• Comment

Extra recalls experience in film as extra

Posted: January 10, 2018 - 1:35am
Connie Melear, Laura Marano and Brad Holmes. Murano, one of the actresses in Saving Zoe, came over to Melear’s business office and visited with the RWAllen staff in between takes while filming.

One local Columbia County business woman took advantage of an opportunity to be in a movie.

Connie Melear, a Chief Financial Officer and partner of R.W. Allen Construction, LLC for over two decades, was a teacher for a scene in the movie Saving Zoe, a flick slated to release in theaters in 2018 and filmed in Augusta.

The movie features real-life sisters Laura and Vanessa Marano as they partake in major roles in a film based on the book Saving Zoe. The movie is centered on a high school student trying to cope with her older, untrammeled sister's murder.

Melear, said her experience as an extra in the movie industry was not as glamorous as she initially thought.

"It was kind of hot in there - the kind of behind-the-scene stuff that you don't think about," Melear said. "You don't think about all the hard work that goes into it. It's not as glamorous as you would think."

Melear said her only scene involved a hundred or so actors and actresses in a single room. The scene, though, had dozens of takes - lasting four hours even though the actual scene was one minute in movie time - leading up to the final take.

With the single scene filmed over the summer, Melear's scene highlighted Laura and Vanessa Marano having a conversation in a school gym, all the while each take being filmed from several different angles. Specifically, Melear was a chaperone amid a high school dance.

Still, Melear said her overall experience in being an extra in the movie was endearing.

"It was so much fun because - even though it was hot and sweaty and we were in the very same place for hours - when you take a break, they have all the food catered," she said. "They really treat everybody very well."

The opportunity presented itself while the movie was being filmed next to Melear's office building on Broad Street in Augusta where several movies have already been filmed. A production manager, who, at the time, needed students and teachers for the filming of the movie, discovered Melear and her son in the office building, and asked the two to be extras. Melear accepted the offer, crossing an item off her bucket list.

"It's one of those things that I have never done before, and I thought it would be a bucket list thing just to be able to get on the set and see what goes on," she said. "And now that I've done it, I probably won't sign up to do it again because it's extremely time consuming, and to be honest you get a little bit bored. They do dozens of takes and you do it over and over."

When asked if the building next to her business was economically feasible, Melear said the production crew emphasized saving money in Augusta as opposed to paying considerably more for buildings in Los Angeles.

"We questioned why in the world they would bring a hundred people to do this," Melear continued. "You don't have a building in LA? He (a production manager) said things in LA are very expensive and we can actually bring this here cheaper. The people in Augusta are super nice, and everybody has been welcoming. This makes it very pleasant for them to be here."

Malear said an equipment vendor and a construction company were able to sell some necessities for the movie, allowing those businesses to make some money from the movie. What's more, the filming of the movie means many folks who are highly involved with the movie will need to book rooms in hotels, as well as spend money within the community.

"We have a lot of opportunity within our region to do some films here at home," Melear said.

 

  • Comment