The taxi missed the turn but we were soon moving toward the movie production studio. Apart from parked cars and two people heading toward a car in the distance, the street was vacant. They had just left the film production studio.
I had been there several times before. Behind a cement block wall, the studio looked more like a house than what one imagines a studio. It was the corporate office. Filming is done on locations around Ecuador. I pushed the button on the intercom, announced myself and, on hearing the click of the lock, pushed the steel door and entered.
The foyer was full of people, mostly in their late teens, sitting and standing where-ever space allowed. The youth evidently knew each other because they huddled together, animated in conversation. Approaching senior years, I was probably the oldest there. I took a chair as it was vacated and waited.
Periodically, a member of the production staff appeared to either ask for quiet or to escort someone in or out of an adjoining room. There was little air movement and I was happier waiting as people left.
Finally, it was my turn.
In the studio, it was explained that the company was making video clips of actors to facilitate initial screening for future castings. I had been called because I had acted in speaking roles in two films before, one for National Geographic and one for The Discovery Channel. It didn't take long, just time for a few words telling about myself facing the camera, then as I turned.
Film production studios are constantly looking for people. I recall acquaintances in Toronto and Ottawa speaking of people being paid to walk down streets or simply to sit in a lobby or restaurant while the filming of the principle actors took place.
I had never acted before appearing in a National Geographic film recreation of a hostage situation and I never expected to have a speaking part. Lights, camera, action - it was all there. What a fascinating and fun experience !
Producers are used to dealing with amateurs like myself, - like you. Those who I met, from the UK, were very self assured and communicated their desires to actors and production staff clearly and with respect for the efforts of each and every one. Scenes were shot numerous times until the producer felt that he had enough material from which he would select the final copy. Amateur or experienced actor, it was the same.
Want to enjoy a new experience and make a few dollars ? Production companies always need people and keep lists of those who have expressed interest. The need and opportunity is in all major cities. If you are in Latin America as I am, the relative absence of " gringos " increases the likelihood of your being called when mother tongue English speakers or people representing other races are needed. Why not give it a try ?
Have a good time and add " actor " to your life history. I'm looking forward to my next film. And, you ?
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