I skipped work last Thursday and snuck off to San Francisco instead. Never fear, I had my boss’ permission and I worked on the train, in a coffee shop and at home much of the day. I just needed a few hours to be a movie star. Well, not exactly a movie star, but it was a chance to be in a video that’s likely to be viewed by more than 21,825 people, which is the count for my most viewed video to date. And my mom is really the star, not me.
The role was as an extra in a trailer for Bike Snob NYC‘s third book, A Bike Snob Abroad: Strange Customs, Incredible Fiets, and the Quest for Cycling Paradise. I read about the casting call on my buddy Richard’s blog. The requirements: “look and act northern European and be on a bike that can fiet on a Dutch street.”
Richard complained that he needed more “euro” bike, so I loaned him my mixte and griped that I had to work. I somehow weaseled my way out of the office just as he reported that he needed to work that day after all. So I was on my own. Well, except for a small crowd of bike folks braved the wet and reported for duty, including two Melissas, bloggers from bikepretty and calitexican, plus a group from Chronicle Books, Bike Snob’s publishers.
So what does an extra do? Mostly stand around and wait while the directors and crew and stars decide what to do. In this case, that’s three people. Not that I’m complaining, director Robin Moore has produced some great videos, like “Performance” and “Get Dirty”. So I was sure it would be worth my time. And Bike Snob? Everyone loves rubbing elbows with a star, even a shy one whose aloofness suits his “snob” moniker.
We lined up, rode down the block on cue and did our best to meet Robin Moore’s two simple directions: “don’t look at the camera and look happy.” The first part was a little hard, but second came quite naturally.
They did two group shots of us riding around the lovely South Park oval, which resembles a quiet European neighborhood, then I got called back along with two others for a shot of us riding in circles in the park. Turns out Robin Moore also produced a video of my Viva Juliett. I think he still has a crush on her.
I didn’t ask about the trailer’s production schedule so I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait before I see if my pretty red bike and I made the cut. And if we do make it, my bike, not me, will really be the star.
Have you ever been an extra in a film or video? How about in the background on the local news?