Back in 2013, filming of the movie “X+Y” was happening in my hometown. At my school’s common room were advertisements of it as they were casting students to take part in some scenes. And as I was (still am, a little bit) an avid drama
queen?? enthusiast, I signed up. I didn’t have any plans that summer so I thought why not?
“Oh my god, I’m going to be a star I tell ya!”
On the first filming day, I remember excitedly getting up at 5 AM to get ready to be an extra for a real life movie! I didn’t think it was actually a movie at first. I initially assumed it was for a local TV show or something.
The first filming site was at the local town hall. We (me and other students) were all gathered in a room where we all just waited to be called out for makeup and outfit changes.
When I got called out for makeup, I remember the make-up artist complimenting my hair, quoting Hunger Games “the girl on fire ?” and dusting powder all over my face. Compared to the other extras, she didn’t spend that much time on makeup mainly because I did my own makeup at 5 AM that morning.
After this, I got dressed in my “costume” – my character was a student representing Mexico for the International Mathematical Olympiad (as part of the movie). I was given a sombrero (I was, for a second, 10x more awesome) but I didn’t end up wearing it for the scene.
There was a long wait before they needed us to be in the scene.
I spent most of my time meeting and talking to other students from my hometown who went to different schools. Some people there were even actors from agencies, I managed to grab an opportunity to talk with some. They really gave me an insight on the acting lifestyle.
Fun fact: I was going to pursue drama and arts for A Levels and university once upon a time. But then I was like oooh, look C.elegans!
The first scene, take one.
Our first scene involved walking into an exam hall about three times then sitting down to our assigned seat. I was actually pretty worried I wasn’t going to get in the shot because I ended up being at the end of the line into the hall. To my surprise though, I sat at the front right next to one of the main characters/actors – I didn’t realise this at all so during breaks I would casually crack up very embarrassing jokes.
Hopefully, he doesn’t remember that encounter.
What did I learn from my first day of filming?
- A few minutes or even seconds in a film takes hours, HOURS I tell you, to film.
- Hearing “Annnd ACTION!!!” tenses my muscles.
- Hearing “CUT!!” relaxes my muscles.
- I could never compete at the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Scene five hundred and twenty-four, take thirteen.
As I’ve shown previously, the second day of filming was actually at Cambridge. I was excited for this day in particular because 1) I’ve never been to Cambridge before 2) My best friend Taylor came with me this time – when you’re with friends doing something awesome, it makes the experience 100x more memorable and fun!
The second day we got to walk around Cambridge University and admire the boats, architecture and boy, was the weather great. They didn’t need us all the time, so we got to explore the set.
What did I learn from my second day of filming?
- Cambridge is beautiful.
- I could never compete at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Fo’ sure.
It was fantastic. I met some amazing likeminded people, gained an insight into the filming process, visited Cambridge, got free refreshments throughout and a bucket of KFC on the way home. I would do it all again in a heartbeat and not just for the free food but the best experience being on set and acting even though it was a small part!
I watched the movie once it came out. Overall I gave it an 8/10 and not just because I’m in it *cough* But because the story was captivating, clever and romantic (some parts!) If you’ve not seen it already, be sure to watch it! Great plot with great leading actors and extras. ?
So did I ever get in the shot? Yes, I did! A few scenes actually, although you can’t see my face much, my distinct hair is there. I’ve uploaded some screen caps below, try and see if you can spot me!
- Have you seen X+Y? Are you going to see it? (That’s automatically a yes ?)
- Have you ever had a similar experience before e.g. been on TV or a newspaper?
I always imagined that if I was a New Yorker, I’d be living a similar lifestyle – you know, coffee, work, coffee, socialise dramatically with friends… Well, that’s what I do anyway but actually being in New York is different. That vibe. As many people have said, you gotta live in New York at least once in your life 😉