Monday, January 21, 2013

Moovie Mic Miller. Star Security. Part 2

Me: What is something that you wish people knew about being security?
MMM: Most people look at you and say you're lucky, I wish I had that job! You don't just get what you wish for.  Not everyone can handle the stress, no matter how much it pays.  You can't just be 6'7" and 300 pounds or have some certificate and think you can do this. You have to be very militant. It's hard. There are long hours! Usually I am there about 14-15 hours a day.  I get there at least an hour before call and stay an hour after wrap.

Me: How do you know when you need to be there? Do they call you and tell you every night?
MMM: We get a call sheet that tells us all the information; like the actors that are going to be there, what is the call time, what scene we're shooting, how many pages, where we will be and everything you need to know is on the call sheet.  It is the most important piece of paper on a movie set, other than the script. If you have a call sheet you don't need to ask any questions.

Me:You always arrive an hour early?
MMM: It depends on the time the talent comes in. If they have to have make-up done it can take up to two hours and I stay near them.  I am always at least an hour early.

Me: How many days a week do you work?
MMM: I could work every day. I can be on several different movies in a day.  You can't always give everyone what they want, because a movie may want me one place and my boss needs me in a different place to help a star that is filming in a difficult place, because of my experience. I can't please everyone, because there is only one of me. I am just finishing a three week break because I wanted to, but before Christmas I haven't had more than three days off at a time in about four years. During the movie Salt I worked every day for five months, I did not miss a single day.  In fact I once worked on three different sets in a 24-hour period: Men in Black 3, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Dictator.

Me: Your next job is on The Amazing Spider Man 2?!  Have you worked with them before?
MMM: I didn't work on the first one. They just came for a week or so for the last one. They only filmed outside. For this one, they are filming at the stages here.

Me: Which stages do you work at the most?
MMM: They can make anything a stage. I don't do a lot of work at Steiner Studios because Steiner has a lot of TV shows, but not a lot of the big movies that will only be there six months whereas the TV shows could be there years.  We just filmed Noah inside the Armory in Brooklyn.  That's what they're doing in New York because they use the space where they find it and build a stage, as long as the fire marshals approve every thing. In Long Island, they use airplane hangers.

The most amazing thing about the movie business, to me, is seeing some of the amazing sets they build.  They can build a place that looks like the inside of the trump tower, or the Ark from Noah. They built an outside and inside ark for exteriors and interiors.  That's one of the most exciting things to see is them building sets.

Me: Do you feel like, if they needed you for another part of the crew you could step in and do their work because you've seen it done so many times?
MMM: I can set up the whole electricity for the campers because I have seen them do it so many times. You do learn other people's jobs.  If you pay attention, you learn.  When I started I wasn't doing star security, I watched the equipment and I watched them set up and learned how to do it during my first movie. A lot of getting into this, is who you know. I got the job through a mutual friend of my boss. He gave me a shot and I have been promoted and promoted, and learned and learned.

Me: How did you decide on Moovie Mic?
MMM: It was actually given to me. A couple of people started calling me it and it got picked up. My boss started using it and it stuck with me.

Me: Would you ever consider acting/directing/producing?
MMM: Honestly, I am comfortable. Financially, I am comfortable with what I'm doing now. I've never really wished for anything more, but if the opportunity ever came I would definitely jump on it.  To be able to act or actually make your own movie, being around it; it could be really really exciting.  I don't that is an opportunity that many people would pass up.

A happy thanks goes to Moovie Mic Miller, for the interview and the use his photos off of his Facebook wall.

And that; ladies and gentlemen, as is said at the end of a long day filming; is a wrap!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Moovie Mic Miller, Star Security. Part 1.

Have you ever wanted to have a job that would allow you to watch today's best actors and directors do their work, all day, nearly every day?  Have you ever wanted to have a conversation with a movie star? Have you ever felt the need to defend a movie star? Here is an interview with one of New York City's best security men, Moovie Mic (pronounced Mike) Miller about his experiences on the job.

Moovie Mic Miller being interviewed on MTV News.
Me: Why do you do what you do and what makes you good at it?
Moovie Mic Miller:  It is a perfect job for me. I grew up in a rough area of Jamaica, Queens. I had a lot of cousins and siblings that I protected. It was natural that I am good at protecting other people. Plus the fact that I can get up and love my job, every day.  I look forward to my job!

