Extra set report from “M&OW” filming

13 March 2008

Me and Orson Welles

A girl on Zefron.com has been an extra on the set of Me and Orson Welles on the 7th and 9th of March and posted on 10 March 2008 about her experience.

She was part of the theatre audience and talked about the filming of the Richard (Zac) and Orson (Welles) stage scene where Zac’s character plays the ukulele and sings as well as the curtain call and that they shot a lot of audience reaction shots.

Here is a composition of her posts:

I spent the 7th and 9th March on set at the Gaiety Theatre in the Isle of Man as an extra, a member of the theatre audience watching the 1937 performance of Julius Ceasar at the Mercury Theatre. Here’s a summary of what we got up to.

Friday 7th March
My call time was 10am but I got there a bit early and made my way through the queues…costume, hair then makeup. I’m told there was 150 of us on that day but it seemed more. We were just filling up the first 5 front rows of the theatre.

The whole cast was on the stage as we walked in. They were chatting and laughing, Zac talked on his phone for a couple of minutes then…ahem…’arranged’ himself in his high wasted trousers. The outfit seemed to be irritating him, he would undo the jacket and take it off whenever he could. I knew the feeling, my dress was horribly itchy and by the end of the day I was trying to discretely undo the top button so I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out!

The first scene we shot was the curtain call of the performance so the whole cast of the play (not the whole cast of the film) were on stage. I took my seat right near the front. They rehearsed their bowing, we rehearsed our applause and then did about 3 takes. We had to give a standing ovation as the ladies were presented with flowers then they all held hands and bowed together several times.

The next scene was one of my favourites from the book so I was very pleased for find out we would get to see it be filmed. Richard (Zac) and Orson (Christian) play out a scene alone then Richard plays a lute and sings a short song. We applauded after the first rehearsal to which he responded “thank you, i’m here all week!” I’m hoping the alternate version they came up with between takes which consisted of Zac playing the lute far too fast and and Christian doing a jig were being filmed because if anything was gonna get me kicked out for giggling it was that! The song is simple and didn’t require great lute playing talent but his voice sounded fantastic live in the theatre. They did a few takes to get the lighting and positions right and apart from Christian tripping down the steps and Zac treading on some very creaky floorboards they didn’t mess up at all.

Sunday 9th March
There was 570 of us yesterday and it was chaos! I was there from 5.30am to 8.30pm.

The cameras were set up on stage for the whole day to shoot audience reaction shots. The cast were there to roughly play out the scenes and give us something to react to which made it much easier.
They filmed Zac peeping through the curtains and the play was about to start, then they did the stabbing of Ceasar and Cinna the Poet disapearence scenes. Zac and Christian came back to do the lute scene from a different angle and then we had to do the standing ovation again but this time with all 570 of us!

Zac was happy and chatting and laughing with the cast and crew, they all seem to get on very well with each other. He was about 10 feet away from me when he was singing his song and even though the majority of the audience were over 30 and didn’t know anything about him other than ‘he’s in that high school musical thing’ I heard lots of people praising his performance and saying how lovely his voice was.

The crew were all lovely, the costume, hair and makeup ladies and gents couldn’t have made us feel more comfortable. The guy sitting next to Zac in the picture of him in the pub is like his minder, he goes everywhere with him when he’s not on stage! None of us got close to getting a picture or autograph but I fully respect his privacy and we were in a working environment where it would have been inappropriate to approach him. Overall I had a great time being on the set and I feel very lucky to have been a part of such a big project. 570 people dressed in 1937 costume, all the girls with curled hair, the men with side partings was quite a vision! And who knows…maybe the back of my head will make it into the film

Yeah i’m all done filming now…I think they did 6 days with extras, we all got called for different days depending on where they wanted you to sit in the theatre. Those of us in the front 5 rows just did the 7th and 9th. I found out about it online so me and a friend registered and they called us the next day and asked us when we were available.

They were doing an hour or two filming with a few extras this morning but I saw the costume team putting the outfits onto vans at about 11 so I think they’re probably sending them back to the hire house in London now. As far as I know there’s at least another week of filming on the Island, possibly a bit longer, before they go to Pinewood studios in London. One of the costume fitters told me they’re setting up some street scenes at Pinewood and he was looking forward to having to put some uniforms together for policemen and a postman!

Source: london10 @ zefron.com, here and here

, , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply