Monthly Archives: September 2012

Summer 2012: #Movie Madness and why it’s great to be #SAG #AFTRA

Hey everyone! Even though summer just ended, I’m already missing it. So I thought, no time like the present than to summarize my summer on the sets. Such a vast amount of movies are now being filmed here, Boston is now known as Hollywood East. This is because all of the big blockbusters roll into town right as summer is starting. This works out perfect for me because I am not homeschooled (some of my actor friends are), and summer is really the only time I can work on the sets. There are a lot of casting calls at the beginning of the season and thousands of people audition and apply for the chance to be on the sets. Because I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I usually get to go to Casting Calls ahead of the general public and/or can go through the union line. Also being SAG helped me be selected to be on the many movie sets as this year, I had a very successful summer and made a lot more than I could have made doing a regular type of “summer” job. So here is how it all played out (note: I can’t talk specific details or spoilers due to confidentiality agreements)
 
I kicked off the summer on the set of “Grown Ups 2” which is my third Adam Sandler film (Grown Ups and That’s My Boy were the other two). I was with a group of about 300 teens hired for the day and lucky me, I got picked for a featured part. Featured means that there is a really good chance you will be noticed on the “Big Screen”. The setting for this scene was in a school and although I didn’t realize it at the time, I spent the day with “Hunger Games” actor Alexander Ludwig. Why didn’t I know it was him? Well – you will have to see the movie to find out. At any rate – I have a lot of respect for Adam Sandler and it’s not just because he brings big movies to Boston – it is the way he treats everyone on the set. He is very kind and takes the time to say “hello” and ask how everyone is doing. Usually Big Stars and Producers are too busy but he is always very friendly. On the sets, protocol doesn’t allow us to initiate conversation so it is nice when he says “hi”. Every Sandler movie I have worked on he has been professional and hard-working but always took some time to socialize.
 
I also spent time – actually 6 days – on the set of “The Way, Way Back” starring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, AnnaSophia Robb and a host of others. I was in a bathing suit all 6 days and the locations were near water. I had so much fun and, at one point, got very lucky (again) as one afternoon the Assistant Director filmed a “B” reel using me and a few other teens. “B Reel” is the footage they use to splice into the actual scenes for background. Again, I can’t talk details but I think there is a pretty good chance you will see me playing in the water or walking around. Oh – and a big shout out to “Victoria Secret” as I needed a different bathing suit (sometimes two) every time I was on the set and I love their suits so Mom and I basically cleared out all their designs in one big shopping frenzy. The Way, Way Back also gets my vote for best food. “Mikes Caterers” made delicious Mexican enchiladas and omelets and since I was on the set so much – I got to know them pretty well. They knew exactly what type of omelets to make when they saw me coming 🙂
 
BackMask was another movie I was on and I already dedicated an entire post about this very spooky set. I still get chills thinking about the abandoned Ladd Institute we filmed at and how creepy it was during the dark hours of the morning. This movie should be put on everyone’s “must see” list. If the cast is creeped out and spooked during filming – well you know it’s going to be a great flick. Look for me in some of the eerie night scenes. You might even catch me dancing on a box during the party. For more details please see my earlier post on this movie.
 
The Summer was complete when I got selected for a featured role on the movie “Labor Day”. Again – no details but unless I end up on the cutting room floor (which could always happen as there are no guarantees for Extras), you will see me in a school speaking with one of the lead characters. I was hand-picked by the designer out of a crowd of teenagers so again – I was very lucky to have the “look” he wanted for that role. My mother and grandmother (3 generations) were also on this set on separate days and although I did not see Kate Winslet, I heard from both that she was even more beautiful in person than on film. It would be fun if all three generations (Nana, Mom and I) have appearances in this film.
 
Now that school has started I am back to concentrating on my grades and Cheerleading but the Summer of 2012 will always be a summer I will remember. I mentioned at the beginning of this post how grateful I am to be a member of the SAG/AFTRA and I know a lot of my opportunities came because of the union and the rights I have due to their contracts with the producers. I also appreciate the extra money I make (it all goes into my college fund) and when I am on the sets and I have certain privileges such as meals in a timely manner, good working conditions, etc. I spent 4 years working everything from student films, Indies and major movies as non-union and there simply is no comparison. I am proud to be a member of SAG/AFTRA and look forward to many more fun days on the sets and opportunities. My goal this year was to have a featured role on a major film and I got four. Next summer (2013), I am going after a speaking role. A lot of times, the movies pull in actresses from LA and NYC – but perhaps they’ll give me a shot to audition. Follow along and find out what happens and keep your fingers crossed for me because even with all the years of hard work and determination coupled with being union, luck plays a large role too.  I will be adding posts regarding these movies after they are released with more details and screenshots so make sure to subscribe to my blog! Thanks! ~Meredith
Click on my picture to link to my IMDb page and more movie information.
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