Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Story Three: Action!

From Monday to Thursday, I will post four stories about my life, one per day. Three of them will be the "I may just wish I was kidding but am totally serious" truth, and one will be an outright lie. On Friday, you will be able to vote for which story you think is fictional. I will reveal my lie the following Monday.

{P.S. Some of you may already know one or two of these stories, and if you do, please go along with the fun and not share your knowledge with others. I want this to be something interactive and fun for all my bloggity friends.}

In college I had a thoroughly hip roommate, with impeccable style (including an incredible knowledge of designer denim) and wit. She was dating (and later married) a guy that was equally stylish and witty, and I enjoyed their company immensely. It was one of those (many) times I wished I had a cool boyfriend of my own so that we could go on double dates and stuff. Without me being some creepy third wheel type. You know how it goes. Or maybe I'm just a loser...

Anyway, hip roommate's boyfriend also happened to be a filmmaker, and he enlisted my help for a project he was working on for a short film festival that was going on at school. Being the introvert that I am, I have to admit I was quite reticent, but I decided to buck up and help him out. For free of course. Because I'm nice like that. (And because, let's be honest, I can't act.)

My role was that of Fernanda, a shy college student from Brazil, working hard to support my family in my native country, whilst seeking to get a degree from an American school. I was not required to speak, because the whole film was to be in Portuguese. (Basically, a woman fluent in Portuguese provided Fernanda's voice in a narrative style. The scenes I shot had no dialogue in them, they just portrayed Fernanda's daily life.)

The filming was to take place over a two day period right before finals, so campus was crawling with people, much to my dismay. Because of the whole "I don't like attention, but now I'm going to be walking around the library with a camera following me" thing.

We filmed the scenes on campus the first day... shots of me studying... of me sitting around by myself while the other students ignored me... that old chestnut. To be honest, I think I nailed the whole "I'm sort of pathetic" vibe. But I will admit, I got quite a few stares in the library from students who obviously were not studying too intently... or perhaps my gynormous {I like it with a "y" and not an "i"... take that webster} backpack and equally conspicuous camera following me proved to be too enticing to look away from.

The next scenes we shot were with my "co-star," I forget his name, who was playing my drug addicted/dealing, abusive boyfriend. We had to do a rather difficult scene in which he grabs me and slaps me so hard I fall down. And me, not being an actress, had to do my best to give the scene the emotion and the believability that my friend needed. I had to throw myself against the wall a lot that day. And my counterpart was actually a really nice guy, so I think he had a difficult time playing such a jerk face. I know it sounds awful, but we had to do a lot of retakes because I was kind of giggling. Just due to the fact that I had absolutely no acting experience and could not fully embody my character. Plus I was really tired.

The climax of the film happens when Fernanda is walking across the street and gets hit and killed by a car. (A hit and run, no less.) I literally had to walk into the street with a car (being driven by the guy who played my boyfriend) coming right at me (very sloooowly, thank heavens), and, at the moment of "impact" had to throw myself backwards onto the asphalt. Let's just say that this scene took the longest to film, and I had my fair share of bruises (and maybe a slight concussion) after we got the shot.

Oh yeah, did I mention it was raining during this whole thing?

I had to stay on the ground after I was "hit" in a puddle in the rain whilst the final scene of the film was shot. A whole inner monologue type-thing to be spoken later.

The end product turned out well, no thanks to my acting, because roommate's boyfriend is really that talented. And, in spite of all the bruising, I actually had a fun time helping him out.


mary elizabeth said...

oh, if this one is for real i want to see this video + your mad skillz! (i think skillz with a z makes it more hard core!)

Jolyn said...

oh, lauren, you nailed it. i was laughing out loud - great post. :) andrew and i went for a walk a couple nights ago and we walked past that old apartment that you and I used to live in. Andrew's old car that we sold last year just happened to be parked in front of it (it has some unmistakable dings that gave it away). we felt like we had walked back in time. i can't believe that was 5 years ago!

your blog is great - i haven't stopped by in a while but i'm adding you to my google reader subscriptions so i can keep up.

i'm sorry to hear about your job. i was laid off in jan of 08 and it sucked! i have since found a much better working situation and i hope you do, too!

i hope you're enjoying your summer in spite of your unemployment. you are a great girl and i miss you!

Andrew James said...

Simply not true! Lies, lies, and more lies!