In precisely 49 hours, the TEN cast and crew will finally congregate to commence a whirlwind eight days of shooting. In preparation, we held a full cast read-through of the script this past Sunday, December 2, 2012, when we tested out some preliminary blocking, ironed out a few things in the script that needed clarification, and tried on our costumes, complete with era-appropriate hair and makeup. Some of us, of course, have the good sense to put facts and education on a higher pedestal than expensive clothing and jewelry, but even the most academic among us must appear presentable for the camera, I suppose.
Before we began, Jade Sylvan, who is playing a renegade in TEN, told us about the newly birthed Boston Collectivist Movement. While the manifesto has not yet been written, in short, the movement “emphasizes ego-less, author-less art made by, with, and for an interdependent and interrelated community of creators.” Historically, the term “collectivism” has most often been applied to political or economical movements, not art movements, at least not on a large scale. We discussed the meaning of the word and its application to the local creative community. “Now we sound like a Communist regime,” said one cast member. To learn more about the movement, ask Jade.
Another historical topic of great importance also came up during rehearsal: what snack foods would people eat at a party in the early 1970s, a time that we assumed featured frightening Jell-o molds and fondue? Pretzels? Chips? Pretzels and chips in the same bowl? Would the chips have ruffles, or did those come later? We settled on Chex Mix for the relevant scene, which first came out two decades earlier and has remained popular ever since, but I was intrigued enough to dig deeper and see what other current brands existed back then. Many common snacks were actually invented much earlier than I’d suspected. Cheetos, for example, debuted in 1948, while Fritos were introduced way back in 1932. Pringles, however, were fairly new to the market, first introduced in 1969 by Proctor & Gamble. People have been popping and not stopping ever since.
Finally, we turned to the topic of proper hogtying configurations when somebody realized that one actress was supposed to be tied up in her underwear but with a vital prop in her possession that she would be unable to reach on her own, but another actress, tied up nearby, would be able to reach. Would the prop have to be hidden in a place where only a cavity search would locate it? That didn’t seem to be the right solution, and there were several complications to finding a workable scenario. Changing the wardrobe from just underwear to pants and a bra would possibly work, but there were some worries about pants causing a “muffin top” issue. How about just underwear, but with boots on? But how would the person doing the tying remove pants but not shoes? Well, it is the bell-bottom era. In the end, multiple clothing and tying scenarios were discussed and acted out on chairs and on the floor. To see the solution, you’ll have to see the movie.
This was the first – and likely the only, before shooting – chance that the full cast had to see each other in costumes and begin to interact physically, starting to put down the scripts and get in each others’ faces (or shrink away, depending on the relationship). As everything begins to come to life, it’s a reminder that TEN is no longer an abstract idea. It is actually happening, and the bulk of the production will be occurring in just a few days. Want to get updates from the set? Be sure to keep an eye on TEN on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.