23rd May 2016
By pure chance I recently had the opportunity to take part in a film shoot for a German movie. This would take place in Palma and they were in need of residents. I admit it was not for the female main role, which was already taken, but as a film extra was more than Ok for me. During my years in school I oved to act in the school theatre group and I thought: “ This is my chance”. It would be exciting and interesting to look behind the scenes. How often do you get such a chance?
At least for me, it was the first time!
I got up very early and went to the set. Full of activity and many people were already busy on the set. Trucks fully loaded with spotlights, props / scenery and wardrobes had gathered already and were being unloaded. The narrow streets of Palma’s Old Town had to be closed down by the police partly, to avoid a traffic chaos. I was impressed by the hustle and bustle and the atmosphere. Actually, it wasn´t Hollywood, but everybody starts at the bottom, right?!
The film set was in a school, in which a single scene should be filmed. The director’s assistant and her team discussed the costumes for this day with us and everyone tried to play his small role. We all had a little stage fright.
Backstage there was also a lot to do – make-up, styling and changing costumes. With some Magdalenas and coffee we relaxed and did what you normally do at a set – we waited and waited !
Finally, it was our turn.
Every crew member knew exactly what to do and everything went very smooth. Each movement, starting from the gaffer, the sound editor to the director of photography was perfect.
Every instruction of the assistant was executed immediately. Everything fit together and we realized soon that here was a professional team at work. The director explained us the script and what he expected from us and he mentioned that showing emotions was a must.
And then came the most important sentence:
Lights, camera and action!
From different angles, just one scene was filmed throughout the rest of that day. Later this would be cut by the editor in the studio. The background was a green wall and through smart green screen technology, the green parts of the image are replaced by people with the computer. With this technique one can use any background and create the impression that hundreds of people take part.
I was surprised how much work requires only one single scene. When you watch a movie, you don´t think of all those things. For instance the laughter was recorded separately, the clapping of the audience was recorded separately in order to be insert later perfectly.
After a very long day came the martini shot (last shot) and then cut! I was really impressed with what I had experienced in one day and ever since I watch a movie with different eyes.
I know now, how costly a single scene can be and how many people have to take part in order to entertain us for a few hours.
Anyway, we had a lot of fun. I’m sure that I would do it again if I had the chance.
Now I’m curious about the whole movie and where I will appear.