Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This morning beginning around six the cast and crew for the television show Trauma began to appear in the park next to my apartment. By nine everybody was in their places: the camera crew, the table full of donuts, the police officer waving cars around and people through, the director and his assistant in a little black tent decked out with monitors, the rails for the camera dollies to run accross, the lights, the key grip, the sound boom, the mic director, the actors playing the heroin junkies, the actors playing the soccer players, the actors playing the homeless people, the actors playing the doctors, and the actors playing the none of the above people. Ironically, they have to kick the real heroin junkies, soccer players, and homeless people out of the park to film. One the one hand yes, the film guild people get paid, which is always good. On the other hand, somebody is getting paid to dress up a shopping cart to look like its been pushed around by a homeless can collector while there is a shopping cart of a homeless can collector just around the corner. That slight sheen of fakery we recognize while watching the television and the people in the background? Now I think I understand a little better.

For example the soccer players in the background were kicking a ball back and forth from about nine until I left for work today around one. They looked tired and a little bored. As did the actors playing chess, although they weren't actually playing chess, just sitting across from each other with a chess board in between them. Again, for four hours. Probably more. Eventually the director yelled action and the important characters (the doctors) blew through the scene, something about warning all the addicts that there's some bad heroin on the streets. My roommate and his girlfriend spent the better part of the morning throwing paper airplanes out of the window at the cast and crew. Easy targets from our apartment window. We were all a little troubled by the scene.

My roommate described it as a kind of scorched earth policy, why one needs a hundred or so highly trained professionals to shoot a totally forgettable scene for a totally forgettable medical drama. That with all those people, money and resources, we no longer have any option to fail, and in place of uncertainty we get mediocrity, pushing the creative rock half way up the hill for the imagined expectations of the imagined public and their imagined living rooms which are probably being foreclosed on as we speak. Anyway. Medical drama. Sheesh. Sorry to be ornery. I'm a bit sick, some kind of flu. Since Sunday. Halloween cometh. Today a student told me that she thought once people get married then they don't celebrate halloween. I told her it was the devil's holiday.