After socializing with the other extras, I went to get my makeup and hair professionally done. The makeup artists spent a solid hour doing my hair, applying endless layers of foundation, gluing on fake eye lashes, and contouring my face. When they finished, I hardly recognized myself. I am not one for ever wearing a lot of makeup, so seeing such a huge amount on me was a shock. See the before and after photos below.
Around 7pm, the shooting was supposed to begin. Unfortunately, however, the generator failed and the power went out… So we had to wait for 3 hours in the dark. Surprisingly, those 3 hours were incredibly fun. It gave all the extras a chance to get to know one another. We talked about all of our cultures, shared travel advice, and literally everyone asked me about the U.S. election (almost every international person that finds out I’m from the U.S. asks without fail).
At one point we all sat in a circle with Shigga’s rapping friends (Shigga himself was busy) and they started a freestyle rap session. All the rappers blew me away with their talent! I don’t know how the rappers could so easily create rhyming, meaningful words off the top of their head while still maintaining great rhythm and style. When my turn arrived, I just stuttered a lot and failed miserably… But the activity was still enjoyable and I now have a new appreciation for rap music.
A few of the female extras and our favorite makeup artist.
Finally, at 10pm, the crew started shooting the music video. I didn’t see the first scenes shot (laboratory scenes), but i got to watch and participate in most of the rest of the scenes.
For the car scene, Shigga was filmed dancing and lip syncing on the top of a jeep with smoke and crazy lights in the background. In the actual video, he looks cool… But in real life, he looked incredibly odd. It was a humid, 90 degree weather night and Shigga was wearing a heavy leather jacket while dancing and lip syncing on top of a car for about 10 cuts of the same 5 seconds of his recorded song. All the crew was incredibly serious and most people stared at him without much enthusiasm. Instead of a fun party, the shoot quickly became serious business.
After the car scene, the extras were called to participate in the rest of the shots. We were all directed to go to different areas of the shot and we received individual instructions. My job was to walk next to a Singaporean model to a mini bar and look “excited and sexy”. We did this shot about 4 different times before moving on to the next shot. It was initially intimidating, but after shooting the same scene 5x in a row, it became easy. All of the shots for the rest of the night were similar, but usually involved dancing in front of the camera and the directors constantly regrouping us all.
Despite my initial reservations, once I picked up everyone’s enthusiastic energy and practiced a few times, I had a blast. It felt like I was being paid to party.
The final hours of the shot, however, were painful. When it hit 5am, my old enthusiasm was replaced with exhaustion and irritation. The song being repetitively played and constant dancing was making me crazy. Thankfully for me, the final scene ended only 1 hour later. By 7am, we all were released. The sun was rising and I could finally go home, scrape off my layers of makeup, and sleep for a few hours before heading to work by 12pm.
It felt like one of the longest days of my life, but I am so glad I got the chance to be involved. Seeing the video behind the scenes was a great experience for me as a designer, I met fascinating people, and I had fun overall. See my next blog for a link to the video and my experience at the release party.