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An “extra” long night

Can anybody help me?

Thank you!

An “extra” long night

Dear Chiangmai Mail;

I read your article on Tom Berenger and Sniper 3 and would like to share my holiday experience with you. Who can say, I was in Thailand, and we shot a movie with Tom Berenger?

Anyway, while on holiday, I applied to be an extra for the ‘Sniper 3’ film production. They needed foreigners for a wedding reception scene. In late February, I called the casting people and was told I would not be needed.

But anyway, to check if I could have a look, I went to the Sheraton Hotel about 6 p.m. on that day and waited in front of the lobby until some “extra” looking people entered the hotel. I followed them to the 2nd floor by elevator and exited to a spacious open area adjacent to various meeting rooms. Furnished with plush carpeting, and extravagant chandeliers - it was the perfect location to film a reception.

Shortly after arrival there, I spotted the Thai casting people. One of them, “Ae”, recognized me and waved me over. After a moment or two of small talk, he made a vague comment that they might need me tonight because someone had not shown up. The next thing I knew, he was leading me to one of the side rooms, instructing me to wait there.

A while later, I was directed to the costume room. There, I was assisted into a suit jacket. It was too small, so the young lady took measurements before handing me another jacket. This one was a good fit, so we moved on to finding a shirt, tie, slacks, socks, and shoes. The shoes were a problem - I wear size 13 but miraculously, she found a pair of 12’s. They were tight, but I could wear them, but anyway I decided to only put them on when absolutely necessary. As it turned out, I did not need to use them at all.

After an hour or two of waiting around, I joined some of the other extras in a side room, where a live band was set up on a low stage. Once we were assembled in the room, the director singled out 8 or 10 of us to be dancers. The director was a piece of work; about 40, he acted, looked, and dressed more like a sawmill foreman than a film director. Or do film directors dress like that? He wore work boots, jeans, and a plaid shirt. Burly in stature, this guy looked completely out of place, particularly in a 5 star hotel with everyone else dressed in black suits, tuxedos, and evening gowns. He then instructed the band to play some dance music and told us to start dancing.

Most of us were matched with total strangers so it was a bit bizarre. We did some dancing and it went quite well. In this scene, the “groom” was supposed to walk across the dance floor as we were dancing. It was easy and I didn’t have to wear my shoes. However, we had to do that scene over and over for hours on end.

Between takes, Tom Berenger, the star of the film, sat near the dance floor. He was dressed in the formal attire of a US Marine. Later in the evening, I pulled up a chair near him and struck up a conversation. He told me he started his career in New York City, had been acting for 30 years, lives in South Carolina, and has never spent much time in Hollywood. He appeared to be very tired and bored.

By the time the shooting ended, we were all very tired and bored. It was 4:30 a.m. when the director announced, “That’s a wrap!” Then it was a race to get out of there. Tore off my suit in the costume room and bolted for my bike. It was 5:30a.m. when I arrived back at my room.

It had been a long night, an “extra” long night, but what a night to talk about when I am now back in the United States. It was a ‘Extra holiday night’ after all.
Jim Rowe

Can anybody help me?

I have an old foreign friend, using crutches. He wants to have his own motor transport, for example a Vespa motorcycle. He had a license to drive when living in Australia, but stopped paying for it because he could go any place he wanted by bicycle. Now his legs don’t work that good anymore. He lived in Chiang Mai before for four years, then went back to Australia and now he is back... He says at the time he was here before, that DMV had an English translation of the driver’s manual. But he could not get a Xerox or Photostat of it from them, but had to pay a tuk-tuk driver while he studied it at the DMV office. Now the same thing happened again and he is so frustrated... How can he get a Xerox copy? He needs transport so badly. If anybody has advice please send a note to this mailbag section because this is the easiest for us to receive.
Thank you very much in the name of my friend,
The frustrated crutch user

Thank you!

Thank you for the weekly sending of Chiangmai Mail. It helps us to keep informed of what is going on in Chiang Mai and it also makes the time pass a little faster.
Mike and the other prisoners of Chiangmai Central prison who enjoy reading.