Today, instead of waking up at a decent time and lounging in my nice warm bed reading, I woke up at DAWN (literally – it was dark and the sun was rising)
It was also about -1 degrees. I was sick, with a cold, a runny nose, and blocked ears. Dad and I had to melt the thick layer of frost off the car, and then we were off to school. Bear in mind that today is Sunday, please. I was dressed in my school uniform and had a satchel with me, but other than that didn’t take anything.
Now, as for why I was doing these absurd things so early in the morning – I was going to be on TV!!!!! Well, not really. What actually happened was that TV3 (in New Zealand) was filming a new TV series called Harry, about a policeman, called Harry, and about his home life and the relationship he has with his daughter. So they needed some scenes at school, to show stuff about his daughter, like her singing in a choir….
Cue me. I like singing, even though I’m not very good, so this year, when the school choir decided not to hold auditions, I joined it! The extras director of Harry approached the teacher in charge of the choir and asked whether we would be available to come and be filmed on Sunday, seeing as our school was being used as the set location for Mele’s school (Mele was Harry’s daughter). We all said yes. And so that is what I was going to do now.
Well, we turned up, and got given blankets and heaters and warm breakfast (I love considerate people!!!!) Then, we had to climb up to the top of out school (we had been at the bottom), which is situated on a very steep hill, take off all our warm clothes, put on badges that covered our school logo and turned us into Saint Angela’s College girls, or SAC‘s, and for the next half hour pretend to be walking into school at the start of the day. It was freezing cold. But I got a battered hockey stick, and was allowed to suck on my cough lollies, so I survived. Then, we went back to the warmth and waited while other scenes were shot, until we got to the next scene we were participating in – a fight scene between Mele and some girls (proper actresses, not extras like us). We didn’t actually join in, but provided the atmosphere (“Fight, fight, fight! Kill them Mele! etc, etc”). This took a while, but we finished, and then again waited. And waited. Then, we had lunch! And waited some more.
Finally, after hushed cut-off rehearsals (they were filming next to us, so we couldn’t practise when the microphone was on) and a lot more waiting, we took our places as the choir. The director needed to get the equipment set up, so we warmed up as they got the camera angles right. Then we sang some more. Mele was meant to do a solo, but she was really nervous, and started crying, and so filming was delayed 1/2 hour (we had to stand in our places waiting the whole time). Then, we started the actual filming. We sang. And sang. And then they switched cameras and we had to sing again! There were a LOT of takes, and then the director decided that Mele should be in the middle, not on the side, so we had to retake a whole lot, and he also wanted at least five takes from every camera angle…
It was tiring. I was really hot by this time, as there were lights beaming down on us – nobody else felt anything, but I was as red as a tomato! I also had sore feet and throat. I was also singing second soprano harmonies while I was surrounded by altos, because of the positions changes. Do you know how hard it is singing for about an hour and a 1/2 in a tune you just learnt that day while the people next to you are singing a different one? Quite hard.
And at most, there’ll be a 5 second pan in which you can possibly make my red face out. Really!
However, it was also really interesting and exciting, and it really was a privilege to be there. And I met the person who made amazing, frothy hot chocolates, and had been at the Hobbit set and made them beverages! That was cool.
So, that was my day today. The series comes out in about October, so I hope to watch it (I’ll invite myself over to a friend’s house – one with a TV).
Have you ever been an extra??
Or in a film??
Hope you enjoyed, as I should really be doing my homework 🙂
Let’s call me Lily