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A Day in Metropolis

Big screen time again!

June 25, 2025, 9:30AM call time, my fourth big budget movie experience.

I report to base camp, a makeshift area filled with large tents, trucks and trailers to completely accommodate multi-location shooting in the area. The first thing they do is cover the camera on your phone with security tape. No pictures, social media posts, etc. Then you complete all the necessary payroll paperwork. Breakfast follows as you await your call to wardrobe, hair and makeup. While in the holding area I saw many familiar faces, many friends and made a few new friends.

Now you need to understand, it was not until 8:30PM the night before did I know anything about the production, my responsibilities and my call time. We did have the option to provide our own clothing for wardrobe consideration, so I assembled an outfit that I thought might work. Remember, as background, you are literally the backdrop against which a story is told. You are not the star. A muted pallet, free of logos, bright colors, are generally required.

I got up early that morning, took a five mile walk and got ready. Dressed, did my hair and makeup, not knowing what I was required to do (sometimes they prefer to do it all, sometimes not). A few times, while in holding, I got compliments from fellow cast members on my makeup.

I reported to wardrobe and my outfit, top to bottom, accessories included was approved. Over to hair to be told I looked great. Makeup, a big thumbs up. I aced the test in my mind! Then the skies opened up and it poured. Being in a tent, we went through instructions, complete costuming review and approval and ate some more. We then were loaded onto buses and headed to the first shoot site.

If it seems like we eat a lot, you never know when you will be free to eat again. Same with using the restroom. Go when you can and as often as you can, because you may not have the opportunity to go or worse yet, miss an opportunity to shine on film while you are peeing.

Without breeching the NDA I signed, we did a street shoot outside the Daily Planet. Hours of being part of a bustling street scene, with maybe 150 of us creating the street of Metropolis, including cars, taxis, buses, etc. I am fairly confident I will be on screen, but only I will know it’s me because it will most likely be brief and will be well in the background. Prior to starting, lunch. During that time, a few members of the production crew said hello as they remembered me from White Noise. This made me feel great especially since I was only on set for one single day, a few years ago. I was also recognized by a few fellow extras as working at the art museum.

In the street scene I was assigned to Team Amy, which was essentially any extra 5′ 10″ or taller. My job was to pretend to place a piece of mail in a mailbox and move briskly through the crowd much like one would on the New York streets. Core background were things like mailmen, street vendors, baristas, Daily Planet employees, etc.

We then had our dinner and moved to another location to watch, well I cannot say, but we did see the star of the movie at this time. Again another few hours and we were all exhausted and our feet all ached, standing on concrete all day. Many wearing shoes that were not theirs (which is why being in my own clothes was such an advantage). There is one portion of the shoot that if the camera angle is what I think it was, I may pop up again. My best case scenario, if I am noticeable, with the right camera angle, I could grab maybe a second or a second and a half of screen time.

My day ended as I drove home happy but dead tired, feet aching at about 9:00PM, well over a 12 hour day. The kindness of all I encountered this day was truly wonderful and apparent. Regardless of who I was working with, chatting with, killing time with, standing around with, I was treated like them. By that, it means when with women, I was treated like another woman. When chatting with men, I was treated like me, my attire a complete nonissue. So when talking about commonalities, it was easy and comfortable.

Work? Absolutely! Fun? Of course! I made about $12/hour and felt overpaid.

Here are some publicly posted pictures on the very day I was on set.

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4 Responses

  1. Interesting day for sure. My son is actually in your town to work the Barber Shop Quartet convention for the lighting and video company he works for.
    He told me about the filming of this
    Small world

  2. This was really enjoyable to read Kandi. You really look like a classy lady in that outfit. And all that for a second or two of screen time in the background. You know I really have no idea what it actually takes to be an actress, even just as a background extra. But it sounds like fun when you can do it as a female. I hope to someday watch your films and try to catch a glimpse of my favorite actress.❤

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