I did some background work a while ago. Got the call for a new science fiction series. Cool, I read every piece of science fiction I could get my hands on from fifth grade through high school.
I showed up and was lead to a container storage area near Long Beach. We all went to the set and waited. There's a lot of waiting. They say that the first day on a movie set is the most exciting day of your life, the second day is the most boring.
I was wearing the camouflage I used when I played paintball. I had a red rag I used to clean my paintball gun with and wrapped it around my neck as a scarf.
I noticed that they were setting up a crane next to a tent full of chickens. There was a row of old tires in front of the tent, so I went over and laid down on the tires and tried to take a nap(sic). They went ahead and set up the shot.
When Joss showed up he let me stay.
My paintball gun was a double action cow marking gun; I played paintball in the days before specialized single action and automatic guns. Double action was so much more fun than when it turned to auto. I had modified it with some gaffer tape to make it look a bit different.
Behind me you can see a tent. There was a guy that was chasing the chickens out of the tent. I asked Joss if when the guy chased the chickens out, I could draw my gun as if I was startled out of sleep. He said sure. The guy tried chasing the chickens at me, but it didn't quite work. That version didn't make the cut, but they filmed it.
It takes an extraordinary human being to let an extra lay down and take a nap in the middle of his shot and let them stay. It takes an even more awesomeness to let an extra make a suggestion and film it.
I thought I heard that this was the first day of shooting the series, but I know now that 'The Train Job' was actually the pilot, it may have been the first day of that episode. I wish I could find out if this was indeed the first day of the series, because in one of my deepest fantasies, I would love it if they saw my brown camouflage and red scarf and ran with it. I know, I know, the chances of that are so very slim, I'm sure the all costumes were already designed; but the coincidence has always been heart warming for me either way.
Thanks Joss Whedon.
Wash: This sounds like something from Science Fiction.
Zoë: Honey, we live in a space ship.
Mal: Well, my days of not takin' ya seriously are certainly comin' to a middle.
Zoe: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killin'?
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
Zoe: If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skin into their clothes … and if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order.