A couple of weeks ago or so, I wrote about watching Ellen Degeneres’ 90s sitcom Ellen and how it’s hilarious. There’s an episode I saw where they’re filming a movie in the bookstore that Ellen owns and manages. Because she’s the owner, they let Ellen be in the scene as an extra. They’re like “just sit at the counter and act natural.” And this is what she does on her first take:
I thought this episode was hysterical because it takes them a ton of takes to shoot the scene (I believe it ends up they don’t finish the scene because of Ellen), and in each one Ellen tries to be “natural” but she ends up screwing the scene up somehow. It goes to her staring awkwardly at the people talking, to knocking over a bookshelf (by accident), sneezing, slamming a door (again, by accident), and other crazy things.
The reason why I find this so hilarious is that it reminds me of a project I had to do when I was junior in high school. As part of our English class, we were required to take the play “Macbeth” and adapt it into a short film. My group decided to make a 24-themed Macbeth, much to my displeasure; I had never seen the show, but I got out voted.
I just remember we were shooting the opening seen of a secret agent walking into a “secure” location with a briefcase, and the kid who was playing Macbeth kept telling me he’d just walk by the agent in the background as an extra. I was like “you can’t do that! You’re Macbeth!” He proceeded to take his glasses off and tell me no one would notice.
Well, we didn’t win Best Picture (it went to a Santa Claus-themed Macbeth I believe, which was actually ridiculously funny; Santa McClaus’ best line was “Is that a candy cane I see before me?”). I guess life is just full of people who have good intentions making mistakes that, in the end, we should just laugh at.