Last night, I got to play movie star. A friend of a friend asked me to be in a video at Sony Pictures Interactive. It’s probably not a video you’ll ever see; it’s intended as an educational piece for Sony employees to learn more about how different ages use different types of digital content and social networking at various times during the day, and how the platforms relate to one another.
There were no lines. (Well, once I had to say “Wake up!” but my voice won’t be on the video.) I played “Baby Boomer” with a 12-year-old son. I got there at 7 p.m. and went straight to make-up. I enjoyed chatting with the make-up artist, a very nice woman from Russia named Liana. Then dinner arrived (we got to order from a nice restaurant nearby). It was a while before they were ready for me.
They shot the scenes out of order, but in chronological order, it starts with me waking up to the clock radio (how un-hip!) while other, younger characters wake to their various cool digital devices. There were a couple of short scenes where I’m being “stern mom”–I’m making my kid get out of bed, I’m telling him to stop playing games and go clean his room (this is all done without dialogue, mind you). Then I take his tablet computer away (he’s watching Men In Black II ) and I start watching it myself (I switch to The Vow). The last scene, I’m watching the original Men in Black on the sofa, and I motion for my son to join me. We share a sweet mother-and-son moment, all is forgiven, and we watch the movie.
The video has two other characters that have their own little drama going on, a Gen X man and a Gen Y man. (They’re texting each other and watching trailers on their cool devices, then ordering movie tickets online.) But I don’t interact with them so I didn’t see much of them last night. The entire video probably lasts no more than five minutes.
All scenes were shot against a green screen. If you’re a fan of Cougar Town, Courtney Cox’s son has a green-screen set-up at his house. It’s where you can drop in any background you want during post-production.) My “bed” was a long skinny table padded with a couple of couch cushions.Also, all screens on the devices we used were blue; video images will be dropped in later. So I had to pretend to tap and scroll on the tablet computer when I had only a vague idea of what I was supposed to be seeing, then make the appropriate facial expressions.
Acting without lines is actually more difficult than I thought it would be. Everything had to be conveyed with facial expression. I had to look stern, sneaky, guilty, delighted, surprised. They told me the video would be ready by the first week in June. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post any clips or not–it might be proprietary information.
All in all it was a great time. I love acting. I’d do more of it if I could, but of course if I really wanted it, I’d have to put together a resume, a reel, headshots, find an agent, etc. And that would take way too much time away from writing. But any time a gig falls into my lap, I’m all over it!