Category: Movies

Making Movies

My first exposure to movie making was in May of 1982, when Baby, It’s You spent a couple of days shooting at my high school. They spent long hours setting up a scene, filming for a few minutes, and then returning back to setting the scene up again. I saw them spend most of a day shooting a character named The Sheik drive up and stop his car; I also saw them spend a couple of days in the Abbott Dining Hall filming a scene with two characters talking over a meal. I remember part of their dialog was commenting about some guy who wore socks to bed. In the end, those two scenes lasted no more than a handful of seconds in the movie.

Rosanna ArquetteRosanna Arquette But, in between takes, some of us who hung around the set did get to meet Rosanna Arquette, who had the lead in the movie.

I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures of a very young Rosanna, who was 23 at the time, and in these pictures.

A school mate of mine managed to discomfort everyone present by telling her that he had seen her naked in the movie S. O. B. She was embarrassed, and the rest of us were very horrifiedly silent.

Many years later, probably around 1998 or 1999, Joan and I decided to head down to PPG Place to see what we could see for the filming of Inspector Gadget. Unlike the shoot at my high school, there was a cordon around the Inspector Gadget set. After standing around for several hours, and not seeing a lot of action going on, we left. Once again, for the many hours of work on that one scene, it lasted just a handful of seconds in the movie.

So I am very aware that being on a movie set is largely long and boring, with lots of sitting around waiting for those few minutes of actual shooting, and even after hours and days of filming, the final product of all that work and effort may very well be left on the cutting room floor, or may last just an eye blink on the screen.

Now, Magnus Rex

Somewhat behind the curve, Sue and I decided on a whim to show up on June 19, the very last day of extras casting for the movie filming under the production name of Magnus Rex. We stood in line for about an hour until it was our turn to be ushered in. We listened to the casting agent explain the process, filled out paperwork, and had head shots taken.

A couple of weeks after the open casting call, I was notified by the casting company that I had been selected to be an extra in the movie. In the following week, I had been fitted for a wardrobe, and they gave me a free haircut. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive a small paycheck for my time at the fitting. So now I find myself being a part of the largest movie ever to be shot in Pittsburgh.