Day starts early with breakfast on set at 7.30 and because it’s a fashion shoot, breakfast is sublime. Fashion shoots have a different air about them than film sets or tv commercials.. can’t quite put my finger on it.. there’s definitely a hierarchy around here. You can’t just go up to the director and say your ideas. You need to have it passed up through the ranks, at least until I’m on set and dealing with the director in person, which means a lot of ideas get canned because people don’t want to trouble them unless it’s super-super crucial.
I’m sitting in a white white room, without corners – literally, there’s no corners in this space and it’s the size of about 3 houses. There’s something beautiful and strange about giant corner-less white rooms – you can walk and walk and walk, and the first time you realize you’ve got to the edge is when your feet start curling upwards and you hit the wall. I’m reminded of the scene in the Woody Allen film “Everything you wanted to know about sex but were too afraid to ask” when he’s a sperm waiting for his mission..
I make it my mission to find out how I got this job, who recommended me and how they found out about me. All I got told in the beginning was that it was a tv commercian involving some a list globally famous actress and bubbles. Turns out I was hired through the guy who works on the Art Department – originally met at a private bubble bbq gig about 8 years ago for Fox. It was a fun gig - I remember it well. I’ve even still got the pictures:
They were a good bunch and up for the bubbles. Incredible really that here I am 8 years on! Must’ve made an impression I guess…
The Art Department guys are cool but financially and creatively, it’s the best for me when I’m hired by the Production team themselves, or even better the end client themselves. So, I keep myself in check and follow direction to the tee.
Day#1 is a ‘pre-light’ day, when we test the lighting and make any adjustments to how the equipment looks. My ‘hero’ wand looks good (it’s actually made of gold!) but is NOT good for making bubbles – in tests, I can only make 1 or 2 bubbles with it. So I do what I can with an old squeezey washing up bottle and some double sided sticky tape and repeat the test... 10 bubbles! When I bring it on set, there is an audible gasp (I love this sound on set – it means I’ve done my job and the people who hired me realize it was worth spending the money on bringing in a bubble specialist!).
As a result however, when day#2 (the big day) comes around, expectations are high. They start with me making tubes and even though we’re getting the same size as yesterday, they’re less impressed. The atmosphere is built around getting ‘the’ shot, so it’s stressful on set too. Bubbles tend to get nervous on set, so it takes me a while to calm them down and with a bit of extra bubble tweaking, they’re performing even better than yesterday. We run some test shots with a ‘stand-in’ before the ‘famous person’ comes in. She’s really nice and tells me about making bubbles with her daughter. She’s excited to meet me and already is hatching plans about her kid's next birthday party!
The bubbles section is only one of 3 short commercials they’re shooting today for the same client so we have to be over by lunch time to keep to schedule. It’s going ok, as I try to get the best results for them. After a few hours of trying to get a compilation of good shots that they can edit down, they shift the lighting and settle in for the final ‘hero’ bubble shot. Things go well, really well, and we have it in the can in 5 minutes flat! The whole team are giving these huge orgasmic gasps now and we wrap with enough time for them to start on the next job before lunch! I know I’ve done a good job.. good enough to stick around to chat with ‘famous person’ and also grab some delicious lunch
Who is it? Aw, come on, you know better than that! You’ll have to wait and see! I’ll tell you what, as soon as it’s out, I’ll post up a copy and the pics that ‘famous person’ let me take with her!
Coming up next week – my second advert in as many weeks! And this time it’s in the US of A! So don’t touch that dial – America here I come!
Ps did I say anything incriminating?