Still waiting for my big fat grisly death, I went over and talked to the special effects guys, Jerry Constantine and Paul Sutt, who were experiencing a little downtime. This is when I learned about the pneumatic squibs that were going to be used on the set that day. What are pneumatic squibs you ask? Recently invented, pneumatic squibs are the safe alternative to the squibs of yesteryear, which are triggered by tiny explosives. Pneumatic squibs are triggered by an air pump, making them safer for everyone involved, especially the actor wearing them. They’re not deafeningly loud when they go off and actors don’t get burned. “Safety to humans” is a big fat rule here on the set and these pneumatic squibs definitely help to enforce it.

While wandering around the set, I also ran into Dan Mirvish and Mark Bell from Slamdance. Dan took some time out from cutting his own feature, “Open House” – a real estate musical, to join the cast of “My Big Fat Independent Movie.” Mark also took some time out from editing “Open House” and making arrangements for Slamdance 2004 to die along with the rest of us. I also ran into The Removers filmmaker Jon Schnepp, who was also on line to be killed. There was no doubt that I would be dying in good company.

Finally, after the extras were gathered for a little pep talk, it was time to eat.

I’ve been an extra twice before and both of those times were on the set of Spider-Man. I signed up only to get the scoop on what was going on down at the set, not really giving a shit if I made it on the screen or not…and I didn’t. But I did get the scoop and that was the first time I got to check out that horrible Green Goblin mask. “Jesus, would ya just look at that thing? There’s no way it’s going to look like that in the final product. They’re going to do something to it in post.” This is what I told myself and my surrounding extras that day. Boy was I wrong and the movie sucked just about as much as that shitty mask, too.

But I digress.

The reason I brought that up is because I remember the lunches served on the Spider-Man set. Box lunches both times, each with a sammich of some sort accompanied by an odd combo of chips, cookies and snack cake. Actually, it kinda looked like Boo Radley threw the lunches together. But it was cool and everyone was appreciative. But that was nothing compared to the buffet line of chicken, pasta, veggies and salad the “Big Fat” crew of extras got to chow down on. Everyone was promised that they would be fed well and well fed they were. Fattened just right for the slaughter.

Not long after that, we were all marched outside to prepare for our deaths and…well…I don’t wanna blow the end of the movie for ya. Just know that we all died en masse…and when everyone finally sees it on the big screen, it’s going to be fucking hilarious. Mass murder has never been so funny. We, the extras, died over and over again for the next few hours and this is when everyone really got to know each other better and ultimately had a good time. We could tell by the laughter coming from Phil and his crew that we all nailed exactly what they wanted. They’ve been working their asses off on this film for a few weeks now, so if a bunch of extras can make them laugh, we know we did a good job.

And that’s another thing, for a crew that’s been stuck together for nearly a month, there didn’t seem to be any kind of tension floating around. Everyone seemed to be getting along just fine and I got the impression that the production was sailing along quite smoothly.

All in all, a fun day for everybody…even though we all got killed.

More Big Fat pictures in part three of MY BIG FAT INDEPENDENT DEATH>>>

Posted on October 28, 2003 in Features by


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