So yesterday, LD and I shot the commercial. Here's what happened.
4:50am Alarm goes off. But since the other alarm (ie/ Zee) went off only 50 minutes earlier, I roll over and pretend I am dead.
5:05am Startle awake thinking, "what the fuck?" and realise I need to get my arse out of bed.
5:15 Finally in the shower after stumbling around in the dark trying to work out what stuff I needed to grab. Thankfully, baby (who ended up in our bed at 4am) and B sleep on.
5:30am Can't believe how much time I have until I need to leave and how everyone has slept through my getting ready.
5:55am Fucking fuck! How did it get to be 5:55am? We have to be in the car in 5 minutes and LD isn't even awake yet.
5:56am LD is awake and excited about driving "in the night" – I hurry to dress him and get him a cup of milk to drink in the car.
6:11am I reverse the car out of the driveway. Yes! Neither of us has eaten but we're on our way. Maybe this is why actors are so skinny?
6:20am I am flying along, marvelling at the excellent time we are making and also at the huge full moon that is directly in front of me in the sky.
6:21am Almost lose control of the car trying to take a photo of the moon with my mobile phone. Moon goes behind trees. Damn!
6:23am The moon! Fumble with phone again, almost drive into a ditch. Miss photo opportunity for the second time.
:moon shot fail:
6:25am Still flying along although have officially given up on moon photo.
6:26am Car has crawled to a stop. I look ahead at the sea of cars. No-one is moving.
6:35am Call the production assistant to let her know that I seem to have hit a traffic jam.
6:45am Still inching along. Radio traffic update informs me that a truck has overturned just ahead of where I am, all traffic is being diverted off the freeway and to expect huge delays. LD informs me he is hungry.
6:46am Simultaneously dialling the production assistant and throwing snacks into the back seat. Even under pressure, I am a multi-tasking machine!
6.50am LD: " Mumma, I don't want to go on the train. I'm sorry but I just go home to Granma and Zee. Granma will miss me. But I'm just sorry, Mumma." The commercial is being shot on a train.
6:51am Recover myself from mini-anxiety attack. Remind LD of lollipops to be had while riding on the train.
6:52am LD agrees to go on the train, "just later" which is probably about right since this traffic is still not moving.
7.10am Finally reach diversion point and then am promptly diverted straight back onto freeway. So literally the space between a ramp exit and re-entrance point has caused me to be stuck in traffic for 40 minutes.
7.11am Production assistant calls me to check my progress. I assure her we are 10-15 minutes away, tops.
7:31am Turns out I lied.
7:32am Arrive at destination!
7:33am Wrangle kid and a zillion bags out of the car and race to the make-up/wardrobe van.
7:40am Oooh, I love having my hair and make-up done. Even if it is lightening fast because we are now running half an hour behind.
7:50 LD is dressed and ready for the shoot. Shut your face adorable.
8:00am I am also dressed – but just in the nick of time! Guy opens van door just as I am pulling up my jeans. Awesome.
8:15am We are back in the car and headed to Southern Cross train station.
8:30am I am following someone else and she is all rushy. I may have borderline red-lighted it a couple of times.
8:41am LD continues his line about not wanting to go on the train. Which is weird since all weekend all he could talk about was how much he did want to go on the train. I am praying that once he sees the train, he'll change his mind. My tummy is all nervous.
8:50am We have arrived! We have parked! We are running!
9:00am We are now at the meeting point – a nearby hotel. LD and I use the bathroom. My make-up is touched up and also my hair. Ouch, lady! That hair is actually attached to me, you know.
9:10am LD manages to find a little door in the floor that houses electrical stuff. That's not dangerous at all.
9:25am We make our way over to the train station ready to board a train to Geelong.
9:37am Once at the station, LD is suddenly a BIG fan of trains once again and has to be restrained from jumping on any train, not necessarily the one we are meant to be on.
9:40am We are on the train. Sweet Lord, we are actually on the train.
9:41am Explaining to LD why he can't toot the horn. Administer lollipop for good measure.
:how sweet it is to be bribed by you:
10:00am Stand clear. Train departing!
10:10am LD is loving this train business. His nose is glued to the window.
10.11am We pull into a station. LD: "Are we stopped, Mumma?" I tell him yes. "Don't stop, train! (yelling now) Traaaain! Keep moving, train!"
10.12am Remind LD lollipop won't eat itself. Ahh, silence.
10:20am Action! Finally, we are filming something. Down the aisle we go, LD and I, hand in hand, looking for a seat. This is pretty much the extent of our task. Jeepers, we are glorified extras. Thankfully, the cheque in the mail will not resemble the pay rate of an extra. This is nice work if you can get it!
