On Wednesday night, a flyer was distributed by the TCTC to all members. They were passing on a request for runners to serve as extras on the set of a movie being filmed in Winston-Salem. No further details, just instructions to reply immediately and provide a short bio / picture. As those of you who know me, this was right up my "sounds too fun to pass up" alley. So, I quickly checked my calendar, reminded my sweet wife that she had schedule work for the weekend, and verified that the girls had their own plans. In other words, I was free.
Late Friday an email from the casting company came across. Be at Miller Park by 10:30 a.m., bring four sets of clothes, don't wear anything but Nike or Asics, don't wear neon, don't wear all black and don't wear sports team logos. The email went on to say that in the film Goodbye To All That there would be a race scene filmed on Saturday. More details would be provided on location.
I arrived at Miller Park with a backpack full of running gear. We all checked in and went through wardrobe so that our outfits could be approved. Next, we spent a couple of hours 'acting' like we were on jury duty. Actually, it wasn't so bad. There were some really great folks in our group. I thoroughly enjoyed our time getting to know many of them. Finally, it was out to the set.
As we walked through the park, it dawned on us that we hadn't seen anything movie-like all morning. Was this a joke? Would there be a big surprise Track Club party awaiting our arrival? But as we came into a clearing, we realized it was definitely not a joke. The set was a 5k finish line and the director came to introduce himself, Angus MacLachlan, and talk us through the scene. Stage hands were running left and right, all plugged into two-way radios and talking into mics as if with the secret service. This was pretty awesome.
Long story short, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a group of 3 runners who would finish behind the lead actor, Paul Schneider. We were sprayed down with water and baby oil, to get that just-right sweat look. Then we ran several different cuts. A short sprint, a close up, and a long run up the finish. We did several takes of the long run (100 yards), and with each retake we would walk back with Paul and chat. He was definitely a nice enough guy, maybe because none of us really knew who he was. We thought we were the stars! j/k
They say we all have our five minutes of fame. This may qualify as my five seconds of fame. When the movie comes to theaters, projected for late Spring '13, I might find myself to be a blur across the screen, or even worse, a blur across the cutting room floor. Either way, it doesn't matter, the joy was in the experience, and the experience is what running is all about!