We all arrived in the MMS lobby (Mrs. Bies and the students and I) about 10:15pm and all the kids remembered their credentials! (Maryann Loverro made and lamented them for us and put them on a lanyard so we looked very official). We waited and waited (lots of waiting) The director, Jon Avnet, showed up first but we didn't get a chance to speak with him because he was playing a little one in one basketball in the gym before the set up. Pretty cool.
As far as meeting any actors, we saw two "mental patients" and an "orderly". Bradley Witford was in his trailer. Richard and Julianna were not on set.
We spoke to Nick, a production assistant, who explained the process of scouting and choosing a location. At about 11:45pm all of the equipment and crew started arriving. Some of the students offered to help but there wasn't much they were allowed to do because of the union rules. So, Maureen and I used the opportunity to explain what a union job was and what it means to be in a union.
At about 12:45am the students and Mrs. Bies and I had the chance to tour the set ( the locker room). Chris, another production assistant, showed us around and introduced us to everyone. We met the director of photography, a gaffer and prop designers. We met the continuity person who explained what her job entailed and what she looks for in a scene. She also talked about being a film major when she went to college. We then met more production assistants and prop people who explained that they had been working 36 hours in the last three days! They were all dead tired but upbeat and they answered all of our questions.
The producer was very generous with us. He was impressed the students had stayed up so late for "their art" and thank them for being there! He gave us a more in-depth look into the story and into why he chose to do this particular project which he referred to as an "important film". He also has another film coming out in the fall called "Lion". Field trip?
At about 1:30am the crew really had to get everything started so that was when I had to wrap it up. The students called their parents to let them know it was time to go. Maureen stayed until the last student was picked up.
As I'm thinking about this whole experience this morning I can tell it was worth it. I know it was really a very late night but it was a great opportunity for the students. When is this ever going to happen again? I was so happy to be part of it.
Thanks, Dr. Murphy for thinking of the drama students and asking the producer for the opportunity. They learned a lot and had the best time! Pictures will be coming soon.
Now it's time for lots of coffee:)