10:50am LD is on the floor, head down and wailing that he doesn't want to walk down the aisle again. We have filmed no more than 10 takes and most likely, not even that many.
11:00am We have a rest, a drink and I chat to LD about how it might be fun to do the walk again. He looks at me like I am mental.
11.01am In the end, a lolly snake saves the day.
11:07am Lolly snake gone, we're back to square one.
11.09am The 1st AD has the brilliant idea of a 'game' where LD must walk down the aisle to find the lolly.
11.13am The lolly finding game works beautifully.
11.18am Ready to do another take, LD informs me he does not wish to find the lolly again. I tell him, that's okay, we'll just walk down the aisle, no lolly finding.
11.19am The 1st AD yells out, " Okay, LD, find the lolly! And ACTION!" LD yells out, "Noooo, I don't want to find the lolly!" The director yells out, "CUT!"
11.30am LD remains firm in his refusal. The train arrives at Geelong Station. We break for lunch.
11.31am My stomach is in knots. I am so worried about LD. We still have to get back to Melbourne - another 1.5 hours on the train.
11:32am I am in the toilet. It has one of those sliding doors that opens and closes when you push a button. It also has a button with which to lock the door. I make sure I press that.
11:36am I am washing my hands when the door slides open. A guy backs away, horrified and apologetic. "I thought I locked it!" I say. "No!" he says. Huh. Could have been worse.
11:37am Would I like some lunch? Curry, you say? Hmmm, you know what? I think I'm going to pass.
11:45am The train is headed back to Melbourne. There is more filming required. A lunch break has done nothing to soften LD's resolve.
11.46am Bargaining resumes.
11:47 Another lollipop? "No, I just sitting here."
11.48am Lolly snake? "No, I just sitting here and I not moving."
11.49am LD discovers big red button reserved for emergency situations. Narrowly avoid setting emergency alarm off.
11.50am Is that another one over there?" asks LD, pointing to what is indeed another big red emergency button.
11.51am I have an idea of pure genius. "Let's walk down the aisle and see if there's a red button down there!"
11:52am He says no. Clearly, genius is wasted on 3 year olds.
11.55am The producer has managed to persuade LD to walk down the aisle for a couple more takes with the promise of playing the iPhone keyboard once he is finished.
11:56am LD loves the idea until the part when he has to walk down the aisle.
12 noon Somehow, some way, we manage to get another take.
12.05pm For the final take, I carry a whining LD down the aisle. Something tells me this will not be the one they end up using.
12.10pm LD has been released and proceeds to play iPhone keyboard to his heart's content.
12.15pm I continue, like the conssumate professional I am, to work.
1:00pm Back in Melbourne. That's a wrap.
1:30pm In the car. Homeward bound. Thank fuck for that.
Ha! As someone who works on the other side of the camera, I can tell you that this is why we always have a back-up kid. We once shot a full day’s work and had to reshoot the whole thing with a KID B because the KID A wouldn’t eat the damn cookie at the end. Did I mention it was a cookie commercial?
Hope you guys got paid well!
Ilana, there was no KID B! I imagine Aussie budgets don’t stretch to a KID B but then again, if he had refused to even get on the train, as was his initial position, they would have been royally fucked.
No kids or animals – that’s the rule, right?
And yes, the pay, when it comes, will be quite lovely.
God, I needed my Ventolin while reading this. Hysterical! The photo at the end just finished me.
You must be the only person in Melbourne who has ever BEEN paid to travel on a train. Metro need to introduce this as a priority measure stat.
Did you guys have a whole train to yourselves for the filming? Did you feel like a movie star? Nah, I guess LD put the kibosh on that. Sounds like it was draining. Hell, I need a lie down just reading about it!
PS – I love your expression in the last pic. Gold.
How good is the last picture? Hilarious. I looked in the rearview mirror and he was OUT. Poor little bugger. He was over it long before IT was over.
We had two carriages to ourselves. They obviously chose a time when there were fewest passengers.
I did NOT feel like a movie star. Although it’s nice having someone fuss over your hair and make-up in-between takes.
I am still recovering….
what a prima donna! hilarious! hope it all turns out well (how can it not?)
I wouldn’t have missed this blog for the world.
I don’t know where he gets it from….
Oh man, I was super tired after reading that and then realized it was only 1:30 when you were heading home. Holy crap…that was a long day and it was only halfway through!!!
The last picture is classic!!!! Love it!!! Nothing sweeter than a tired, conked-out baby in the car!!
Helene, it was so exhausting! I almost didn’t have the strength to relive it via writing.