Lindsay Lohan is my new best friend.
OK, that's a lie. But after spending Monday afternoon shooting scenes for her upcoming film "I Know Who Killed Me," in which I was an extra, the two of us got really close.
Well, we sat close. But still! Even though she didn't actually speak to me, make eye contact with me or even acknowledge my existence during our time sitting about two feet from each other in the bleachers at San Luis Obispo High School's football stadium, I definitely felt a connection with her. Or maybe that was the hypothermia.
Back in December, my co-worker, Tonya, and I tried out to be extras in the movie. We shivered in line for two and a half hours with hundreds of other people, hoping to get a chance to see ourselves immortalized as junior college football fans on the silver screen. Little did we know the extremity-numbing chill would be a harbinger of what was to come during filming.
In fact, if I had to sum up Monday's shoot in one word, I'd say "cold." If you allowed me a second word, I'd add "boring."
Lindsay was only on the set for, I'd say, 30 minutes. Tonya and I and some of the other extras were on the set for eight hours and a lot of people were there as long as 12. Most of this time was spent sitting and waiting and fidgeting madly in a largely unsuccessful effort to keep warm. The filming did not end until 1 a.m. and at one point, it rained on us.
As extras, our main duty Monday night was to cheer on the fictional New Salem Junior College football team, whose mascot is an owl. And, boy, did we cheer. Over and over, take after take, for hours and hours. In case you've never had to cheer on football players for hours on end, let me tell you, it gets repetitive. Tonya and I amused ourselves by getting increasingly creative with our whoops and hollers:
"You go, Owls!"
"Yay for football!"
"Give a hoot, don't pollute!"
"Do it right this time, so we can go home!"
I must admit, that last one came out as more of a plea than encouragement.
Another duty of ours was to make it look as though the stands were filled though that was far from the truth. The crowd of extras numbered about 1,500, and the capacity of Holt Field is 4,000. To provide the illusion of packed stands, we were simply moved around the stadium. Apparently, this is an old Hollywood trick; one of the people in charge said that's how they made "Braveheart."
So after every football play, we were directed to stand up and move over to another section of bleachers for more filming. And when it came time to film shots of the opposing team's fans, we took off our blue clothes (that's the Owls' color), put on red clothes (the rival team's color) and trudged across the field to the other set of bleachers to cheer for the Grizzlies.
The production company sure got a lot of use out of us. But despite the goosebump-inducing temperatures, the endless takes and the constant moving around, I had fun. And I did get to see Lindsay Lohan sneak a cigarette between takes. But don't tell anyone that's just between me and my new best friend.
Christine Janocko is a copy editor for The Tribune.