October 6th Airport Filming at Tucson, AZ

{mosimage}Those lucky enough to be picked by Paramount/Dreamworks as "airport travelers" from the extras call at the Desert Diamond Casino Hotel over the weekend will soon be headed to Tucson International Airport for filming on October 6th. Those not lucky enough to be picked but are headed to the airport, good luck with those photography skills!

Read here for the full article.

Phill Villareal, 9/28/08

A star was born Saturday, and that star was me.
 
DreamWorks representatives visited the Desert Diamond Casino Hotel to give me a private audition for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
 
Well, technically the audition wasn't private. Untold hundreds queued up in a winding, Space Mountain-like line in the lobby for a chance to get some face time with the casting people, who were looking for extras to fill out an airport scene to be shot at Tucson International Airport on Oct. 6.
But at heart, I knew the Hollywood big shots were really here just for me.
 
After all, the original "Transformers" was good — action-packed, unpredictable and well-acted. But it was missing that certain something: me.
 
That's the reason, I'm sure, that director Michael Bay has not only moved forward with a sequel, but has selected Tucson as one of its shooting locations.
 
And thus it begins, the start of my destined second career. Sorry, readers and editors, that you had to find out this way, but I've just been using you for the past 7 1/2 years. Toiling as a movie critic all this time has just been preparation to break into acting. Like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who early in their careers appeared on-screen as extras in "Field of Dreams," this role will be my launching pad to mansions, Oscars and gossip columns.
 
Although I've never acted, I've always been a closeted thespian. I first dabbled in the dramatic arts at age 6, when I directed off-Broadway stage plays with my Optimus Prime and Megatron action figures on the bedroom floor. I've remained dedicated to the craft.
 
I wasn't the only one with aspirations of greatness Saturday. The event announcement called for people to dress like airport travelers of all types, so the line was filled with suits, cowboy hats, college sweat shirts, and for the most enterprising, luggage. The room buzzed with excited chatter for a day that was more cattle call than casting call.
 
A pair of married couples, Eric and Betsy Souza and their friends Eric and Michelle Jakoby, heeded the call of their pal, self-described fifth wheel Dane Snyder, who read about the casting call online.
Eric Jakoby, a 26-year-old fireman, was pumped. He still has his childhood collection of Transformers toys.
 
"We're here because there's nothing better to do in Tucson," one of them said, making all of the others crack up.
 
Thirty spots ahead of that group in line stood Ismael Soqui and his wife, Talitha Villalobos. Villalobos, a 22-year-old homemaker, wanted another taste of the movies after popping up as an extra in the 1996 Christian Slater-starring TV film "Blue Rodeo," which was shot Downtown.
 
"I heard you talking about it on the radio," Soqui said, referring to my weekly guest slot on 92.1 KFMA's "The Frank Show." "So I told her, 'Let's do it.' "
 
Eric Impraim, a 26-year-old former Star employee with a fledgling acting career, showed up with his 21-year-old brother, Francis. Eric said he was hoping for a little boost for his career. Francis isn't an actor, but he thought it would be fun to check out the set of a blockbuster. He looked around with a confident smile, and after evaluating his chances, he said, "I try to keep a positive attitude."
 
Virginia Love, a 74-year-old retired teacher, drove 26 miles from Sun City Vistoso in Oro Valley. Her grandchildren, ages 4, 8 and 12, are "Transformers" nuts.
 
"I've always wanted to do this," she said.
 
Waiting in line for two hours really helped us all get into character. It's what those of us in showbiz refer to as "the method." I focused and slipped into the zone. I truly became a person standing around at an airport.
 
When it finally came time for me and my line mates to step into the casting room, we hushed in unison. This wasn't so much "Transformers 2" as it was "Terminator 2" — Judgement Day. We were handed numbered placards along with slips of paper that asked our names, ages, weights and measurements.
 
I don't mean to sound cocky here, but I absolutely nailed that audition. I brought forth an animalistic rawness reminiscent of Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire." I was so amazing that after standing by the wall for three seconds, posing for a head shot with placard No. 267, the casting director had seen enough. (Those who followed had similarly short auditions. Most likely because the powers that be treated them as mere formalities in lieu of my formidable showing.)
As if not to dash the fragile hopes of the others, the casting lady gave us a blanket "don't call us — we'll call you" message. If DreamWorks wants us in the film, they'll ring us up. She said extras will get $8 an hour for the first eight hours, followed by time and a half for any additional hours.
 
I was mildly offended at the low pay, but after talking it over with my agent — OK, just mumbling silently to myself — I decided to accept. That is, I will decide to accept as soon as they call me. And surely they will. After all, what would the movie be without No. 267?
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