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Weir Middle learns about movie making

Students get invitation to be extras in Paramount film

August 27, 2010

WEIRTON - Parents should get ready to look over information regarding students' participation as extras in the Paramount Pictures film being shot in the local area.

Weir Middle School students attended an assembly on Thursday where Paramount Pictures film production personnel discussed how movies are made and how students can participate.

Sonya "Sonny" Tormoen stated making a movie takes hard work. She told students that while people watching the movie focus on the stars, there are many people working behind the scenes to make sure the movie can be made and look like it needs to.

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MAKING MOVIES — Weir Middle School received first-hand knowledge on how movies are made as Paramount Pictures production personnel talked to students on Thursday during an assembly. The next casting call for extras will be Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Millsop Community Center. Pictured is Sonya “Sonny” Tormoen, extras casting director, talking to students and introducing Demian Resnick, location manager; Domenic Silvestri, art director; Montez Monroe, productions supervisor and Annie D’Aloiso, extras casting assistant. -- Angelina Dickson

Demian Resnick, location manager, explained to students that it is his job to find the perfect place to film a movie. He said once the script has been written and read, he must then search throughout the country visiting cities with qualities he thinks the director will like.

"I searched through anywhere between 150 to 200 towns including Weirton," he said. "I took pictures of the Main Street of each town and what the houses look like and the countryside."

Resnick said he helps make the arrangements with the town to make sure film productions can take place. He has worked with several television and movie productions including "The Apprentice" and "Cloverfield." He said Weirton was a great choice and thanked everyone for their cooperation.

Domenic Silvestri, art director, stated it is his job to make the town look like what it needs to look like for the scenes. He said sometimes sets have to be built but when they are out in the real world, like in Weirton, he said they have to change some things to look like they want it to look.

Silvestri, whose work includes "Pirates of the Caribbean," "50 First Dates," "The Longest Yard" and the television shows "Lost" and "Glee," stated artists make illustrations of what they need places and sets to look like and then he works to make it look that way.

"We get to work in some very interesting places we'd never thought we'd ever be in," he said. "We're happy to be here and hope everyone participates."

Montez Monroe, productions supervisor, said once a film begins it is her job to coordinate all the departments and make sure the production of the movie is going as planned. She said it is her job to arrange the crew and equipment and oversee the budget.

"Sometimes budgets range from $6 million to $120 million," she said.

Monroe said there are long work hours ranging from 10 to 16 hour work days at times. She added that being an extra in a movie is a great way to see how movies are made first-hand.

"When you go see a movie next time you'll be able to say 'I know how they did that'," she said.

Monroe's works include "Something's Gotta Give," "Underdog," "Anywhere But Here" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."

Tormoen entered into a questions and answer portion of the assembly with the productions personnel and demonstrated what it is like to talk on set using walkie talkies and stage set lingo.

Information was passed out to students from their teachers at the end of the day to take home to parents or guardians. Tormoen said she is looking for 1,000 to 2,000 people to be extras in the movie adding that anyone cast as an extra will not have a speaking role.

Casting calls are set for Tuesday at the Millsop Community Center from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Weirton Room and the Sept. 3 Weir High football game.

(Dickson can be contacted at

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