You never know how you’re going to act in front of a camera crew until you hear the word, “ACTION!” Then it’s anybody’s game. And eventually the director gets so frustrated with you that he shouts that iconic film-industry word all directors say:
“Beer! I need a beer!”
Today, I discovered exactly how I act on camera. I behave like a man having a brain seizure. Instead of using intelligent words I end up saying, “Aaahhhhhh... Ummmmm...”
“ACTION!” the director says again, placing the camera in my face until the lens is touching my chin.
“Try to relax, tell us your name.”
“Don’t overthink it, tell the viewers your name.”
The word “CUT!” is an industry term. There are lots of film-industry words that you’ll have to get “hip” to if you’re going to be “shot,” “wide angle” by a bunch of “key grips” with “shotgun mics,” mounted on “booms,” held by guys eating “bags of Funyuns,” and “laughing their butts off at you.” It can all be pretty intimidating.
I am no
stranger to performing in front of people. I give a lot of speeches and have spoken at some very high-level gigs. For example, last week I received the honor of being the keynote speaker at Vertigo Villas Nursing Home. I gave my speech during chair yoga class.
But when a professional camera crew shoves space-age equipment in your face and expects you to talk enthusiastically like a qualified Honda dealership salesman, all bets are off.
Something changes inside you. You find yourself sort of trembling because you know that any boneheaded thing you say will be preserved forever.
But I’m not being fair. Being on camera isn’t all bad. The great thing about film-industry people is that they are intelligent and creative individuals. And by “creative” I mean “slap-ass crazy.”
The director had me doing many different activities I would…