Me: How long have you been doing this?
MMM: I've been working on movie sets for five years, six years in the spring.

Me: What is your official title?
MMM: Moovie Mic. My job title is set security, but it can depend. If it is a big movie sometimes I am star security, which happens a lot because nine times out of ten I'm with a star.

Me: How does it feel when the movies you helped with come out?  Do you go see them?
MMM: Not always, but if I get put in them, I'll go see them.  Like in  Now You See Me there is a scene with Isla Fisher, Woody Harleson and Jesse Eisenburg. I had a scene in Times Square where I followed them into a huge crowd of people dressed normally, not in all black like I usually wear (so if the camera catches me, I'll blend better). A lot of times I might see myself but I tend to not really care about seeing the movies. As time goes by I'll catch it if I catch it--but I always know what is going to happen. No one likes to go to the  movies with me because I will talk the whole time and ask, "Why did that do that, here?" "They cut that part?! Why?! It was so good!" "Look, I'm standing behind that tree." It can disappoint me a lot.  The last one I went to see was The Dictator with Sacha Baron Cohen, I'm in a scene where all you see is the top of my head.  It's not as exciting as it used to be.

Moovie Mic with Morgan Freeman during Now You See Me.

Me: What has been your favorite thing about doing movie set security?
MMM: It's the relationship you build with the stars.  You may see their bad sides. But you're around them around a lot so you chat with them a lot. They know your name and a lot of times they like to talk with you and that makes it pretty cool.

Me: Do you keep in contact with some of them?
MMM: I have numbers for a couple of them.  But sometimes we stay in contact through email, like Jeremy Renner. You know he's a big 49er's fan, I'm a Giants fan so when I was working on Bourne Legacy we had a little rivalry thing going on. I keep in contact. They always remember me because a lot of them I work with over and over like Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphie, and Mark Walberg.  I don't really try to keep in contact, but I do keep in contact with a lot of their assistants.When I see them out of work, out on the sidewalk, they'll come and talk to me and say "hi."
Moovie Mic with Eddie Murphy.
Me:  What can be the most challenging thing?
MMM: It depends. A lot of people would say that it is the paparazzi  That's not always the case. Sometimes it is the elements.  Sometimes I feel like I am a robot because I can't always go to the bathroom when I want to. Sometimes I'm sitting outside a camper for an hour or so while they are in there, especially if there is rain. It can be challenging.

Me: Which set has been the most challenging set to be on and why?
MMM: The most challenging set would definitely be Tower Heist.  It was a cold winter and we had very long days, especially the last month.  We had a bunch of 20 hour days, not being able to go to the bathroom, standing all day, at least half of it in the cold. It can get a little challenging like that.  Brett Radner, he's no joke!

Me: What is the scariest/most exciting thing that has happened to you while being security and why?
MMM: During Men in Black 3, Will Smith ran into a crowd of 300 people and that made me nervous.  I mean, I have to watch the stars like I watch my four year old daughter. How would you feel if your child ran off into a crowd of 300 people?!  I had to fight my way through to keep my eye on him, that was kind of scary. Not a lot of people do that, but Will Smith, he's that type of guy. He shows a lot of love.

Me: Speaking of Will Smith, remember a few months ago when that guy ran up to him at a premier and tried to kiss Will Smith and Will Smith kind of slapped him?
MMM: I wasn't there for that, that's the stuff we go through. It's like the CIA a bit, because those people don't want to hurt the actors, you know, they're fans, they're just weirdos; a little too obsessed with these actors.  I wasn't too surprised. People are just crazy.

I was doing Noah and we were filming out in Long Island and my home girl, Emma Watson was there. She had a stalker that followed her from her mom's house in Great Britain to Toronto and to Long Island.  We actually caught him in the woods, where he had walked up to her with a note. We got him away and I asked him, "What's the problem? Are you okay? Are you alright? You don't sound very normal, following someone  from country to country.  He was like, "I really felt like I just wanted to give her some advice. She's making some decisions in life and I thought that I needed to let her know she was making some bad choices."  He's just an over-fan. People like him, feel like they know the actors because they watch them on TV.  I feel very sorry for some of them.  Some actors don't mind if fans want have their picture taken with them, just don't come up and try to run up on them and try to kiss them.

