Gina Bellman, Leverage: "The Snow Job"
Hi to all of you watching Leverage and checking out this blog. Your comments mean a lot to me. I've been back in London for several weeks now so have been unable to see the episodes airing and have not been getting the usual feedback from friends or people I meet. I keep thinking an American tourist might recognize me and say, "Are you Sophie Deveraux?" but it hasn't happened yet!!
"Snow Job" was shot in the height of the summer in the heart of the Valley in Los Angeles. I'm standing in front of a roaring fire wearing snow boots, wool leggings, woolly sweater, (faux) fur gilet, (faux) fur hat, scarf and gloves. It is so hot outside that someone on the crew actually did fry an egg on the sidewalk just to prove it! There are a lot of extras in the snow scenes and it's even worse for them. I at least have a dresser on set with me who helps me to take off layers and cool down between set ups but the extras don't have that luxury and have to stand around for hours at a time literally melting! It's hard to keep focused when you're feeling extremely uncomfortable so we have to keep reminding people to behave as though they're cold and shivery, imagining that they're walking in from or about to step out into the snow. Some people think it's an easy gig working as an extra but you often have to stay very concentrated for long stretches in challenging conditions. (In "Bank Job," we had to spend a week sitting and lying on a floor. A couple of people threw their backs out and we all had bruised hips and bottoms)
One of my dresses in this episode is very slinky and clingy. This poses a very specific problem. We have to wear microphone packs on set. The mikes have two components, a wire with a tiny mike and a battery pack. For the guys, hiding a mike pack is pretty straightforward. They tape the mike near to their neck or chest, feed the wire down their shirts and stuff the battery pack into a trouser pocket, never to be detected by a camera. For us girls it's a bit trickier and a lot less comfortable. If you're wearing jeans or trousers it's fine, I just let the pack sit in the small of my back. But dresses, especially clingy ones are a nightmare. You end up having to wear a thigh pack strapped to your inner thigh. The Velcro is constantly slipping, the battery gets really hot and can burn you, and you have to keep running to your trailer to adjust the wires cos' though I love our sound man Russell, I draw the line at having him stick his hand up my skirt!
TNT's Leverage airs Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET.