When I moved to Portland back in August I saw a posting on Craigslist in my job search looking for stand-ins for Grimm. I was too short for what they were asking for but I thought “what the heck I will send in my info anyway in case they have a need for something in the future”. Months went by and I forgot about it. Then last week I got I call to be an extra, I was SO excited.
Nope I’m not going to be telling you anything about the story they were filming, who the guest star was or anything like that. You will have to just wait and watch the show, episode 1.14.
I showed up in the costume I had put together based on the guidelines, at the time I was asked to; then filled out the paperwork, was approved by wardrobe and hair and sat down to wait at a table and chatted with the other folks who had gathered there as well. Then one of the Production Assistants (who was AWESOME, by the way) came up and asked me how tall I was. They needed a stand-in for one of the actresses and I was the right height. So I went from being an extra to a stand-in. Because of this I was able to witness first hand just how amazing a TV crew is.
It was really interesting being a stand-in; I’d heard the phrase before but didn’t know what exactly that entailed. You stand in the place of the actors, on their markers while lighting, camera angle and other decisions are discussed, tested and then decided upon. I was so worried that I would get in the way when I wasn’t doing this, so I found a seat near the back and started talking with the guy in charge of props. I spent most the time that I wasn’t doing the stand-in work back here talking to the different crew members and observing what they were doing. People are all over the place, it’s like an ant hill.
A lot of people have asked me “did you get to meet the actors?” I did smile and say hello. But I’ve never really been a freak out “oh my god a famous person!” kind of girl. And honestly, after yesterday it really kind of irks me that people put all their focus on the actors. Yes, they are the visible part of a show and they do work very hard. But you never hear “Oh wow the lighting looks amazing in that shot, the guys who lugged that HEAVY ASS gear to get in in place and adjusted it over and over to get it just right are awesome!” or “The crowd is situated just right in that scene. The person in charge of the extras really knew what they were doing”. These are the people that are essential to a show; they run around working their asses off for 12+ hours a day.
I can honestly say I had an awesome day and would love to go back and do it again sometime. I really cannot wait to see the episode to see how the different special effects stuff they were planning out and filming turn out on the screen!