Me: Who were/are the people you were most excited to meet?
MMM: It's funny, because I'm not really excited to meet anyone because I see them as regular people. Maybe it is my professional attitude. I'm not a movie buff or a star struck type person.  I have been around some really good, kind-hearted people that made me excited to be next to them.  I can stand up for them and let people know, that some of them are genuinely the kindest people on the earth.  Like Russel Crowe has a reputation, I guess because of the phone incident.  One my friends thought he was awful, and I told him that he's one of the kindest people I've ever met. A lot of people don't realize they're every day people like us. They just have bigger bank accounts. They're only human and they work very hard. It's not all as glitzy as everyone thinks. They work long hours and a lot of times they work in all kinds of weather, out in the cold. It has been a pleasure to meet them.

Moovie Mic and Russel crowing during the filming of Noah.
Me: If you could advise people who are interested in pursuing your career, what would you tell them?
MMM: It's not as easy as it seems. You have to be really tough. You have to stay in shape. You have to be ready and militant.  You must stay focused and watch.  You have people coming and asking questions all day. You don't want to be rude, but sometimes you tell them you can't talk right then and they get offended, but you have watch the talent, even if people get offended.

Me: What has been your favorite set so far and why?
MMM: My favorite set I have ever worked on was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The people were so kind. Sandra Bullock is one of the nicest human beings on the face of the earth. Tom Hanks is very down-to-earth and very funny in real life too. A lot of people don't get to see how funny he is.  Some actors are only funny on the screen, but he's got a great sense of humor.  Max Von Sydow is very kind. It was Thomas Horn's, the one who plays the young boy, first movie. Scott Rudin, the producer, found Thomas Horn on Kid's Jeopardy.  That combination of cast with the crew, everyone from the producers to the crew was the greatest possible fit because it was a really long movie--about six or seven months.  With all that talent we all became very comfortable together.
Moovie Mic and Tom Hanks during Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Me: What are the most common questions/answers that you get from curious people?
MMM: People always ask first, "What's the Name of the Movie?"  If the movie title is really long, like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close I may shorten the title for those people to Extremely Loud.  "Who's in it?" and in some neighborhoods "How long are you going to be here?" I always get that one on the Upper West Side.

Moovie Mic and Sandra Bullock during Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Me: Which neighborhood in the five boroughs has been the best and worst to work in.
MMM: Midtown Manhattan, from below Central Park/59th St. to 42nd St. from 8th Avenue to 5th Avenue are the worst because they are so crowded.  The best are the easiest ones, like the mansions--especially the mansions in Long Island. I have to go all over the mansions and look at all the area before I take the stars there, like the CIA with the President.

Moovie Mic filming Deception in Long Island, photos by Moovie Mic.
Me: What is one of the most surprising things you have learned being security?
MMM: The whole movie experience. Yes, I am security but being around the set in the beginning, it surprised me how many different groups that have to come together to make a movie. It takes lighting and security and props and set and everyone to make a movie work.  It shocked me how much work it really is to make a show.  Everybody's job is important in its own way.  If one person is slipping everyone has to make up for it on set.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Moovie Mic Miller--Security to the Stars

Now, for those of us that are really interested in movie making (not just talk shows), I may have the opportunity soon to interview Moovie Mic Miller. He is one of the people that you'll often see around film sets because he is the muscle behind the stars.  You've probably seen him and not known it.  He often ends up in gossip magazines/blogs/websites and the like behind or next to the stars, protecting them.

I first met him on the set of Now You See Me (by the way, the preview is out), then again later on the set of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  

He probably has a lot of stories. I am not sure he can share very much, but hopefully he'll give us the run down on what he does, how he does it, interesting/exciting experiences, and some photos.

Here are a few of the photos. :)

Megan Fox and Moovie Mic Miller

Moovie Mic Miller and Megan Fox and her husband, Brian Green

Moovie Mic Miller and Tom Hanks in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I used some of the photos Moovie Mic Miller posted to his facebook wall. I am not sure of the photographers and their companies, but I would love to give them credit--so please, if you know let me know so I can put their name by their work!