Thursday, November 13, 2014

How the little things can make a difference

6:30 a.m. - House of Lies base camp - downtown Los angeles.
(the food and coffee - very important - is just left of center) 

Hey all,

Yesterday was fun - even if I did have to get up at 4:45 a.m. for a 6:15 call time. I shot my scenes for the Showtime series, House of Lies. Got to work with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. Everyone, from the stars to the crew was nice to work with.

We shot on the 11th floor of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

And what did I learn? Well, the acting part was pretty straight-forward, but I did get a reminder to check myself in a mirror after scarfing down a crumb donut during a break. Yeah, I still had a crumb or two around my mouth when we got ready to shoot. The makeup person was like. "What's that on your mouth?" And that was just before my closeup, so I'm glad somebody caught it.

We sometimes forget that when we're on a break, we can mess little things up - makeup or wardrobe wise. When I washed my hands after using the restroom, I managed to get a few drops of water on my shirt cuffs. Fortunately the break was long enough that they dried before we shot again, otherwise I would have had to ask the person in charge of hair and makeup to use her blowdryer on the cuffs.

Why am I talking about this kind of stuff, instead of the more "important" acting stuff? Well, because your best acting stuff might not get on the screen if the editor sees something like water spots or crumbs when they are editing the film. For example, with the crumbs on my mouth - if they had shown up in my closeup and nobody caught them until they were editing, the editor would probably drop the closeup and just stay with the long, wide shot where the crumbs didn't "read" on camera. So, because I didn't check my face, I could lose my closeup!

Bottom line is - even though most hair, makeup. and wardrobe people are good at checking us out before we shoot, ultimately, we - the actors - are responsible for making sure we are ready to shoot. Yes, knowing our lines and blocking, and motivation is very important, but when it comes to being on camera, everything is important and can make a difference in what ends up on the screen.



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