The project is called EXTRACT and it's directed by Torey Byrne and produced and written by MJ Slide. About a year ago I was working at Blockbuster here in South Carolina and I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow geek and film-writer who I instantly felt a kinship with. After bonding over film-writing (we were both writing screenplays at the time), movies, and television, we exchanged contact information and when she and Torey were gearing up to start filming on EXTRACT, she graciously invited me to be a part of it. I was honored and thrilled to say yes.
Before starting, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I was asked to be there as a general helper so I was ready to help set up, move things around, even get coffee. The most I thought I'd do is slate or call out lines and even that would have been fantastic. The first day of shooting took place outdoors in Atlanta and I offered to carry bags and charge phones and just be as supportive as I could be. I was so excited to be there even though I wanted to do a little more to help. The second day my wish came true when, after helping to set up the location, I was asked to hold the mic during shooting. This was, as you said, a huge learning curve that I did not expect, but I quickly overcame my fear of having no clue what I was doing and was given a crash course in how to operate sound equipment on a set. The whole crew was so professional yet incredibly fun to work with, though, and I immediately felt like part of the team.
What advice would you give to people before they take that very first job on a film crew?
Just to be open minded and as adaptable as possible. Absolutely everything is unpredictable on a film set and you have to be ready to easily change your role and function. There are highs and lows and nothing is certain, so be prepared for anything. Also, remember that there is a time for fun and there is a time to get to work and if you can do both, it's truly one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have.
At the moment I am actually working on a non-film related project; a children's picture book called Sadie Vs. Big Mouth. I'm hoping to self publish in the spring with the help of Kickstarter. For more information about that, people can go to http: sadieversus.com. Soon though, I'll be collaborating with MJ on the first feature length film I've ever wanted to make, (short films having always been my preference), and I am so looking forward to it. It will be a dramatic love story and is yet to be titled.
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Twitter: twitter.com/snthomson (@snthomson)