So I am now an actor. As I write this, various members of the Ballistic cast and crew are hurling themselves, each other, and anyone else foolish enough to get in the way, into our pool – tonight is the wrap party for Synthetic Truth. Director Zach Yoshioka is among them, but before he went down for the third time, assured me that my scenes have not ended up on the cutting room floor as I had feared.
I had two scenes to shoot, on different days – the first one was by far the hardest, since it was mostly outdoors, in 40C+ temperatures, which meant every take was a test of endurance. It also required a fair bit of co-ordination, since I had to drive “home”, get out of my car, lecture my “son”, see him drive off, then stare at the friend he left behind. I appreciate this is not the sort of thing that would tax Jet Li, but doing all this and remembering my lines? Sheesh.
Even the driving part proved a bit of a problem, since I was parked down the road, around the corner and out of earshot, so couldn’t hear Zach yell “Action!”. Admittedly, this was largely because I had the windows up and the air-conditioning cranked to full. But this film is set in Phoenix, and no-one here drives with their windows down, so I was really just protecting the cinematic illusion. Honest.
Actually, another piece of auto filming nearly caused a horrible accident – when my “son” was screeching out of the driveway, he pulled right out in front of a neighbour, who wisely opted to stop, otherwise the filming of the “car crash scene” would have suddenly been brought forward. The odd thing is, I wanted to shout a warning, but was waiting for Zach to say “Cut!” first. I guess this means I take my acting seriously, if I’m prepared to sacrifice someone’s else life in order to stay in character.
The second day was much less taxing, largely because most of what I had to do was sit at a table and look suitably stern and/or disciplinarian. Still managed to forget completely one of my lines, but it all worked out, since the dialogue in question wouldn’t have made any sense in the way the scene was blocked out – I was supposed to smell alcohol on my “son’s” breath, but since he never came within 10 feet of me, it was kinda questionable.
Probably the trickiest thing over the two days was squeezing myself back into my suit trousers, which have hardly seen any activity since I moved out here, the best part of three years ago. Quite a few steaks have passed under the belt since that time, so chalk up another benefit of self-employment. I bet you Tom Cruise doesn’t have to suck his stomach in while delivering lines.
The next big date is the premiere, on August 29th, which I am kinda looking forward to, though I still claim Zach is being sarcastic when he says I did okay. The prospect of seeing myself 20 foot tall on the cinema screen is distinctly disturbing, but then I’ll just have to sit back and wait for the other offers to roll in. Have they finished The Lord of the Rings yet, do you think? 🙂