In January, I got the chance to miss three days of school and head up to Vancouver to watch the production of my favorite tv show,The 100. Now I probably know what a lot of people were thinking: this girl went on vacation to meet Bob Morley? Actually, yes, but while I did get to meet my favorite actors, eat sixty five dollar filet mignon, and find out so many spoilers for the show – and no, I’m not sharing – I also learned so much about the filming industry that I didn’t know before.
A one minute scene that seems so well put together takes hours to be made. Literally, one small scene, and it won’t even be the entirety of it. I went to the outside set for one day, and they filmed the same scene for hours, and when I left they were still filming the same scene. It was absolutely fascinating how they did it. They filmed from every angle with multiple cameras. They’d have the same actor repeat the same line a hundred times just to capture a different detail of their face from a different angle from multiple cameras.
The CW has the weirdest rules. For starters, actors could say any cuss word known to mankind, but they aren’t allowed to say the Lord’s name in vein. Also, actors aren’t allowed to show side boob in the shows. At all. So, basically the dresses lots of actresses wear at movie premiers would not be allowed on any of the tv shows from The CW we know and love.
They usually don’t rehearse. Apparently they get their lines, have fifteen minutes of their own time to figure it out, and then get in front of a camera. That’s a part of the reason why there are so many bloopers, and so many retakes of several scenes. Their rehearsal is the filming.
The camera makes people look bigger than they actually are. Not fatter, just bigger. When I met the actors, they were so much smaller than I expected, because they were a fourth of the size of what they look like on screen. They weren’t short or tall specifically, just tiny. It was definitely not what I expected.
I’m pretty sure that I learned a lot more things from that trip that I couldn’t have ever learned inside of a classroom, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head.
Dear Unknown, for letting me take a load off of my heart and mind, and be selfish.
School, for forcing me to wake up and do something with my time and dig deeper.
The color gray, for being happy, sad, and beautiful.
Snacks and study breaks, which go hand in hand.
The bruises I earned.
The days that I feel productive.
The days that I feel okay with myself.
The days that I feel happy.
There is so much I could put down, but for now this is what I’ll share. There is too much in life that I take for granted, there is too much that I don’t thank you for. So this is my big “thank you” for the things and people in my life that don’t hear it enough.
When we were kids, we spent the entire summer in the pool.
We would bounce around in the water for hours on end, using our feet to push off the sides so many times that we would get blisters on our toes. By the time we got out, pruned and sunburnt, our feet would be bleeding from scraping them on the concrete so much. But we didn’t care. Mom called it pool toe.
I remember how we used to eat breakfast as fast as we could, and then we would play rock-paper-scissors to see who got to jump in first. We swam from morning until night, only pausing for a lunch break of watermelon and pretzels.
Your hands always shriveled up faster than mine did. You used to tell me it meant we were turning into fish, and I was convinced it was true. You also swam faster than I did, but sometimes, if I was lucky, you’d let me win some of our races.
Whenever there was a breeze it would get too cold in the water. To warm up we’d haul ourselves out of the pool and lay with our stomachs down on the concrete deck, like lizards on rocks.
I remember my tangled, sun bleached hair, and the smell of the special shampoo Mom made me use that prevented it from turning green from the chlorine. I remember family commenting on how bloodshot my eyes were, but I wasn’t bothered. I didn’t mind if my eyes were a little bit red and sore, so long as I could avoid the inconvenience of strapping on goggles.
We had changing lights for when we swam at night. I would stand on the diving board, staring down into the water below. The green water meant there were alligators lurking; so I obviously couldn’t jump in, for danger of being eaten. Blue meant sharks, so once again there were some risks. But when the water was pink, it was clear of all man-eating creatures, so it meant I was free to dive in.
When we were kids, we thought days like those would last forever.
I miss it. When we didn’t care if our fingers were shriveled up like prunes, or if our noses were bright red and peeling, or if we had pool toe.