I went back to the table expecting everyone to be finishing up and getting ready to work, but they were all just sitting there in no particular rush to go anywhere. I sat down and asked, “Shouldn’t we be heading out?”
“Where to?” Paul asked.
“I don’t know, to work?” Paul and Brad looked at each other.
“There’s A LOT of down time working on movies,” Diana explained, “Setting up for shots takes a very long time. Positioning the camera, getting the lighting right, rehearsals with the stand-ins-”
“Stand-ins are people hired with about the same build as the actors who stand in front of camera while they position the shot for the actors.”
“Why don’t the actors just do it?”
“Well between you and me, it’s because they don’t want to make the actors do such a menial job – sometimes stand-ins will stand there for ten or twenty minutes maybe more while they set up the shot.
“And that’s all they do?”
“So they’re here for the entire day, and all they do is stand in place while they set up the shot?”
“And they’re paid for this??”
“Yes it is!” Diana said with a laugh.
“At least that’s how it is on American sets. On this set I think they’ll probably get whoever’s available to stand-in. You might even be Jackie’s stand-in!”
“That would be SO COOL!”
After a few more minutes of talking about the going-ons of a movie set, it was time to “work”. We got into one of the transport vehicles and rode up the hills where we would be shooting. I was soo excited. As we drove up I saw Diana writing some stuff down on a clipboard. I looked over and asked what she was doing.
“I’m writing down Jackie’s dialogue for him. Fortunately for me there isn’t too much today!” And she was doing just that. In nice big clear letters. The dialogue was already provided in the call sheet, but was small and hard to read. I guess this was part of Diana’s job as a dialogue coach to make that the text was as easy to read and as accessible as possible. We got off the car and I followed everyone to where Jackie and Dorothy were. Jackie was sitting down in a chair marked “Eddie” which was his characters name in the movie. Brad, Paul, Exy and myself stayed back a little and watched while Diana approached Jackie with the clipboard. He shrugged it away, signifying “later”. Diana smiled and waited patiently for “later” to come.
“So what now?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” Paul responded in a half joking, insincere manner.
“Well, is there anything for us to do? Should we get to work?”
“We are working right now.” Brad said.
“We are? We’re not doing anything.”
“Waiting for what?”
“Waiting until they need us.”
“So…we just stand here?”
“We just stand here.” Sensing the seemingly mounting aggravation in Brad, I turned to Exy who was looking around. He had his camera bag around his shoulder and a camera around his neck.
“Getting ready to shoot some stuff?”
“Soon,” Exy said preoccupied.
For the next hour or so I stood there off to the side, watched some more of the crew come in with equipment on trucks, saw Diana coaching Jackie on some lines, and Exy taking a few pictures. I walked around a little bit talking to the AD’s and other people I had met who also seemed to be waiting.
They were filming some moving dialogue on a motorcycle. Jackie was on the back of the motorcycle holding onto none other than Claire Forlani – star of “Meet Joe Black” and “Antitrust”! She was even prettier in person than on screen! At one point when we were waiting between shots, Diana must’ve sensed the fact that I was a little star struck by her and asked if I wanted to meet her.