Several weeks ago, I went into Philly on a Sunday afternoon to shoot a scene for "Across the Border." I previously discussed meeting with the director to discuss the script prior to the filming (see entry On Directors), and I wrote an entry about the experience but did not have the opportunity to post it. This, then, is that entry from weeks ago:
Spending the day working on "Across the Border" was a fantastic experience. It has been a long, long time since I had the chance to spend an entire day working on a film. We started around 1pm, wrapped around 10pm, and it was a great day. I knew Jenn and Jere slightly from my work on Paper Cuts, and I didn't know my scene partner Nikiya at all. Needless to say, as soon as Nikiya and I said hello to each other, we started filming the "morning after" scene, when we wake up in bed together. There is no better way to get to know a woman than to be semi-naked in bed with her ten minutes after you meet. We also had the cat jumping into bed, cuddling between our legs because we looked so comfortable. We actually did a complete take of the scene without moving the cat from between us. As always, that's something to mention on the DVD commentary tracks.
We working steadily through the script, and it was a lot of fun to only be an actor on the project. Nikiya and I had plenty of chances to go over our scripts and talk through the lines as Jenn and Jere spent the time on the setups and the lighting changes. Unlike recent projects, there has been no time limit on the shoot, which eliminates the need to feel so "rushed." We took a few coffee breaks during the shoot, ordered pizza, worked to some great music, and had a really good experience.
This is a picture of me as Juno and Nikiya as Kate in Jenn Wexler's "Across the Border." I had a great time working with Nikiya. She was always professional as an actress, and she had a great sense of timing and humor. We were dedicated to making the movie look as good as it could, and we had a great time doing it. Everything was always professional with her, and it was lots of fun as well. It's rare and refreshing to see both those qualities come together. Jenn and Jere were the same as well, treating the entire production with a relaxed but professional attitude. Extra care was taken to make sure things were perfect, and even the acting moments were given the time and attention that they required. And Jere was the one responsible for most of the excellent musical choices throughout the day.
More than anything, the day just reaffirmed my chosen profession. At my current level, the pay for this industry is crap, and it's really a challenge to find any job that would pay a living wage. In addition, not being on the West Coast (i.e. in Los Angeles) limits the projects that I could do, even on a bigger scale. Simply put, JJ Abrams is not going to look in East Norriton, Pennsylvania when he's looking for his Captain Kirk. I know I can do this job. I have the talent, I can handle the long days, and nothing else gets me as fired up or excited as this does. I need to start being more aggressive with my career, and take more risks to get those things that I really want from my life.