It was a sunny day in LA that Amber and I drove from Santa Monica to Hollywood for one of our first filming days. I remember seeing the Hollywood sign from the road and feeling a wave of support: what better town to shoot in? I reflected on how many actors must make their way to this city, taking the appropriate steps to advance their careers and fulfill their acting dreams. How exciting it was that Amber and I were on our way to assist in those dreams.
One of our very first clients, Denise, was waiting for us at the first shooting location, as well as her guest actor, Philip. We spent a few moments introducing the two actors before Amber and I assist in running lines and staging blocking. The first scene of the day is entitled “Dollars and Doubt”, a story about a young professional woman who is fed up with her lazy boyfriend. After an adequate amount of run-throughs, the camera is ready for speed. The shoot takes roughly one hour, and by the end, everyone is smiling as we share a delicious lunch. We take a moment to talk through the highlights of the shoot before breaking for our next scene.
Three hours later, Amber and I are pulling up to the second shooting location. Denise has completely transformed her appearance for the next scene, “Love Letters To My Adolescent”. This story revolves around a teenage girl who is scrutinized by her mother and sister for her erratic and anxious behavior. We set the lights to reflect the tone of the scene in deep blues and purples. At first, there is an issue with a roommate’s dog who will not stop barking, but things finally settle down. We run through the dialogue in about an hour and a half, taking extra time to get enough coverage for an eventual “panic attack” scene. We end filming in the bathroom where Denise’s character is found isolating herself in a tub of water. While her character may be in the middle of a breakdown, Denise is all smiles as she climbs into the tub.
As we wrap, there is a general sense of “mission accomplished”. In one day we created two very different worlds and had the pleasure of watching our actor perform two different characters. As Amber and I drove back to our sublet in Santa Monica, I couldn’t help but bask in the satisfaction that was shoot day. Not only were we assisting in the development of someone’s dream— they were participating in ours.