A highlight from Movie Magic in a Pandemic: Shutdowns, Dear White People, and New Norms (Episode 3)


Lights cameras background action. You're listening to an episode of britain. The back upon cats were already talking about what. It's like working as a background actor in los angeles tune in each week for the ins and outs industry long personal stories and bearing moments. I faced learning the hi. Everybody welcomed episode. Three of the podcast. Today i'm going to be talking to you about something very very timely and that is making movies and television during a panda mark. Oh no yes so very timely So yeah we'll be talking about this through the lens of my personal experiences. And i'll be sharing stories about the amazing amazing shows. I've had the opportunity to work on during these unprecedented times. So flashback to win. The world was all shutting down back in march twenty twenty. I'd been working pretty regularly. You know january february and the beginning of march and all of a sudden. I booked this job. And they said we're going to basically be doing like a football thing the entire night The show had gotten this scenery scheduled a few times because it was supposed to be pouring rain expected. Like five hundred of us to pile on a stadium and things shutdown. We didn't do that however they kept pushing and pushing it and they were like okay. We'll just student april. And obviously we didn't do it in april and well the world shutdown sarah. That was that but as we all know you know that initial shutdown period was scary because originally we all thought like okay. We'll you know we'll shut down. Schools and film sets and the world for a month and things will be okay and we'll get back to it and that wasn't the case that being said i kind of posed an interesting challenge for the film industry because eventually you run out of content you've already filmed and if you can't safely make a television show or finish a movie. What content are you going to push out you. Physically can't and that was the case for a while so after months. Nothing i know. Some production started up in july. But it was kind of this weird question of. How do we do this safely. And i went back to work. Maybe the second week of august on a show called swat on the industry standard right now is that you have to covid tested at least once per tv show normally. It's more than once. I've had up to five tests for one day. So it's kinda crazy but for swat. I had to test twice and that was just for the one workday but an interesting thing was. They actually worked masks into their tv show so we did not have to take her mask off even once and we filmed outside in pomona which was fabulous felt pretty safe and also used to be a pretty common thing for background to do things that we called cattle calls when we're to basically when you'd have an absurd number of people in close quarters and it was never fun and it was always hectic i've been on cattle calls with like five hundred people which is absurd and we don't do those anymore which is fabulous so on swat they had us do this thing called tiling which is where we basically just move around the area and you know i'd stand on the front that i'd stand in the way back and using their computer. Cgi software things. I'm a computer person as you can tell they would duplicate us over and over again so it looked like a bigger crowd than it really was which was fabulous so after doing swat. I don't think i worked a single day in august. It was still. You know things weren't coming back. And then september hat Things did start to come back. But what i noticed. Was that all the jobs. After an i was non union meaning. They're not going to give me those jobs. This was the case because basically how it works as there needs to be a certain number of sack people on a sack production And then after you know they meet that number they can hire non union as well but since they were limiting numbers the spots were going to sack and this was extremely frustrating for me because this was a job you know i love to do and i wasn't able to do it for so many months of my life i had actually become sack eligible working on american horror story which i talked about a little bit and my last episode and one day i was just sitting at home and i was like you know maybe the pandemic is a great time to join. Sag people told me it wasn't but i did

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