Monday, July 27, 2009

Even The Furniture Is Talented

We had a table read for The Beaver. If you, like me, are new to movie making you might have expected this to involve a talking table. You, like me, would have been disappointed. Why call it a 'table read' you'd say. That's false advertising you'd say. And then someone would politely ask you to try not to speak for the next two hours.

But wait! Hard as it is to believe, there are better things than talking furniture. Turns out you can put people, not people, Actors!, around the table and let them read the script. If you've read anything about The Beaver then you're aware who some of the non furniture 'table read' participants were, but the people they got to round out the cast, to just come in off the street and like, read a stupid script by some moron about a talking beaver... well, it boggles the mind. I kept smiling at them and shaking their hands and asking how they could possibly be there since in my mind they actually lived in the clouds and only materialized to appear in movies and television.

And then they would ask me to get them another cup of coffee and I would say, no, no, see, I'm the writer, and then they would say, two sugars, and I would get their coffee. But still!

Anyway, at some point in this process I've begun to wrap my mind around the idea that a group of people were actually going to film the things I had written on a page, were going to say those lines, and record it, and put it together, and show it to people. And they were going to do all this on purpose!

But hearing them do it all at once, together, around a non speaking table, well, it would have given me chills had I not been sweating profusely and wondering how many people had noticed my sweating and wondering if the fact that everyone immediately went and got a paper towel after shaking my hand had anything to do with my sweating. Long story short, it was fantastic, thrilling, and I dropped like ten pounds of water weight.

As I've stressed countless times nothing's guaranteed and these things can and do fall apart, so rather than wait for the red carpet to enjoy myself, I'm pretty much breaking out the steak dinners for every step in the process. You received my W2! Steak! The woman reading Worker #1 was in three episodes of Mad Men! Medium rare! You've never seen anyone sweat through a jacket! Which way to Morton's? At this rate I will need a bypass before principal photography. If you, like me, were just an untalented hack whose idea for a beaver driven Teen Wolf spinoff had gotten you this far, you wouldn't have it any other way.


Michael said...

When my kids were really into star wars ("so 3 weeks ago"), I watched some of the DVD extras and one was the first table read. Which was like Ewan McGregor not far removed from Trainspotting and Natalie Portman not far removed from being 9 years old.

Even George Lucas was giddy about that process, so it's gotta be cool to experience for the first time and with some big ones reading.

Suppose we'll have to wait until IMDB updates before we know who they drug in "off the street" to read the lines.

mark said...

the real question is how many distinct headlines with witty references to the movie's title exist...a glance at your profile says that the possibilities are endless....

Matt Downs said...

Really cool buddy. Really cool!!!!

Down Pillow said...

Found your blog and absolutely LOVE it! I love your writing style! Thanks for the smiles.

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