" " " A to Z with Meryl and Me: Special thanks for the W scene!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Special thanks for the W scene!

Silkwood.  As I wrote not so long ago, the Karen Silkwood story meant a lot to me.  For as strongly as I've fought to covert non union jobs to union jobs, for as often as I've gone out of my way to attend union meetings, and as frequently as I've served on the board, gone to conventions or chaired a committee, I just know that in the face of poor treatment to my brothers and sisters, I too, would stand tall and strong for my union.  Yet, there is no way of knowing if I could have ever maintained my strength under such extreme circumstances as Karen Silkwood endured.  I have the utmost respect for not only what she strove for but how severely she put herself on the line for her union. So once again, this scene and this film was dear to me and I felt a tremendous responsibility playing the role, of Karen Silkwood.  I can only say that Meryl Streep has been shrewd in her character selections.  She has chosen strong, independent women to portray and of course, she did a magnificent job playing Karen.  In my research to look like Karen, I learned so much and I continue to think of her ever since we "met" during my A to Z project.  Now, let's get on with the thanks for this scene that I am oh so proud of and that I believe is one of our best.

Spencer Jay Kim.  Well, he had quite a task before him. His job was to take this scene, which was originally played outside in the movie, during spring time and make it seem right, indoors while not drawing attention to the location whatsoever.  He kept the camera moving.  The energy was high.  He brought a sense of urgency coupled with what I was portraying and made it all the more palpable just in his shot composition.  He continued to have us going over and over and over the scene again, never telling us how close he was or where he was shooting, giving us the opportunity to get a flow and work to find the levels.  I never realized he was shooting Bobby's hands because I was so involved in the scene but in the end when Jay was editing and decided to put in a cutaway of Bobby's hands taking out the papers and pen, it was brilliance.  This was the vision that Jay had before getting anywhere near an editing suite.  So for a guy who calls himself an actor, writer, director ... he's not bad with a hand held camera and an editing suite.  He in fact, from time to time, creates magic.  This can be said of his rendition of Silkwood, Marvin's Room, A Cry in the Dark and A Prairie Home Companion.  Good work Jay.  This was the last scene you shot for me and I venture to say, your very best.  To hire Jay in whatever capacity knowing that he will give 110% regardless of the task, email him at jkimgant@hotmail.com.

Mace Hurley was played by Bobby Thomas.  Bobby is no stranger to projects that have a huge scope and that might scare off the sheepish.  He recently did his own web series.  To see it go to http://www.roadtosundance.com/.  He has years of experience as a voice talent and has been heard on air for decades.  So with his many talents, he was a natural selection to play the role of Mace Hurley.  Although Bobby himself is a sweetie pie, I knew he had the chops to pull it off and I love the fine line that he walked keeping the character true to the story with a dash of smarm and a sprinkle of distrust.  It was a perfect portrayal and I cannot thank Bobby enough for not only helping me out but including me on one of his teams recently.  Remember when I was doing the 48 hour film project and I was shooting scenes around it?  It was a time of chaos as was the day of our Silkwood shoot.  Bottom line, in smooth times it's good to have Bobby around but in crazy, impossible situations, you wouldn't want anyone else. I've sat next to him at countless AFTRA meetings and I couldn't think of a better guy to have on my left.  To see our film  for the 48 hour film project, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v64puZ-bv8M. To contact Bobby for work email him at bobby@bobbythomasvoices.com or visit his website at http://www.bobbythomasvoices.com

Earl was portrayed by Mike Misiak.  Mike is another gem. The thing about Mike is although prior to the Silkwood scene, we had never worked together, I just knew he would be a strong link in the chain.  Mike has always been in my corner as a supportive and appreciative friend and I was thrilled to give him the task of doing so much with so little. I've mentioned it before, having a role that requires listening MORE than talking is a task and Mike surprised me take after take with an internal story that showed on his face at every moment, yet his expressions were ever so subtle.  For many actors the tendency would be to over emote just to be noticed but I kept telling Jay in the edit, we've got to cut to Mike there. He's giving us gold!  It was so true.  To learn more and hire Mike visit his website at http://www.michaelmisiak.com. He also plays in two bands:  The Boxes at www.theboxesband.com and BMZ at www.bmzmusic.com.
Technical Support by Terri Negron. What new information can I give you about Terri?  I've told you how dependable she is and I've mentioned how wonderful she is at prioritizing.  I've gone on and on about her speed, good nature, support, problem solving and technical skills.  I've called her my angel, fairy godmother, and Zeus ... well maybe not Zeus but she is pretty powerful.  You just have to experience her for yourself.  To hire Terri, email her at terri@fengshui5.com.

Location was provided by Larry Nehring.  Larry was cast in two of my scenes which is unheard of in A to Z.  I never had the same person on camera twice for the entire project but in the case of Larry I was going to make an exception.  His roles were in The French Lieutenant's Woman and The House of Spirits.  Both roles were originally played by Jeremy Irons.  Larry is an anglophile and a tremendous actor.  He would have been perfection in the roles.  Unfortunately, due to scheduling and juggling of the letters, those two scenes got cut.  If I were ever to do the 1,2,3's of Meryl and Me's ... Larry would be one of the Me's I would bring back into the fold.  He was so gracious to allow us to shoot at his place and spent time preparing for our arrival.  What a sweetie!

Camera was provided by Woodie Anderson.  Also provided by Woodie were the lights on many occasions and an undying support for my project, A to Z.  I am so grateful for the Woodie's of the world.  What's a Woodie you ask?  Picture this, a dear friend mixed with a sincere support, and a cheerleader all wrapped into one!  Thank you Woodie!

Editing Suite was provided by Dave Thomas.  This was the 3rd or 4th or 50th time Dave loaned Jay and I his editing computer. Why don't I remember the number?  Because that's Dave for you.  No matter how often we would ask, he was just there.  He was willing to drive it to me and would be so grateful if I would drop it off.  Um, he was doing ME the favor, of course I would drive anywhere to get it.  Another sweetie pie in my corner.  I'm so glad to know Dave!

Special Thanks to:

Jennifer Torquato for the use of her wig which actually was a better look than Meryl herself had in the movie!  ssshhhhh, don't tell.  Oh and she's not Cher or anything.  She doesn't usually wear a wig!

The Cleveland Clinic for the use of our white suits/ wardrobe.


Spencer Jay Kim said...

You were amazing in this scene.

Terri said...

I totally agree! This scene was very compelling.