In March 2007, I responded to a post on the Virginia Film Office website saying
that the miniseries John Adams was looking for Non-union & Union people to portray background roles. I sent them a copy of
my completed application and a snapshot. They called me back and asked if I would be available to film a few scenes in
the Richmond and Williamsburg, VA areas. I said "yes." I drove to Richmond on Friday, March 23rd to be fit in a costume
as a uniformed militia during the American Revolution.
From what I have learned, it is a seven-part miniseries being filmed for HBO. The miniseries is based on the life of John Adams and the first 50 years of the United States. The miniseries will start Paul Giamatti as John Adams. They will be filming on sets in the Richmond area and off-and-on in Williamsburg until late May 2007.
Here are a few pictures from my first two days on the set. I will add more if I am called to be an extra again.
For my first day working on the John Adams miniseries, I was told to go to their set in Mechanicsville, VA. They built a small town in what had been an empty field. That day, the town represented Philadelphia. The main scene took place a few days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The scene was a ceremony where Second Continental Congress announced to the town that we were declaring our independence from Great Brittan. I was one of six uniformed militia who played honor guards during the cremony and fired muskets at the end of the announcement.
Mike Becvar, dressed as a uniformed militia member during the American Revolution. They used makeup to make us look dirty complete with rotting teeth.
After getting into costume, hair and makeup, the extras waited in the Extras Holding tent. Most sat around talking or reading the newspaper or a book.
For my second day working on the John Adams miniseries, I was told to go to Colonial Williamsburg. They were planning to shoot a scene at Colonial Willaimsburg's Public Hospital. Although, the scene was filmed in Williamsburg, we were supposed to be in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A field in front of the hospital has been transformed into a wintery encampment of American soldiers at Harvard Yard during the Revolutionary War. It was supposed to be 12F outside and many of the soldiers were sick with smallpox.
Mike Becvar, dressed as a uniformed militia member during the American Revolutionary War. I didn't begin the day looking too dirty, but once on set, they added more dirt and mud.
Group of reenactors dressed as militia waiting around in the morning before heading to set
After getting into costume, everyone passed through the makeup tent. It took some actors more than an hour in the makeup chair being made to look like they had smallpox.
All of the actors also had to stop by the hair tent. I wore a brown wig both days. Even the guys with long hair had to stop by hair to make their hair look appropriate for the scene.
Mike Becvar, dressed as a uniformed militia member during the American Revolutionary War.
Field in Colonial Williamsburg near the hair and makeup tents