At two AM this morning I left the set of the independent film BRAWLER. It was my fourth day on the shoot, that started at nine AM. Long and grueling day of a film that I am proud to have been a part of. Talented people that I enjoyed working with and learned a lot from watching. Over the four days I worked background actors came and went, either they didn't like the heat or the pay. After the twelfth hour I was resigned that anything after that was going to be for the love of the art. I think the performers and production people were there for art and not for big bucks.
The director Chris Sivertson is a very cool and mellow dude who never yelled or raised his voice. That's what the assistant director was for. She spent the better part of her time screaming at the less professional extras to be quiet on the set. Most of them were whiny and lazy amateurs who spent more time belly aching about the heat than doing their job. We probably would have been done hours earlier if they had listened and done what they were told when they were told. Time was wasted by the A.D. constantly having to tell background to shut up. Repeatedly she would have to tell the same extras to move six feet to the left and they would just stand there with blank looks. One background actor spent the entire day bragging to new extras how much experience he had in the industry. Even as the A.D. was screaming quiet on the set, he continued talking how much he knew. He knew everything except when to shut up.
There were some very good background performers there. Real professionals who didn't complain and were on the mark. I felt bad for one named Austin, he had a five AM report time the next day to work on the film Green Lantern. I hope he made the call time. In the past few months of doing this work, I have repeatedly run into many of the same extras again and again.
As we stumbled out of the warehouse sweaty, tired and aching the principles and production people thanked us for a job well done. I never played sports of any kind, but I think I know what it means to be part of a team. A group of people working together for success at a common goal. I hope the film does well and all of us move onto bigger projects and work together again someday.