Sunday, May 4, 2008

Being a film extra. Things to do before I die....

I was invited to be a film extra the other day...something I have always wanted to of those "things I want to do before i die".
More about that in a moment...

First the film. Its a German-Taiwanese co-production, directed by German feminist film-maker, Monika Treut. Its her third film made in Taiwan - and her first feature.

extras waiting....

In Chinese, the film is called Ai-Mei. The English title hasn't been finalised, but its likely to be something like "In-Between".

I didn't know anything of the story line - nor were we told very much other than its a kind of German-Taiwan love story- when I arrived on set. But after, when I googled the film, I read that it was inspired by Taiwan culture and tradition -especially Ghost Month.

Taiwanese people refer to the seventh lunar month as "Ghost Month" and call the first day of the month "Opening of the Gates of Hades," since it is believed that the gates of Hell are flung open on this day to allow the ghosts and spirits of the nether world into the world of the living for a bacchanal of food and wine.

One part of this ghost mythology especially interested Monika: the female revenge ghost. Women - traditionally oppressed in the Chinese society - are suddenly allowed to move freely in the world and exact retribution.

Ai-Mei tells the suspenseful story of an unusual love affair between two cultures and two cities.

the set - from the street

Anyhow, my role in all of this is very minor. I am a crowd of about 20 extras that night, invited to a photo gallery in Taipei.

Our scenes: entering the gallery, looking at the artwork; chatting about it; and clapping when someone declares the event open. That was about it. the set - gallery scene

It was quite exciting arriving on the set. We had to bring 3 different possible outfits; and then a make up artist got us ready for the set.

We sat downstairs in the gallery (the set was on the ground floor) and waited. Had lots of tea. And waited. I realised (and I guess I already knew this) that film-making itself was not glamorous.

tea..and waiting

Anyhow, it was fun - just the novelty of it all. And I got to meet some interesting people also working as extras.

As I said, being in a film - however limited my role - is something I've always wanted to do. One of those things I wanted to do before I die... Then I was reminded by a friend there is a film called the Bucket List...starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman - about 2 terminally ill men on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they die.

Personally, I dont want to wait until I'm old or terminally ill to do things that I have dreamed of doing.

I had a quick web search..there are all kinds of websites dedicated to "things to do before you die" including this one

I've done a lot of those things..and more.

How about you, my readers in blogsphere. Any unusual things you want to do while you are still young and healthy?

Maybe I will compile a top 10 after I get some replies...


Fili said...

Oh, wow. I'd love to do that.

Sounds like an interesting story line. Looking forward to seeing that one.

caro said...

The film is likely to be released in Autumn.

If you dont blink, you may catch the back of my head!

Anonymous said...

More photos of the film screening ?

caro said...

sorry, no more pics..we werent allowed to have cameras on the set; i just snapped these as i was leaving

Ai Mei the movie said...

Hey Caro,

We have created a My Space profile for the film in order to inform everybody. Being an extra in it qualify you to be a very special friend ; )

So I don't know if you have a My Space profile/account yet but anyway can you link your My Space profile to the Ai-Mei Myspace profile : links is
See U ! ; )