Thursday, August 11, 2005

At the movie set

We were picked up in a Dodge minivan at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday and got to base camp about an hour later. My kids were playing two of the three children of a destitute family. Their older sister was ironically the same size as my Child One, who missed all this because she was in summer camp.

The costumers dressed the kids in period clothing, then proceeded to "schmutz" the clothes with dirty wax. Make-up artists dirtied the kids' faces and hands with a soot-like powder.

We got to the set at about 2:30 p.m., but only ten minutes of that was the drive. Most of it was waiting around. The first scenes were filmed inside this family's clapboard wagon, so I couldn't see much. The kids sounded like they enjoyed themselves. The only snag was that the caterer had gotten lost and was three hours late - and the kids were hungry.

About two hours passed. I spoke with the father of the other girl about the regulations concerning child actors and what I would be in for if we pursue this. It sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth. The crew did ship plates of eggs and bologna to the kids once the caterer showed up at base camp.

As soon as the kids were done, the outdoor set was interrupted by a torrential storm, with hail and lightning on the side. Everybody on set rushed into vans, pick-ups, and trucks. The lead had been out in the woods making a phone call and was caught in costume in the storm. We all enjoyed watching him struggle in high winds and hail with an inverted umbrella as he tried to cross the "keep out" ribbon that surrounded the set.

One of the regulations the other stage dad told me was that the kids can only stay for eight hours a day. We'd showed up at noon, and mealtime doesn't count, so we had to leave by 9 p.m. The kids got to set at 8 p.m. to film a couple of scenes in the dark. That last hour was rushed, and I'm not sure the director was entirely happy with the results. That was my favorite part, however, since the scenes took place outside the wagon and I could watch my kids do their thing.

Everyone was impressed with my kids. Sabine, who plays the wife of the lead, suggested I get them an agent. We'll see.

We go back home, and I spent the next hour de-skunking my dog with OxiClean. They don't advertise it as such, but it is the most effective product for skunk smell I've ever tried. OxiClean works by oxidizing. The skunk smell comes from mercaptan compounds, which oxygen breaks down. I put two and two together - the OxiClean works instantly.


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