Sunday, April 6, 2014

Warehouse 13 Specialty Extra

Hi It's been a very long while since I have had time for extra work, but couldn't pass up this special assignment last summer. My agent Sherri at BCast Agency emailed me that a park scene for Warehouse 13 would need some Tai Chi players! Just up my alley! And last minute could I get others to come too?
Since this was a rush, I had problems getting my students or colleagues to come for a whole day at the Boyd conservation park.

I got another email asking if I knew if an acquaintance (who was also on the BCast roster) was able to do the Tai Chi and agreed to have a phone conversation with her.. turns out it was Ewa an old friend of the family and although she had little tai chi training she was a quick study. It was also a nice chance for us to reconnect.

I arrived very early (7 am) at the conservation area, the road was blocked by a truck that was very heavy with equipment and the rickety bridge which was damaged from the latest deluge didn't look very safe.

Several crew and extras helped the truck driver navigate the holey bridge while the rest of us held our breath. Successful in crossing we now drove over to find the dirt road was like an obstacle course with giant holes everywhere.My little Fiat 500 did just fine.

Finally arriving at the holding, which was a giant tent, I signed in and people started to trickle in.
It was really cold inside the tent, but the sun was hot and strong outside, so after checking my wardrobe and glad I had a warm jacket, I went outside with the other Tai Chi people to warm up.
On the way out the wardrobe mistress had to tape over the N's on my Nikes, even the tiny ones on the sole..with black duct tape, no logos are allowed at all.

Our group of about 8 met and we decided to do some Qigong, and see what everyone knew.. There was another lady who knew the Shibashi Tai Chi Qigong , so we did that for a while. Then we thought we would do it in unison for some of the time, and individually practice for the remainder while shooting. We weren't given any direction about that, so we just did what we thought would happen with a group at a park.This took up most of the morning while we waited for our scene to be shot. Finally around 10 they marched us out to this lovely meadow to film the scene.

What we didn't realize was that the scene was about a pause in time.. or some such thing. So the director called "action" and the park came alive, with picnic people, kite flyers, lovers, bbqers, volleyball players, parents with kids in strollers, lovers on blankets and Tai Chi players.  Then when he called "Stop" we all had to fall on the ground and remain motionless while one of the lead actors played out the scene.

Now fall is a relative term. We were informed that only the stunt players had to really hit the dirt, we could just lay down and stay still. Thank goodness, because I wasn't up to a prat fall.
Then the director and camera people reviewed the footage and complained to one woman in red that she was moving during the 'frozen' part of the scene. We had to reshoot.

This went on for an hour. up down up down, it was hot and the grass was warm and steamy and it felt very lush laying on it in the sun, very pleasant. and no bugs! It wasn't difficult to stay still, but it was tricky to stay awake!

We took a break for subs ( this was provided for the crew and union extras first, but since we were specialists we were allowed to join them). The buffet was nice and though I was not eating bread or pasta, I found enough to satisfy.

In all a really fun day and met some nice Tai Chi players from around Toronto. The episode should air in the next few weeks, let's see if we got on camera!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Finally Saw Chloe

Yes we (me and the handsome dude) were on screen for a whole minute in the first concert scene.  That was fun, and at least we weren't specks on the screen this time, you could actually see our heads and some profile for the minute. It was also fun seeing the locations all around Toronto, not being disguised as another city. Atom Egoyan made a point of showing that it was indeed Toronto, and now I am sorry we didn't stay up all night to be in the party scene, that house was so stunning! I have to find out where it is.
I've been really good busy with work and family, so haven't done as much extra work this year, but I was asked to be a consultant on "Being Erica" to show them how to do tai chi properly.  How exciting! Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and they cut the scene ;(
I was paid but disappointed. Ah well life on the set - always the unknown.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's been a while....

Since I last blogged here. I've been so busy with my other jobs, I haven't had time to work on any shows. But yesterday I had a great time on the set of the new show Copper.(note: renamed "Rookie Blue")   In a news release it is described as "a character-driven workplace drama about five rookie cops plunged into the high stakes world of big city policing." The good news is it was picked up by ABC tv.

We shot outdoor scenes on a dead end street near Bloor St and Parliament. Right in front of a subway entrance and a tunnel to the Rosedale Valley Ravine. It was pretty hot and steamy in the morning, but there was shade from the trees and there was plenty of water, slushies and freezies.

