Sunday, January 30, 2005


Well, it was a long Saturday, but a lot of fun.

Earlier in the week, a call went out on the in-house message board at Wizards (in the "Non-essential" folder), looking for extras for a movie shoot at the building. In particular, they were looking for middle-aged men to play office workers. This, of course, was the part that I was born to play, so I sent in a photo and was in turn invited to attend the shoot. I spent Thursday night helping prepare the set (an abandoned cluster of office cubes in the WotC building), followed by a seventeen-hour day as an extra on Saturday.

The movie they are shooting is The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, and is from the Dead Gentlemen, who brought us the short film The Gamers, a celebration of gaming geek goodness. They are making a feature-length this time, and while I didn't peak at the script, I know that the section we filmed involved Ninjas (who were incredible martial artists):
Pirates (this is Captain Ron of the Seattle Seafair Pirates):
And businessmen (this is me in costume) :
And all put together it looked something like this (that's the director, Matt Vancil, on the left):

Being an extra is like playing a tree in the grade school pagent - your job is not to show up the other kids who have the cooler roles (like "ninja" or "pirate") or talent (like "ninja" or "pirate"). But I think I and the other extras acquitted ourselves well in our roles of background features. In addition, the director had a small intro bit for the office workers which features me, Monty Ashley from the web team and John, a real-life business-guy from a downtown ad agency. We hit our marks and delivered our lines and had a fine old time. ("And that was the cool thing - I got lines!")

Our big scene came early in the day, which was good because we were fresh. As the day wore on as I watched the team wrestle with challenges, new ideas, reshoots, blown takes, resets for cameras and lights (we were shooting in an abandoned cube farm and the overhead lights were quirky at best). The extras sat around and chatted, and I listened to a lot of stories. It was 17 hours of continual activity, and I did odd jobs when not on screen (ran messages, searched the Internet for last-minute supplies, held screens, feasted on potato skins). In the end, I was pretty beat while the main participants where still going great guns, which is makes me appreciate the fact I write and don't act.

Anyway, I want to thank Jen Page and MC Schuler for recruiting me into this, and Matt Vancil the director for giving me my big break. Oh, and please don't cut my scene - its (probably) intergral to the plot.

More later,