Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Junkyard Stomp

Completed the second of two long days' work acting in a local commercial yesterday. The location where we completed the shoot was a large junk yard in Doña Ana, an outlying place north of Las Cruces.

The advertiser is a security services company, and the commercial depicts a sort of perfect storm: a small business owner is hit no less than three times by a pair of burglars in a single day. (The burglars are played by your humble correspondent and another actor from Las Cruces.) First, we steal his car from behind his store. From his vehicle registration, we get his home address, and hit his house. By the time he has reported his car stolen and his home burgled, we are hitting his store. We were told this script is based on a real event.

It was a race against sunset as we filmed the final moments of the commercial, the burglars selling the man's possessions at a dicey junk yard. A small house and a large camper housed a large family and a community of people who apparently live here in this graveyard of automobiles, many of them stripped for parts and left in rusting hulks as far as the eye could see. They were exuberant, talking and laughing loudly, smoking, telling stories and tormenting children with tickling fingers and teasing. They offered us beer but otherwise paid little attention to us.

The biggest laugh of the evening, as the camera man frantically worked to set up several shots while the sun disappeared over the mountains and the sky turned to black twinkling velvet, was when a woman who had not noticed us emerged from the house and saw the film crew. In a loud voice roused with surprise and hilarity, she bellowed: "What in the name of PISSHOLE is GOING ON here???"

Sorry, ma'am, but I really don't know. I have no idea what in the name of pisshole is going on. What a beautiful, anarchic evening. It was one of those moments when you realize no one is in charge. There was no more acting, no more worrying about the lines or the composition of the shots, it was just about getting something in the camera, anything, before the sun went away.

And it did go away, and that was a wrap.


Mandy_Fish said...

Too bad you couldn't use that line in the commercial.

Algernon said...

Yeah! That's something one might say upon discovering a break-in at one's home.