Friday, November 2, 2007

An Addition to the Weirdest Things I've Done In This Country. Or: That List Would Be Pretty Long At This Point If I Was Actually Making One

Wasn't intending to post again today, but I had to share what I just went and did after posting the last post. Apparently the local school is creating a video to show the Ministry of Education what their accomplishments are. So, yesterday, a teacher there came into the office and asked me if I could make it for them, being as how I come -- however nominally -- from Hollywood and whatnot.(1) This video is apparently due in three days. I said well, no, I can't make it FOR you, but I can help you if you need me to.

Cut to today.(2) They call me over to the school and bring me into a room that contains 20+ small children in bright costumes. The help that they desired ended up being filming these precocious youth in artistic ways. To wit: I was asked to start in an extreme close-up of a young girl's eye, closed. Then, she'd open it, and I'd zoom out to show her pondering life and all its weights. This girl was maybe seven.(3) Also, they didn't give me these instructions in such exact terms, really; if they had, I'd have told them to do it themselves. The instructions were more like, "Can you start with her eye? And then show the rest of her? Like moving out? And she'll open her eye? That way we can show that this is her perspective?" It was pretty impressive artistry, I suppose, for an elementary school teacher in a village on a mountain. But it meant that I was left holding a camera, zooming in on the eyes of a seven year old girl, giving her instructions with my hand like this was some sort of Teen People photo shoot.(4) After this shot was deemed satisfactory, I had to do the same zoom-out-from-an-eye move with a different girl, only this time, once the camera was wide, the entire class had to start singing a song and dancing in their costumes. After this, they decided I was done, so I went to craft service and then back to my trailer.(5)

With the way things are going, I am going to forcefully start insisting that I am not allowed to speak to anyone under the age of 15, as per Peace Corps policy. I am getting tired of kissing and filming prepubescent children. This is ridiculous.

(1)I fear that the short-term prestige I garnered by sharing this piece of information with my coworkers may end up being vastly outweighed by the long-term problems that will be caused by everyone in town now knowing about it.
(2)See what I did there? Since this post is about movies? God, I'm clever.
(3)But she sighed very artistically.
(4)"OK, now look at the camera! Now bat your eyes like you just saw Zac Efron! Now you're a badger! Burrow like a badger!"
(5)Seriously, making this kind of joke just makes me look like a self-absorbed Hollywood asshole. "Ha! Look at me! I used to work in a place where they have trailers and catering! Also, did you know that I've met movie stars?" God, what is wrong with me?

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