In September of last year someone approached me at a small car meet and asked if I would be willing to show my Lincoln in a few movie shots for a film he was producing. I was surprised but more than willing to accept his offer; it was an exciting thought to think that one of my own cars could become a movie star in some way. The shoot would take place on October 18th in Reardan WA, which was only a 30 minute drive from where I live. I was going to get paid, so I figured what was the worst that could happen?
(If you haven’t read all the COAL articles previous to this, I recommend you do so before you read this one, so you can be fully caught up on the series. Feel free to comment on all the previous articles too, as I always enjoy reading your feedback on what things I can do better and what your thoughts are.)
Anyway, I later ended up talking to some of the other guys in charge and they wanted me to bring the car a day early, so I did, thinking that I could just sleep in the Lincoln overnight because I wasn’t just gonna leave her with a bunch of strangers in a small town, no matter who they were or who they worked for. I figured I couldn’t be too careful. When I got there the producers greeted me and told me where to park. At first they weren’t keen on letting me sleep in the car, but when I told them that it was my car they stopped bothering me, I guess they were more used to the cars just being dropped off.
So here I was, hungry and bored. Luckily I had bought some food with me and I was able to find a restaurant to get some food at as well, and I was able to sit in the backseat of the Lincoln and eat in comfort with my legs stretched out. After I was done eating I figured I would explore the town a little. But being a such small town there wasn’t much to do, and the phone charger I bought with me didn’t work either, so since nothing there was open later in the day, I spent most of the night just walking around, as I had gone though Reardan many times but had never stopped in it before.
I had found a basketball and a few parks but there wasn’t much else, so at around 10 PM I went back to the car and tried to get some sleep. But the problem was I’m a night person, I was parked right next to a grain factory that was making more than enough noise, and it had gotten very cold in the car. Luckily I had bought a spare coat, but that only helped so much, and there was a security guard there so whenever I got out of the car he would come check on me, which made things somewhat awkward.
I remember waking up at 6 AM, 8 AM, and 9 AM., so I’m not 100% sure I got any sleep, I think I did, and around 10 AM I just decided to get up since I couldn’t go back to sleep, I was very tired but the grain trucks were rolling in and out that morning, so getting more sleep wasn’t much of an option. However what I could do was go to the convenience store and buy a new phone charger, as well as get some more food for a better price rather than the restaurant from yesterday that basically robbed me for $25 of food that wasn’t that good.
After eating at the park and charging my phone, I eventually went back to the film tent to ask someone if they knew when filming would begin. Luckily enough one of the producers was there and he told me around noon they would start getting everyone together, and that filming would begin not too long after. And luckily that morning they had filled the tent up with snacks so I wasn’t going to have any shortage of food anytime soon. All that was left to do is wait, and wait, and wait, and wait…
After around 4 PM I was getting pretty fed up; I had been waiting for people to arrive for hours and only a few people had showed up. At that point I asked some of the workers there what was going on and what was taking so long. Well, it turned out that I got some incorrect information and the shoot wasn’t going to start getting set up until around 5. Why did I come a day before? All of what I had just experienced could’ve been avoided if I had waited another day, but I figured they just wanted to be sure everything was ready, and since I was already there I should just keep waiting.
And so at around 5 the buses started bring people to the tent. Once they had all arrived everyone was giving a brief rundown of how things were going to work, and finally after I was instructed to follow the green 1969 Chevy C-10 to the film spot at an abandoned gas station only a few blocks away, where I was to park it right next to the entrance while the C-10 was parked next to the outer pumps. The next hour was spent putting stickers and props all over the old gas station to make it look like it was in the late 70s. Finally at around sunset the cameras and boom mikes were set up.
For this shot, the C-10 would have to roll up to the gas station where the Lincoln was already parked, where a small encounter would happen between the two actors while both being at the gas station in their cars. This shot and other shots at the gas station would be reshot multiple times, meaning that the truck had driven in to the fuel station by the actor, shut off and started multiple times (That poor starter got a workout!). But after about 45 minutes of filming we all got to go back to the main tent where they were serving dinner, but needless to say I felt…out of place, the whole process felt odd to me and everyone else there was from a completely different world than I was.
When we went back to the filming area, I actually had a chance to talk to both of the actors about the movie and the cars, both were around my age and were honestly some of the nicest people there. One of them said they wanted to own a car just like my Lincoln one day, and that he was a fan of these types of cars. I told him that if he really wanted one of these cars, that he should get one just to experience what it’s like. But shortly after the director told me to stop talking to them and get out of the shot. They were both very nice and respectful, and hope both of the actors are doing good wherever they are.
At around 8 PM or so, they had finished filming and didn’t need the car to film any more shots, so I finally could head home. I was exhausted and not too happy with the lack of communication during the time I was there, but I would be getting a check in the next month for providing the car, and therefor be able to pay upcoming bills and have gas money. So after saying my goodbyes I left and headed for home, and after getting home just going to bed. And I kept in mind that if I was to ever do this again for any amount of money, I would be more wary about just when I should get there and keep in mind how the movie industry actually works.
Now, I was worried about leaving my car with people I didn’t know and that’s why I stayed with it, but if you’re ok with leaving your car with the a film crew for a while for a couple hundred bucks, if the opportunity presents itself to you, you should try it. But I wasn’t fine with it as I had just gotten the car a month or so earlier, so I think I had every right to be cautious; but what do you think? Should I try it again if the chance ever comes up? Or should I avoid it from now on? I’m not sure yet honestly, but if you see this Lincoln in some movie that comes out in the future, you’ll know who it belongs to.