While home on break for a few weeks, I jumped at the opportunity to be a production assistant because it means a few extra bucks to go towards film school! I luckily am still in contact with the production company I worked for before grad school, Fruition Film. I ask if they need any help on shoots while I'm in town. I think it’s very important to keep these contacts because every shoot I’m on, I learn something new and meet new people – very important!
Wednesday, I was on a shoot for a Jim Hunt video. Tim McKay, the producer of the film, gave me a call and asked if I would like to help out as a production assistant. The opportunity to meet a North Carolina Governor?? YES!! Jim Hunt was the governor throughout my time in elementary school and middle school. If there was a special state event, he was there. I remember him and my 4th grade class breaking the ground for a new nature museum downtown. Our picture was on the front page of the News & Observer, our newspaper.
I’ve worked with Tim on countless shoots that I pretty much know the routine. Starbucks in the morning, lunch at a nice sandwich place – yes I’m in charge of arranging these! I also just simply ask if anyone needs help with anything. York Phelps, the director of photography and sound guy – a “one-man show” – set up and I ran to get anything he needs. For example, the secret to awesome flared out flags in the background of presidential speeches? A wire coat hanger! Yes I know, amazing! I searched the official Headquarters of the NC Democratic Party, where we are filming, and found the secret closet with all the coat hangers and old paintings.
Also, as a production assistant, I kept things quiet. The woman at the front desk even put a pillow over the phone so it wouldn’t be too loud when it rang. I ran to “shhh” people, which is pretty funny when I found out the person I “shhh’d” is a major player in the NC Democratic Party. Just doing my job!
My favorite quote of the day: I asked the woman at the front desk if there was wireless Internet. She said “No, because it wasn’t safe. The Republicans would sit on their front steps and hack into their Internet!” Ahhh you Republicans! Stop it!
On my walk to get lunch, I looked around downtown and just thought how beautiful! Downtown Raleigh reminds me of Chapel Hill, where I went to undergrad. The brick, the breeze, the chapels, the bells chiming…everything. As I was looking around breathing in the fresh air, I felt something squish under my foot. I looked down. Dead bird. After freaking out and rubbing my foot on every blade of grass I could find, I laughed. You can’t make that stuff up!
Finally, I got to meet Jim Hunt. He was incredibly nice and thanked me for setting up the shoot. Those political personalities -- they know how to make you feel good! We mic'd him up, and I took a few photos of the start of the interview.
York mic-ing up Jim Hunt.
Jim Hunt and Tim McKay
I had to rush off to get the police report from the Durham Police Department, so I did not get to talk to him for very long. I wanted to tell Jim Hunt that it took 6 days to get the report and he should go to the police station with me, but I didn't get a chance!