Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blue Collar Hollywood

AS YOU sit in the movie theatre, the lights go down and the movie begins, butterflies begin to fly with excitement because you will soon find out if they really end up together, who cheated, who is going to die, if the house is really haunted or if demons exist. You escape your life for a moment and enter into another. But what you many not realize is the life you are entering into is that of the men, in jeans and backwards caps who has made this their life and have literally created the world you are about to enter. Behind the plot, the costumes, the special effects, the elements that come together to magically take you out of your seat and away from the everyday there is the most basic element; the blue-collared workers that make this journey possible.

Green, red, grey, black, brown plaid flannel, blue jeans with an accidental hole or two, tennis shoes or Timberlands, T-shirts hanging with yellow pit stains and baseball caps dyed pale from the sun and sweat. Yellow construction trucks and ladders. Sawdust and smog filter through the air. Bikes, pick up trucks and golf carts zoom by in a hurry.

A man in a blue T-shirt, thinned from being overwarn, slides the giant metal door of Sound Stage 17 open to assist his colleague with scraggly brown hair and a five o’clock shadow forming across his face life a large wooden sign reading “East India Trading Co” in gold calligraphy and place it strategically within the set. They turn, laugh and wipe the sweat from their brow as they turn on their heals to build the next part of the set actors will call their home.

 Although they are forgotten, they are the one who make memories possible. The Titanic, a film that won eleven out of fourteen Academy Awards and grossed over $1.8 billion, would have been a lost memory and never have gotten to the big screen if it were not for the workers. Rose would have never been able to stand on the edge of the mast, spread her arms and fall in love with Jack, if the mast didn’t exist.

-- Elise Fornaca
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