I think this time I may even get to be a blur on screen, since myself and my other passers by got to move aside for the ner do well running from the cops, in the tunnel scene, and to witness the take down. That was interesting to see how they filmed the stunt men and then later the close up of the stars.
It was a lot of fun, and the crew was so nice to us, and gave us great direction and thanks.
We got to walk by in lots of different scenes so it will be interesting to see what actually ends up aired. ( Oh ya, even with slow mo and the pvr I couldn't see myself at all in the Flashpoint episode from April. oh well,)
Since there were only a few of us, we were invited to join the cast/crew for a great lunch and wrapped around 7pm.
I also enjoyed meeting some really nice people from Bcast Agency too.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flashpoint Episode this Friday!

Get your PVR ready! The Flashpoint episode I worked in is being broadcast this Friday.
It remains to be seen whether or not my scene will be shown?
stay tuned....

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Monday's shoot was quite different from working on Chloe. (I must say that I was very sad to hear that Liam Neeson's wife Natasha Richardson had passed away after a freak accident during a ski lesson in Quebec. What makes it particularly sad is that it is preventable. I hope out of this sad situation that people are now aware that head injuries can seem so minor and yet, if not checked out can be deadly.)
Back to Monday:
I arrived up in Unionville, a small town north of the city, but really now almost a suburb of Toronto. I made my way to a fantastic brand new sports centric high school for a scene. This school made my old high school look like it was from another century. It had a fitness room on the 3rd floor, which was all windows and with the latest sports equipment, a rugby field, a soccer field, a football field gyms, tennis and probably a pool etc.
Just amazing.
Holding was in the cafeteria which also had a huge wall of windows on the 3rd floor.
I checked in and then waited for the wardrobe woman to check me out. This time I took my little suitcase and had on a 'soccer mom' type outfit. However she opted for the 'business mom' look and I put this on. Beside me were two young ladies in their teens. She told one girl that her clothing was too edgy and they wanted a preppy look. The girl then started changing right there in the middle of everyone! That was pretty funny. The other major difference in the extras on this show is that half of them are cops, and they really look like cops, big, full uniform, including mock guns which they received on set. It was quite important that they look real, and had their hems done to regulation too. It was a bit intimidating and at times I had to keep reminding myself that feeling like I had just got a ticket was not real. The fellow next to me had to have his haircut to regulation but other than that, not much happened. A bunch of the cops were watching movies on a laptop while waiting.

The kids were there since 6 am and doing multiple scenes. I won't reveal the plot, but the kids were leaving the school and running to their parents after an incident at school. We were the parents and the press.
Around noon they started preparing the craft service. This time everyone was invited to eat a great buffet. Two kinds of Lasagne, Chicken, Salad, rice and beans, potatoes and some dessert bars. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting reading etc. Then around 4 we went outside to shoot the scene. There was alot of preparation of the police cars, the students, and where we should stand etc.
The scene was shot from 4 directions, and each time at least 5 takes, including moving an ambulance and loading it.
I got to choose my kid, and picked a nice Chinese boy; he decided I was his aunt.
It was pretty cool by then the sun was going down so we had a fake sun - a huge light to be able to finish the scenes. We ran to meet "our kid" and that was pretty much it.
In between takes, we huddled near the director's tent, and watched all the goings on,including a break dance by one of the stars who was pretty funny, (the costume woman got upset with him for messing up his SWAT gear).
At 7:30 we were wrapped. Signed out and headed home. During all the waiting time I worked on my Tai Chi presentation so that was good. I'm thinking about taking an ipod next time, but I had some nice conversations with interesting folks.
Stay tuned for next time....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Preparing for Shooting

One thing a background player needs to have is wardrobe. No matter what the scene we are responsible to bring the required wardrobe to the shoot. Usually this means 2 or 3 complete changes. Sometimes because we are in more than one scene or sometimes because they want some variety in the background players.
Because when you are in the background, you want to stay just that; background. Usually that means no brights (loud colours),no stripes (makes a blurry image)and no identifiable logos (copyright infringement).
Tomorrow I'm set to work on the TV series Flashpoint. I learned last time to bring a small suitcase with wheels from a veteran extra. This will make taking my wardrobe and accessories a lot easier. It will also give me a place to put my cooled protein shakes and sandwich.
I'm excited. More tomorrow on the shoot!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I got an email today from my agent Sherri! Monday I'll be working on the set of Flashpoint! Stay tuned for more!