On The Set - The Magic Hourglass
There are a few places that always invoke a magical feeling for me: A college campus - filled with such endless possibilities and energy, a music studio where you gather to make individual pieces sound like God's voice (no matter the genre,) and a movie set where all that is combined into one experience.
It's fitting that OCSWA member Robert Rollins' featurette should have the word "magic" in the title because it doesn't matter if you're shooting something on your iPhone or you're on a James Cameron film the putting together of what was once only an vague idea is simply...well, magic.
Robert and his crew (I'd list them but there are too many) looked to me like any group of working professionals at O'Neill Regional Park where they had sets built for the production. There was no way by just watching to say if the film was being shot for $1,000.00 or $100,000.00. Well, okay, Robert didn't have a huge Kraft services budget or any honey wagons (portable bathrooms) and the stars' dressing rooms weren't air-conditioned trailers but rather a tent pitched to the side of the campground set but the movement, the temperament, the work ethic was business-like and professionally done.
But, as with all sets, it goes beyond just the physical aspects of the shoot just like a film goes far beyond the script. The people there loved what they were doing - it was easy to tell. Sweating in the unseasonable heat, working with difficult terrain, trying to move quickly but not hastily to make their day, they all still had smiles and that glow of a group who were doing what they wanted to do - no loved what they were doing.
One P.A. (production assistant,) Crystal, a 20-yr-old with a brilliant smile and zero experience couldn't stop grinning all the time I saw her. She was practically vibrating with excitement at being involved in a legitimate production even though her basic job as P.A. is to go get things and do things that others didn't want to do. If someone could have snapped a Kirlian photograph of her aura I'm sure it would have been sparkling like the people in the recent music video by Katy Perry "Firework."
It was also gratifying to see how many OCSWA people had come to the production from many different directions. This is exactly why OCSWA was founded - to provide networking opportunities that allow film people to do what they love to do - make films. Since all film is a collaborative endeavor, networking is exactly what needs to be done to promote yourself and your skill set.
Crystal, the aforementioned P.A. was a "six degrees of separation" example since she came to the production through OCSWA board member Victor Phan who knows Robert Rollins through the Orange County Screenwriters Association since Robert also sits on the board of directors. Board member Eric Hensman was there as set photographer as were two documentarians who just finished a documentary on OCSWA and had interviewed Robert, myself, Victor and Eric as part of the documentary. They were there to shoot the "making of" footage.
I highly recommend finding a movie set and working on the production. Even though I was only there to observe and get in the way, I haven't stopped smiling myself. A movie set is truly a magical place where dreams are made real. That feeling is palpable.
Exactly how many places can you say that about?
Congratulations to Robert for making this production happen for himself. He worked hard and long to get it to this point and he will continue to work hard and long on it this weekend and in post-production. Then marketing it.
Eric has promised some set photos so when I get those I'll stick them in to this quick hit article.
Now I just have to somehow stop smiling before my jaw locks.