This was originally posted on May 02, 2017
On July 26th, 2016, I received a chance to be on set for Dimension 404 ep 6, directed by Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold & produced by Rocketjump and Lionsgate TV, to act as a background character.
How my day went:
So I had to be on set at 9 AM without any brands or logos on my clothes; I was to meet at the crew parking lot and looks for signs according to the e-mail I received. I was at the parking lot in Buena Park, CA and confused on where to go next since I didn’t see any people around. There happened to be a guard around so I asked him where the background people go and he told me to ask the person getting food since he might be background. I was like ‘Okay’ and I asked the person if he was background. It turns out that the person I was asking happened to be Jimmy Wong, Freddie Wong’s younger brother. He pointed to the direction where the trailers were at and I immediately thanked him after.
So I was at the trailers and crew members started telling me to follow people going to the set. As I followed them, Freddie was setting up a scene outside of Howie’s Game Shack. Anyways, I filled out a waiver form which included my address and SSN # and sat around and took a nap right after until around 11 am.
**NOTE: I was wearing a $150 jacket from Express at the time because I couldn’t find any good layered clothes that didn’t have any logos or brands and I brought an extra jacket bought from YesStyle in case if the crew members didn’t like it.
Apparently, I was one of the 5 people picked out of people from a whole lot of people from a casting agency and those that received word from RJ social media accounts for the role to be a crazy fan for this antagonistic character, Killohertz—people call him Roy on set (actual name is Cody Johns)—since I wore a bright green T-shirt, making me stand out from the rest that were set aside behind a bar. I was pretty low on energy at the time since I’m a night owl but I managed to create enough energy out of nothing in order to act well enough to get through the rest of the day. I had no regrets wearing a nice looking jacket though I was dying in that jacket from sweating so much. However, I had to keep it on at all times just for the sake of looking good on camera; I understood how Stephen Amell (Arrow), Grant Gustin (The Flash), and Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) felt each time they wore their suits for their characters. Anyways, I thought I was a pretty good actor until Cody complemented this one guy that was also acting as a crazy fan with me and said that he’s like a cartoon character; it created this potential feeling inside myself that there can be much more room for improvement for me.
After that, again, I acted as a cheering fan but for the actress that is playing against Roy. At the time, I thought to myself, “How is this is going to work out?.. Oh well. I’m pretty sure Freddie will make this work somehow!” (And it did).
I can be spotted at 0:25-0:27
Details if you’re interested in the film industry:
During lunch, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings and honestly, I didn’t know that the RocketJump crew were eating out at a Mexican joint at the time. As I was ordering, that one guy who Cody complemented about being like a cartoon character came in. I accidentally ordered take out but we decided to eat at a table near the bar.
We introduced each other and this guy, Conrad, happened to be from Washington and is in California for only a year so far. He’s 28 but I swear he looks so much younger in person.
But anyways, he’s done a lot of acting in Washington and he’s from a casting agency but he knew RocketJump through a Pokemon GO event.
Later, I told him I was a bio(logy) major and he confused it with biometrics. *awkward* Anyways, I corrected him and told him I was planning on becoming a pharmacist but video editing and working with visual effects drew me to the industry (including 3D modeling aka CGI but did not mention in the conversation).
Here’s what he said: editing is a great place to start in film. People would try to start as director or producer, etc but they don’t have any experience in the field. Being a production assistant instead gives you a view of what you actually want to do.
He also gave me links to check out:
48 Hour Film Project
Great resources to put yourself out there. He also said not to give up on pharmacy also but I never planned on giving up pharmacy from the beginning since science and film both keep me interested a lot in life.
We stayed in touch on Twitter and I’ve forgotten about how Twitter is such as useful tool for networking with different kinds of people besides Linkedin. And now I can see why Facebook is not preferred even though I know he has one for sure, too much personal things on there.
**end of lunch break**
(order of events that happened after lunch break are fuzzy since this was 10 hrs)
After lunch break, I kept acting as a fan; Freddie would tell us what emotions to display at the time—ecstatic, sad, disappointed, etc. There was a crew member who told people to switch positions but overall, the day felt pretty long.
After that, Jimmy and Eefje/Sjokz (not given credits unfortunately) are set to cameo as commentators after the first match ended. And then Jimmy curses for some reason which I don’t know why honestly.
After the commentary, people were told to have their wardrobe clothes pictures taken—the clothes people were wearing on set at the time. If anybody knows the answer to why crew members do this, please tell me.
So after my picture was taken, I had to change into a different set of clothes and luckily, I brought another nice jacket—bought from YesStyle online—to wear. I became worried a bit; people from the casting agency brought different types of clothes from their luggage or cases and I only brought one piece of clothing but I was told it was good.
Again, I was one of the 5 people again to get a role that would make me stand out but as a gamer this time. 3 people were from a casting agency I believe.
I pretty much stared in front of a computer screen—a green screen and blue (+) signs. There were a lot of different scenes acting in front of the screen—serious intense FPS gaming, acting happy after the win while taking off headphones in an epic style (wrong emotion to act!! ), putting on headphones.
After that, I acted as a fan for one last time and everything was done by 7 PM as it said on the e-mail. Another wardrobe photo was taken right after. I got home tired and knocked out immediately since creating so much energy acting happy took out a lot on me.
More details if you’re interested in the film industry:
**Shooting of Dimension 404 ends**
I was actually confused on where to go since I accidentally went in a line for actors/actresses from the casting agency to check out. I finally found people who were not from a casting agency towards the mall.
So everybody else happened to be majoring in film except me—wearing a gray shirt in the middle—and this one other guy beside me on the left of that picture who is a computer science major.
Spieler and Dan—they were talking about how they were worried about the forest fire in San Francisco since their other set is there, etc.
Important lesson here said by them:
Going to film school is important but… creating film is even more important. It’s all about putting yourself out there.
It’s true! You don’t need a degree in film!
James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg (he actually dropped cause he didn’t like things were taught at CSULB but later finished at the age of 54 ).
They all never went to film school. And honestly, I think it’s a waste of money. You have all your resources online; you just need to know where and how to look for it. I mean look at me, I can do video editing and visual effects easily. CGI.. not so much mainly cause it’s time-consuming and I don’t have time.
Also getting a mentor for film is important!
Get contact information on a person that you want to receive mentoring from; treat them out to dinner twice; get their personal number; call them anytime you need help on something film-related cause it’s cool between the two of you now.
Now that it is released on Hulu, there were a bunch of scenes that were deleted judging from what I remember that day, including Lorenza Izzo blowing a kiss to ‘Roy’ and a guy yelling out “Killohertz sucks!!” I wouldn’t know if those scenes will ever see the day of light.