lundi 10 septembre 2007

you will not believe this.

I can't even believe it. In the post right below this one, I ended on these questions: "Does it get anymore cinematic than this? Can there be any more signs?"

Apparently, there can. God's turn around time on signs (for those who believe in them) is pretty fast since I was just an extra in an Indonesian film set in Paris. What the heck?! Seriously, this can't be happening!

I was walking home, when I saw a grip setting up some lights to light a street near my house. I asked him, "Excusez-moi, vous tournez un film?" (Are you making a film?) And of course the answer was yes, and I told him I was a film student. Then he told me the name of the film, but I didn't understand it, and I bid him "Bonsoir" and I went home. I watched, from my window, more lights being set up. And then it came, the decision, the moment that separates the shy, Prufrock Elaine and the brand, spanking new French Elaine, the Elaine who is the total opposite of American Elaine. I grabbed my coat and camera and went back outside.

I watched for a while the light set-up and the camera set-up across the street. The actors and some of the crew looked Asian while the rest of the crew was French. The director, a woman no taller than me, was the director. She was Asian too. I saw her directing the actors in English and another language. Inspiring. I watched for a while, then when I saw this guy (Asian) with a DV cam filming (most likely for behind the scenes), I made my move. I figured he didn't speak French, so I could at least talk to him in English.

I came up to him and started talking in French (to be sure), and he said he didn't speak French in English, so then I started speaking English to him. He told me the movie was called Lost in Love, that it was an Indonesian film. After, I watched a bit more, and I saw this much older man eyeing me. Probably a producer, I thought. I wasn't sure if this was either bad or good. The worst part would be he would tell me to leave, and I'd be fine with that since I could just watch the filming from my window. He came up to me and asked if I was French, and I said no. Asian? Yes. Indonesian? No. What are you? Filipino.

Our DP is filipino, the guy said (awesome!!!). His name--the line producer--was Yousef, I think. His accent was thick. He told me all about the film, and we sat and talked film industry. I told him I was more interested in screenwriting, and he told me, "No, get into cinematography. Work with a camera crew." I thought that was funny because that's what I wanted to do technically and just write on the side. During the break, he said, he'd introduce me to the DP and the rest of the crew.

He took me closer to the filming during set-up for the next shot, and he introduced me to the Indonesian crew: the cam crew (including the filipino DP), the script supervisor, the make-up girls and PAs. They were all really nice and thought I was Indonesian too. He introduced me to some of the French crew: this really funny AD who actually bisoued me, which was nice since he was cute too, and the art director.

I took pics, hung out like a PA except with nothing to do. It was really fun being part of a film set again, even though I wasn't really part of it. I love the camraderie, the work, the excitement. It made me miss my SFSU Cinema Collective. The sound guys, who were French, were really funny. And some of the French crew were passing out candy and putting the wrappers in each other jackets. I love that kind of stuff. I love being on set because it's fun work especially when you're with good people. I watched from the monitor the shots, and I actually stood behind the director! She's only 21--how AMAZING is that? But one of the girls was all, "Yeah she's 21; she's still learning."

It was past 12am already, and I was set to go home when one of the girls (dang I forgot her name!) she asked if I wanted to watch one last shot that was going to be filmed up the street. Why not, I'm already here, and I love this stuff. Once again, sleep is denied in favor for the love of filmmaking, we used to be out late filming for Collective. So I walk up with the rest of the crew up the street when one of the French ADs says to me in English, "We need you."

I was like, "What?" Then I realized, oh they probably need extras. It was late, and there weren't many people around, so they probably need people for background. He asked me, "Parlez-vous francais?" I said, "Un peu." And then another French AD asked, "Vous buvez francais?" (Do you drink French?) I told him that I didn't understand, and then he said, "Well, you will now." He told me to follow him, and we headed to a cafe/bar/brasserie. They told me where to sit down, and they said I could order anything. I ordered a beer with some of the other crew members who were acting as patrons as well. It was so cool! I've never been in an huge film with an adult crew, only student films. before. It was exciting, and lovely, and so...encouraging just to have this experience. I feel, again, that God is letting me know that I'm on the right track, that all this is meant to happen. Thank you God.

Yousef asked for my number and said that he'll send me a message about the next shoot tomorrow. He joked around, saying he'll text me the call sheets. He said I can hang around and watch because he wants me to learn. He actually is one of the main guys at this film school in Jakarta, and most of the crew are his students. They're here till the 15th. This is so freaking cool, you don't even know!

a shot from where I'm sitting in the cafe

3 commentaires:

Eli Edmundson a dit…

It's great that you jumped at the opportunity, sounds like fun.

elaine a dit…

thanks, it was! i rarely do that stuff when I'm alone, i like to have someone with me, but i'm really glad i did it, and i don't regret it at all.

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