Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Big Chill
In any discussion of movie trivia, if you say The Big Chill, everyone will say 'that's the movie where Kevin Costner is listed in the credits, and he's the lynchpin of the movie, but all of his speaking parts are edited out, and his only appearances on screen are as a faceless body at a funeral home.'
Imagine getting a plum role in a great movie, and doing all that work only to have your friends say afterward 'Hey, I thought you said you were in that.'
That's kind of how we felt this week when we were told our March photo shoot for a new mobile app had been shelved, probably for good.
But we didn't know that then, and had a great time the day of our adventure. Here, Jean made her entrance with her bag of tricks. We each brought a bunch of goodies with us so we'd be prepared for everything, just like the boy scouts.
First things first. As soon as you walked in the door, there was food. And really tasty, healthy food! No dried out chicken sandwiches here!
In the vast loft space, nothing was walled off. This was the wardrobe section. The ad for the mobile app (which we were told would probably be shown only on the internet), was designed to prove that all types of people could use the new app. We were hired as the 'fashionista' type, so we picked from among our own favorite clothes, and Wardrobe pronounced us ready to go as we were.
Wardrobe was prepared for everything. On this table was a wide array of accessories.
Here you see a rose and a pair of wings, which will show up later.
Here's the photography section. To the left was the seamless white paper for the shoot; to the right, the lighting umbrella, and in the center a computer display of the latest shots.
These are the two techies who handled everything and helped make the shoot run smoothly.
Valerie posed with stylist Tamara Cepeda and another of the crack crew. Tamara also had blue-green hair under her green hat. Everyone -- staff and models alike -- was nice and calm, and lovely to work with. And everything ran like clockwork.
Hair artist Wesley O'Meara, hair assistant Kristian Bankston, makeup artist Sara Glick and makeup assistant Ai Yokomizo comprised the beauty staff which made everyone look glamorous. They took one look at us and pronounced that we didn't need anything. We chose to take that as a compliment, implying we looked fabulous -- rather than that we were beyond help!
In one corner a ping pong table had been set up so people could amuse themselves while waiting to play their parts.
Producer Kalena Yiaueki and wardrobe stylist Tamara Cepeda flank the man in the burnoose, one of the many 'types'. Later, make-up would add a mustache.
This woman played the 'dominatrix' type. She had a spiked collar, black garter belt, fishnet stockings and leather whip. Valerie helped her get into the spirit of her role.
This woman was the 'athletic' type. Obviously!
Doesn't this young model have a definite "Natalie Portman in braids" vibe? She played the hipster chick.
This model nailed the sweet young thing look.
This cherubic angel of love had little red feathered wings (see? we told you you'd see them again!) and a tiny red velvet bow and arrow. He gripped a long stemmed red rose between his teeth.
We got to talk with some of the other models while waiting our turn. Mike told us that he got this job because a scout had approached him on the street and asked if he would like to participate in the shoot. So maybe it's true about Lana Turner being discovered at Schwab's Drug Store!
Penny the puppy was also on the official list of types. Jean makes a new friend as Penny luxuriates in the arms of her companion person, Kalena.
And the role of Baby was played by -- this adorable infant!
We were surprised to discover that we were to be paired with the baby (whose dad is the app's inventor). The heater, which would have been cropped out of the final photo, was to keep the baby warm, since he was only in his diaper. We were photographed all sorts of ways - standing, sitting, crouching, facing the camera, facing the baby, holding the baby. He was a natural, and smiled or laughed the whole time.
Our turn to show up on the computer. Main shot in the center, detail top left, a selection of other shots along the right.
And that was it! We'd been signed for five hours, but were called early on in the process, so we were probably only at the studio for about two hours, and were allowed to leave. What a great assignment!
After we finished the shoot, we hit the subway platform where we spotted Lily walking just in front of us, and were awestruck. We gathered the courage to ask to photograph her. Then we got to talking, and discovered that beautiful Lily is a fellow blogger - she writes Le Report - and that she recognized us. She also asked to take our picture. A wonderfully accommodating (and highly amused) gent on the platform gladly obliged, taking this picture of all three of us.
We first saw Lily's stunning ensemble from behind, as she overtook us in the subway. Here's a recreation of what we saw. It's all Comme des Garcons, she told us. Lily was shortly on her way to Beijing, where her husband will be working for the next few years. Meeting her made a fabulous ending to the fabulous day.
So we ended up on the cutting room floor, just like Kevin Costner in The Big Chill. (To be clear, everyone was cut - the whole project was shelved.) But director Lawrence Kasden made it up to Kevin by giving him the starring role in Silverado. Costner went on to star in Bull Durham and The Untouchables and Dances with Wolves, and win two Academy Awards. So, ever the optimists, we're taking this as a really good omen.