Monday, September 03, 2007

"SWING VOTE" movie, Greenleaf headquarters

Also read 'Global Warming',
'Global Cooling''Casting calls', click on 'In Production' and 'bulletin board' or 'for locals'.

Received a call from ELIZABETH GABEL at FAR HORIZON STUDIOS late Sunday afternoon. Emailed her 'affirmative'. Tuesday, 04 Sep is the next day for the 'Greenleaf supporters' to do background. This time in Belen NM about an hours drive south of Albuquerque. Same dress code and wardrobe choice, 3 other cold weather outfits, that we were required to bring to the previous 'Madera shoot' August 20Th. This wardrobe choice turned out bad as you will see later on. Packing and choosing wardrobe is going on today, so that the trip can begin at about 6:30am.

I like to arrive early to beat the crowd, have a cup of coffee, and chit-chat a little. Call time is 9am, but always some delays to account for. I hope to see several of the friends on this set from other films we have worked together. The call times and requirements are posted on; This is much better than 'Craigslist' where some casting calls are posted. Hamlet II, The call was held at the Holiday Inn Select on Saturday and a few friends were there. The call was interested mostly in young people and children. Alicia of course was in disguise. She looked a little 'Cammo Commando', so I did not recognise her there at first.

Now on to Swing Vote Headquarters in the old Furr's grocery store in Belen NM for the days action. Naturally the famous 'Rebeca' (casting assistant) was already on the job at the Extras holding. I mentioned Rebeca in the earlier Swing Vote 'Madera' area. The rest of the Background actors slowly filed in after I arrived. Many familiar faces with which to occupy time while we waited. Of course there are new faces to speak with as well. One new face was the pretty, dark haired, dark eyed, 'Rachel'. She was just getting aquainted recently with the background atmosphere. I hope she enjoyed it and will return to become another pretty face on another film that Blogeneezer has the pleasure of working on. The food was pretty good today. Only 47 of us according to 'Elizabeth Gabel' who was there to make sure we all arrived. Not as many to feed compared to about 300 in Madera. Mario's catering usually does a good job.

The Wardrobe crew seemed to make a slight mistake in our first appearance on set. We were sent back to Wardrobe for another assessment. All of us were really upgraded. We looked too much like 'Lefty Liberals' on the first try. I now wore a nice shirt and tie. Many others were outfitted in dress clothes. We were now dressed up much more like 'Conservatives'.

The first scene was filmed down the headquarters aisle. 'ROLLING ROLLING', 'BACKGROUND', and 'ACTION'! We scurried back and forth carrying boxes, dropping off mail, and just looking overall busy like so many 'beavers' crowded in a tight camera angle. 'CUT'! 'RESET'! After about three tries, they pulled 'Blogengeezeer' out of the crowded scene, leaving the pretty women in of course. Now it seemed to be much improved.

While I stood deep in an Aisle reading my novel, 'Those Who Tresspass' by Bill O'Reilly, the 'hustlers' worked over and over to get it right. 'Jean' and her husband 'Charles' were kept busy. 'Serious Leslie' carried boxes back and forth about a dozen or more times, a very well dressed 'Strawberry Debbie' stood at a desk checking the screen on a laptop to read the latest News. She stood there a lot in her 'Iron' high heels, with her 'unhappy' feet. Barefoot was her preferred attire wherever she walked on the set. 'Curly' crossed numerous times. We do get a lot of exercise on these sets, as well as a lot of just standing very still while the cameras are reset. Oh well feet are expendable.

Lunch time came around so we chowed down on some good 'Gedunk'. Tacos, Enchiladas, and lots of other stuff along with cobler deserts that went very fast. Mario's catering is getting better each meal these days. A short respite, reading my book then back to the set.

This time we were in the Headquarters command center with live monitors all around the room. The reason that the 'secret Service' looked so much like the real thing? Four very much in charge, large men were in fact, actual New Mexico State Highway Patrolmen, off duty of course. My first position was at a desk top monitor in direct camera view. That did not last long. Someone noticed that 'Pretty Blond Jamie' was much prettier than 'Geezer'. An excellent choice of coarse. They put me back against the wall next to a background friend from the 'Lost Room' ('Norm' was a nutcase with a helmet 'not a tinfoil hat' in that film that we worked in together), and Ed, the other gunslinger.

The beautiful 'Shani' (Shani was my very young wife/mistress or whatever, in Comanche Moon) was an 'aide' in this film, dressed in black, with high heels. 'Shani' always has a different appearance, depending on Heels or flats, suits or cammi's. I always have to look twice to be sure it is her. A 'chameleon' of sorts. 'Alicia' is likewise. Multi-talented 'Strawberry Debbie', can actually change wardrobe while standing right there in our 'holding' area. She is fast at it. She seems to know exactly when to pull up clothing to cover whatever is almost exposed, to expose as little as possible. It was very interesting to watch, to say the least! Maybe some future form of 'entertainment reality' competition, TV show?

'Nathan Lane' is 'Dennis Hoppers' campaign manager. Nathan is a firecracker of action and had no problem doing his complex dialog, about how to appeal to Kevin Costner's character, to get his vote. Dennis Hopper had a simple dialog in comparison. As has happened on the previous set in the mountains, Dennis blew his lines many times. So many times that when he finally got it right, Nathan "went into a Zone", as he said, and forgot his own lines. We all laughed as he said that.

Dennis Hopper holds no record. 'Alicia' worked on the 'Border Town' film that still owes the State of NM about 12 million dollars. 'Jennifer Lopez' (J'Lo) was far worse. Now that girl is a lot younger than Dennis Hopper, but can not ever get it right. Think 15 re-takes.... for some simple lines. Maybe too much of something else has contributed to some memory cell damage? Lot's of bloopers for late night TV. After about 8 'takes' of our scene, Camera angles re-adjusted many times as well, which required many more re-takes.

The scene had 'Serious Leslie' standing at a monitor. 'Alicia' walked around the other monitors as Nathan Lane was telling us what we needed to do. 'Strawberry Debbie' was three people behind 'Larry', as he was berated by Nathan Lane, for an 'ipod answer'. 'Curly' (Rick, a competition gunslinger that will some day make a movie about 'The Buffalo soldiers') was off to my left, 'Curly Tina' was standing at a monitor to my left and 'Ed' (another gunslinger) was standing next to me, intently watching Nathan. Ed's wife loves Nathan Lane. He is very professional and a master of the cameras attention.

A few more periods with and without 'background' Then "Checking the Gate". Finally all was right with the 'world of illusion', that we help to create.
We got the word that it was time for most of us to 'go away until another day'. 'Rebeca', who secretly wants to 'roller skate' around the set, like another crew member, told me that my services were not required tomorrow. She is very unforgiving. I am now in 'therapy' for rejection. We need a therapist in 'Extras Holding' just for cases like myself. I will suggest that, to the producer of the next film. Don't forget Rebeca, I know where you 'hang out', Film Lots, of course.


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