Saturday, 26 January 2013

My 1st Casting Call

I joined the Singapore Reel Frenz group in the Meetup website when I learnt that this group is into movie making.

Anyone who's familiar with my blog knows that I'm into movies. And not just in watching it, but in the business of film production. I've participated in some Hollywood blockbusters like Superman Returns (2006), Happy Feet (2006)[1], and whatnot in the Sydney's Fox Studios as movie extra.

The thing about being an extra is, while it's an interesting experience, especially if you're a movie nut, your role as an extra doesn't guarantee your appearance in the final cut, even if that appearance is tiny dot in a sea of extras. You can't point out to your friend and say, "you see that tiny head with the shocking pink shirt in the bottom left corner of the screen among the hundred other head? I know you can't tell it's me. But let me tell you, it's me! C'est moi!" Quite often, you simply got cut out completely. Nothing personal, of course, me and a few hundred other fellow extras suffer the same fate of oblivious existence to the world. The 5 seconds of fleeting fame on the silver screen is like the candle in the wind that had been extinguished forever, and ever.. That's the life of an extra. A spare. Additional. None essential.

Ok, now that you're weeping tears of sympathy, or crying like a big baby (I don't judge) after reading this pathetic tale of an insignificant movie extra (my apology to people with big heart condition), here's a bit of heart warming news. When I heard Reel Frenz is making casting call for a short film titled Once Upon a Stormy Night, I jumped at the chance to sign up. I might or might not be selected, but just getting a chance to experience the process is gold for me.

Ok, let do a bit of postmortem or self-debriefing of my casting session.

The casting consisted of groups of 3 people reading lines from a script. We each take turn to read from the script. After done with the reading of each round, we swapped to play different roles. I was quite relax turning up in the meeting. And was still quite relax when I entered the casting room, and reading the script (to ourselves just to get familiar). My heart beat suddenly raised without any warning when I was asked to introduce myself briefly. Fortunately, as soon as I started to read the script out loud, my focusing on the job soon dispelled the nerves.

casting sessionWhen I asked if Rahul - the fellow Reel Frenz sitting next to me in this photo - had the same "stage fright" issue, he told me that he wasn't really concerned about the outcome, and so he was pretty relax. Maybe he was right. Perhaps I was a bit more serious about the session than I realised.

I feel that I delivered the lines reasonably ok, but not too happy with my facial expression. I gave my audio performance 3/5, and my video performance 2/5. I feel I didn't really get into my character sufficiently. The inexperience, the nerves, and the lack of preparedness caused my under-performance.

I'll stick with those excuses until I find better ones. I'm quite talented in finding excuses. I had been able to pull off unbelievable - I couldn't believe it meself - excuses (believe it or not). One is more brilliant than the next. Practise makes perfect!

This is valuable experience and fruitful for my next performance (if there's more. I hope so). Regardless it was an enriching way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. I'm really glad I went.

As the little Pig in the Warner Bros Studios likes to say, "Aba-dee-aba-dee-aba-dee...That's all folks!"

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[1]  This movie is actually an American-Australian joint production. And you might probably ask, "This is an animation. What are you doing there?" I'm glad you ask. I've no idea. Maybe they decided to cut out the scenes with real people in it. I watched the movie from start to finish, I can't say I saw any real people. Maybe they drawn over the people? Whatever that means.

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