Postal Day 2

Part 2/3 of my Postal blog:

"Postal" Day 2: Friday, 22nd September 2006

Bright and early on Friday morning, a van arrives to take us out to the set of "Postal." Part of the deal for the internet critics who took up Boll's challenge was that they got to be extras in the movie (… yeah, a movie by a director they claim to hate; it makes perfect sense, honest). Not everyone's bothering to go; Andrew, Lowtax, Megan, Chance and I do start to question our judgement when we realise we've been driving for what feels like forever and are now way outside of Vancouver, somewhere that can only be described as looking exactly like "Silent Hill." And I hated that movie.

When we get to “circus”, as base camp is known (because it has a lot of tents, y'see?) we're sent off to wardrobe to be made up as “trailer trash.” Being 6ft tall, I can see the wardrobe girl panicking slightly when I enter the costume trailer – which, incidentally, looks like the inside of a second-rate charity shop from the 1980s. She digs out some hideous denim cut-offs, an even more hideous purple denim vest with a tie at the waist, and, improbably, some even more hideous yellow flip-flops that decidedly look like they've seen better days. I feel hot as fuck when I emerge to general hilarity.

… And then I realise it's freezing cold, and promptly shove my socks, trainers and jumper on over the top. It's so cold that there are plumes in the air when we exhale, but we're assured that on a film set, the lighting will make it warmer. Hmmm.

Andrew gets some grimy shorts and a black vest to wear; Lowtax's wife dons a mini-skirt and a midriff-baring boob-tube; and Lowtax himself is just given a blue shirt patterned with flames – apparently, his lower half is trashy enough. I feel distinctly like I've got the short end of the stick here, but I'm always willing to make an idiot of myself for the sake of a laugh, so it's all good.

The set, it transpires, is another van ride away, in a custom-built trailer park. We spend quite a while trying to figure out what's real and what's not, but having never been in a real life trailer park before I'm completely clueless. The hair and make-up team, meanwhile, take one look at Megan and I and declare “You're too pretty, you're not going on set like that.” We then spend maybe an hour getting our faces caked in crap and having our hair destroyed – the amount of hairspray and backcombing involved in building the haystack on my head was insane. Andrew, meanwhile, is kitted out with a rat-tail style mullet that doesn't match the colour of his real hair by any stretch of the imagination, and has dirt rubbed all over his shirt; Lowtax gets pro-active and rolls around in the dirt of his own volition, and then helpfully suggests to the girl doing my makeup that I “should have a black eye.” Stupidly, I agree, and she goes to work – layering me with green facepaint and oozing fake blood; the works. I feel like the hottest woman on earth. Someone tells me to wear my socks with the flip-flops, and I intensely regret that they're black, and not neon-pink instead.

The weather has, helpfully, warmed up by now. In fact, it's positively summery, and quickly becomes evident that, by the end of the day, my pasty white English skin will be sunburnt. I like to think of it as suffering for my art, and as a result, have a semi-permanent reminders of the trashy “pull down your bra straps” look on each of my upper arms, my real skin colour looking kind of sick and greenish in comparison to the redness surrounding those marks. Mmm, sexy.

While we're waiting, production guy Trevor approaches Lowtax with the liability release forms he'll be required to sign before he can take part in the boxing match the following day. Perhaps wisely, he reads the form rather than just signing his life away, as they were no doubt hoping he would: the form basically says that if Uwe Boll breaks any bones, inflicts any brain damage, gives him AIDS or actually just straight out kills him, Lowtax won't have any legal recourse. (I'm fairly sure this wouldn't actually stand up in a court of law…) Lowtax makes amendments to the form before signing it – scrawling “NO!!” across the paragraphs he disagrees with, with smiley faces inside the “O” of all but the paragraph about AIDS, which gets a frowny face instead.

Eventually, it's our turn to go on camera. In the foreground, Zack Ward, playing the Postal Dude, will approach his trailer which is rocking wildly and shout “OH COME ON!” To help his expression of outrage, a male crewmember cues him, each time, with “Come on Daddy, give it to your bad girl!” which remains hilarious even after the 20th time. There's also something going on involving a dog, and an unhappy dog at that – the dog requires the film to cut numerous intensely irritating times. My role is to walk around in the background, never speaking or making a sound, and paw through garbage. Seriously. Also, because my glasses “look too expensive”, I'm not allowed to wear them. Which means, effectively, I can't see shit. Every single take, I fall over something different on the ground that I can't see. After about three takes, we're told that the camera's going to move for some close ups, and we should try to replicate precisely what we did before.

