June 18, 2012

Promised Land

I previously mentioned that I was cast as an extra in the movie Promised Land. Well, I ended up working a total of five days on the movie, one of which was Saturday June 2nd, and that was also the last day of filming. It was so great to see a number of the people that I'd worked with on other movies, be they other extras or crew members. Not to mention all the new people that I met.

The first scene that I was scheduled for was a diner scene. It was to be a two day shoot, ended up being just one. There was actually three different diner scenes filmed that day. However, I was only included in two of them. At one point I was told to sit in a booth that was right next to the booth that Matt Damon was to sit in, and the assistant director looked at me (and the guy who was told to sit with me) and said that we were too young and to bring in the old guys. LOL I guess I could take that as a compliment, but I really would have loved to have stayed there. Overall it was great because Matt Damon spoke to me, albeit briefly. We aren't supposed to talk to the actors unless they talk to us first. :) 

The second scene that I did was a town hall scene. That was to be a five day shoot but ended up being three days. Monday and Tuesday was one town hall scene while Wednesday - Friday was to be a second scene. So for the first couple of days I was seated three or four people away from Hal Holbrook. I was so thrilled to get to see Hal work. Actor Tim Guinee was also in that scene, and he had to run off the bleachers past me a number of times. It took me a couple times to even realize that he was supposed to be doing that in order for me to know to move out of his way. LOL  On Wednesday, which ended up being the last day for the Town Hall filming, all the extras were given a bandana with Promised Land on it. Might be strange of me, but I framed it and hung it on the wall. :D

The building that they filmed the town hall scene in was where I attended middle school (7th and 8th grade). It was weird being back there. The building is now used as a gym.

So for the last day that I was called in for, I was to be a driver. Normally they didn't work on the weekends, but I guess Matt had to catch a flight out Saturday night, so instead of waiting until Monday, which was originally supposed to be the last day of filming, they finished on Saturday. This time my sister Patty sent in her info and got called for that scene too. But for whatever reason, neither one of us were used. We weren't the only ones though. I didn't mind so much, but I did feel bad for Patty because that was the first time that she'd signed up to be an extra, and she didn't really even get to experience it or see the filming that was going on. But at one point, a few of the cameramen moved one of the cameras down the street to the house next to the bar (which was used in the movie) that they were using as the "holding" area for us extras. I noticed one of the production assistants had a couple guys go over and stand in front of the camera for a little bit. I had no idea why but then she came over and told Patty and I that they wanted to take some pictures of us. So we ended up having to stand in front of the camera while they filmed us standing there. LOL Very odd.

Since the movie was primarily filmed very close to where I live, I was able to get some pictures of the areas/buildings used as sets. So I've included some of the better pictures below. Click images to enlarge.

Kistaco Farm Market - Spring Church, PA

Kistaco's was turned into Rob's. Apparently the entire place was gutted to put in glass cases with which to display guns and such. Fake gas pumps were put in place, and according to a newspaper article, there were a few people who pulled in thinking they could buy gas. :) The high school I attended is about a mile down the road from here.

The red and white bronco is used by Frances McDormand (and possibly Matt Damon) in the movie. I only saw Frances filming a scene near the vehicle though.

Avonmore, PA

First picture is where they set up base camp in Avonmore. Second picture shows workers fixing up a building to be the front of a motel. A different building not too far from this one was used for the indoor motel scenes.

Tiger's Gym - Apollo, PA

These don't show the building very well, but in the first one is the area where the outdoor exits for the gym are. That's where the town hall scenes were filmed. The second picture is just the front of the building with various trucks associated with the movie in front of it.

That's about it for my Promised Land experience. But I will add one more thing. Below is the recently released trailer for Won't Back Down (originally called Steel Town), which I was an extra in as well.

And below is a screen still from the trailer of the Lottery scene that I'm in. I think that I can even see the back of my head in it. Kind of hard to tell because I have long brown hair and was wearing a brown shirt and black pants. LOL I was told at one point to move to the aisle seat in the row I was in, and I do believe that's the shot shown here. But most often, I was four seats in ... if I'm remembering correctly.

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