Most of the events I write about take only minutes to experience, or maybe an hour or more for dinner. Photographing street art takes mere moments, and it takes me longer to edit the photos and write a post. In contrast, I spent almost 5 hours at the Collingwood World bar on the Fitzroy side of Smith St on Monday night being an extra on a film called ‘Exit’. For once the experience I’m writing about took longer to happen than it does to write about.
The information given to extras, who provided their own costumes, stated that we would be playing are ‘believers,’ members of a group who believe they can find a door allowing them to exit this world and to enter another. I was one of about 20 people dressed roughly in scruffy street attire.
It was fascinating to see a Red high definition digital camera in use on the set. The crew only had one available, so every angle had to be shot separately, which is why shooting this scene took so long.
Exit (Surface Tension Films) is directed by Marek Polgar, produced by Kate Pappas and written by Martyn Pedler. I’d like to say thanks to the producer for permission to take photos on set. The call-out for extras was done though Facebook and thanks Martin for the invite! First assistant director Danielle McCarthy and the entire crew were organised and professional and it was amazing to watch them at work.
Producton manger Ka-Yin Kwok and production assistant Kate Tarpey kept all the extras organised, out of danger and well fed, first with doughnuts and fruit juice, then hot chips, then spanakopita and beer.
You spend a lot of time sitting around trying to keep out of the way while the crew rearranges the set for each different shot.
Although it was a long and slow process it seemed to go quite smoothly. We extras did our best to follow the director’s instructions about how to move, where to look and how much or how little noise to make.
The most exciting thing for me was being co-opted by the art director to become an art assistant for a while to draw messages on the windows that the believers would leave for each other at their meeting place. Having to make things up spontaneously without knowing the story in detail was a challenge.