Except I have no idea whatsoever of where I was or what I was doing when the Postal Dude walked past me.

Another 34834093094 takes later, and we're done. One of the ADs decides to get a shot of Andrew and I walking into the scene; we're actually in the foreground for a moment. Thing is, there's a cable lying across the road to power, er, something or other, and it'll be right in shot. To hide this, they throw a line of garbage across it, which, in my opinion, only serves to make it more conspicuous, but hey, I'm not a set dresser. Just as the garbage is sufficiently strewn across the road, an old lady on a motorised wheelchair contraption drives down the road, and we all have to move to get out of her way, which is intensely hilarious to, well, me. We shoot in two takes, because we're brilliant, and then it's time for lunch, so we head back to circus.

I heard people later complain that the food on this day wasn't especially great, but I have to say, it was more than enough to impress me. King crab legs, with a buffet of salads and pasta and veggies, and ice-cream, fresh fruit and cake afterwards; what's not to like? I'm slightly concerned that my lipstick mostly seems to have come off, but when we get back to set, we don't seem to be needed, anyway.

Or so I hoped.

By now, the black eye makeup is driving me insane. It itches, probably psychosomatically, because I don't want to mess it up but it's uncomfortable as hell. I ask Trevor if we're done filming for the day, so I can go wash my face, and the next thing I know, Uwe Boll is in front of me. “What ees itchy?” he asks, and I, ridiculously, tell him it's all fine and I don't mind keeping the makeup on if he needs us in shot again. He tells me it's okay, the next scene will be a wide shot and the makeup won't be visible. Like a trooper, though, I don't wash it off anyway (I don't want to be a continuity error!) and the real horror of my day begins: we need to provide a redneck background comedy scene. By comedy, they mean, er, physical comedy – groin scratching, nose picking and rape are the order of the day. (Yeah.) Someone has the brilliant idea that Andrew and I should be making out on top of a broken down washing machine; and though we've been friends for over four years, this was still more than slightly humiliating. I had to sit on the washing machine, which had jagged pieces of metal sticking out all over it that looked just about ready to bite into my skin at any given second, wrap my legs around Andrew's waist, and, er, simulate sex.

Yeah, not only am I appearing in an Uwe Boll movie as a victim of domestic violence, I have a sex scene, too. Not my finest hour, I have to say.

Facing one another, Andrew and I are trying not to giggle, willing someone to say “cut!” and generally feeling stupid. At one point I lean my head against his shoulder and rub fake blood all over him; at another, his cap falls off, exposing the mismatched mullet. My legs, too, ache from being held so stiffly – you try wrapping your legs around someone while trying to have as little physical contact with them as possible, and see how comfortable you are!

Like I said, not my finest hour. At last, though, we were done filming for the day, and could run off back to circus to change into our own clothes and scrub the muck off our faces. While we were there, we got our paws on a copy of the Postal script and had a sneaky flip through. Hmmmm. The party line seems to be “It's like South Park, it'll offend everyone” and I probably should withhold judgement till I see the movie, but, er, I'm not hopeful, really.

By the time we get back to the hotel, we're tired and hungry, so Andrew and I plan to go out for a meal after a quick change of clothes. I have a message in my room to call Calum from Empire about going out for drinks with the challengers that evening, so after possibly the worst restaurant service I've experienced in my life (dear Canada: please give your waitresses notepads. I never saw them equipped with writing-things-down equipment, and they repeatedly got orders wrong as a result. What the hell is that about?) I head out again with Andrew, Calum, and Jeff Sneider (one of the guys there to fight Uwe; he writes for Ain't It, for anyone who can't be bothered to check back to the beginning again). The bar was actually pretty nice, and we soon got down to the film journalist-y thing of ranting about movies (unanimously: Wolf Creek sucks!) and talking about our best and worst interview subjects. Jeff blows everyone else out of the water with his A-listers, before the conversation somehow moves on to Britpop, whether Coldplay are responsible for the downfall of Western civilisation, and whether Jeff should get drunk the following night as a way of dealing with the inevitable beatdown he's about to suffer at the hands of an angry German man. Cheery, really.

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