregor. So we did this several times. Ewan would walk up that corridor, get so his face was within a few feet of the camera, and give some lines. We did this several times. Each time Ewan was within a few feet of me. So was Tim Burton.
Now close proximity to Ewan gives off vibes. I've picked these up. Women are now looking at me differently. They can't tell why, they just can't help themselves. They look lustily at me. They start undressing me with their eyes. You can tell when they've undressed me because when they see my untoned, pale flesh they scream and start visually redressing me quickly.
So back to the set. After several takes of that, Ewan left. It was a lot of fun to see him act, though, and I was having all SORTS of fun watching Tim Burton and just looking at what was going on around me.
They did several more shots. They did some of the mayor trying to calm us down, and there were several farmers wearing clothes Jayne had made look VERY dirty and worn out, carrying shotguns and making threats. There was a girl saying the giant ate her dog...later I noticed she was gone and one of the farmer's lines had changed to "he ate my little girls dog!" Small things, but neat.
They took lots of polaroid pictures. They wanted shots of us in costume to make sure we stayed looking the same way. They took shots of the crowd to make sure from take to take we were all in the same position. Lots of little things I'd never thought about.
Around 1 we were done and went home. That shot was done, and they were doing some 70's stuff.
The next day I came back, again at 4:30. It was terrible. Same routine, we got dressed, and caravanned out to the site. This time we were all a little worried about rain as it was forecasted for the day. So they were trying to hurry a bit I think. Our scene for this day was celebration. The mayor, Ewan, and the giant were in front of us. The giant was VERY cool. Neat-o costume, valises for shoes, and the man was HUGE. His voice sounded like a tape recording that had been slowed down - literally.
We were to celebrate and cheer. Ewan acted quite bashful. A band played. Shriners in little cars drove around. It started to rain and we all stopped and hid under plastic tarps.
Fortunately it stopped soon. We came back out and it started up again. They had little boxes that Ewan and the mayor sat on next to the giant. It lowered them by a foot or two, and if they were looked at from the waist up it made the giant seem even taller than he was. The band started, we'd cheer, Ewan acted bashful, and they filmed that several more times as the mayor gave him the key to the city. It was fun. Ewan would clown around a bit until the camera got near him, then he'd drop right into the bashful bit. It was fun.
They moved us back inside and got ready to move the camera to film from a different angle. When we came back out, however, it started to rain again and this time it settled in. So much to my disappointment they sent us home, and told us they'd be in touch for the reshoot. Which was Tuesday...and I couldn't leave work with that little notice. So I missed it. There are some pictures from Tuesday's reshoot here:
I was supposed to be there...(miserable sigh.)
May 6, 2004
Well, Big Fish came out on DVD...screen caps of my MAGNIFICENCE are now possible!
First, us raging at the mayor to do something about the giant...I am the small set of pixels in the back of the crowd. :-) But look at that RAGE that I'm emoting! WOW!
Then Ewan McGregor steps forth to save the day. Man, check me out! Look at that slouch! That's pure ACTING that is making me slouch like that! This is where they cut it, right when Ewan walked up to me. Right after this is where he turned to me and we started hanging out. That's why they cut right there. Really.
Ah, all is resolved and the band is playing...and I'm happily be-bopping along in the crowd. Whoo!
Back to my story page...