In 2013, I was an extra in the movie Divergent. Extra is the term used to describe background actors in film and TV. They’re the people walking across the street, sitting in a diner or working in the office behind the main characters of your favorite film and TV shows. It’s not a glamorous job, being an extra, but it makes for some interesting stories.
When I heard Divergent was casting background in the Chicagoland area, I decided to submit myself. I had applied to extra in other films, but rarely got called back, so I didn’t expect much. Much to my surprise, I got an e-mail relatively quickly from the background casting agency, confirming my availability to take part in the much hyped movie as an ‘Abnegation Woman‘.
There are some people who consider background work their full-time job. For me, participating as background for Divergent was purely for fun. I thought it would be a nice break from normal life. Besides that, the hours and pay for background work pretty much suck. Living wage, it offers not!
For me to warrant the travel and time off needed to do extra work, a film really has to call to me. With Divergent, it checked all the boxes needed to be ‘worth it’. Would I care to watch the finished film? Check. Would I get to work on an actual set built for a movie? Check. Would I be fit for a cool costume that I didn’t have to bring from home? Check.
All in all, I shot 10 days on Divergent as an Abnegation citizen, jumping between being an adult and a teen, though you’d never know it. I was on set for all the scenes that feature the Abnegation village, in the scene where the families are all heading towards the Choosing Ceremony and in the super wide shot where you see all the different groups of people walking around and getting supplies. In the finished film, you see me for a handful of seconds in only one scene. In the scene, I’m walking away from camera in the Abnegation village, so you don’t even see my face. That being said, it did make for a fun, out of the ordinary week and a half.
So, fast forward to PUDDLE 2016. I was playing around with the idea of immortalizing that moment in my life in doll form and the Pullip Make It Own kit seemed like a really simple way to do that. Essentially, I wanted to create a ‘mini me’ of sorts! Prior to PUDDLE, I had reached out to some Etsy sellers who passed on creating the custom’s outfit. At PUDDLE, Doll Angel had set up shop. I chatted with customizer Nicole and her mom about my idea and they seemed enthusiastic about trying to make my vision a reality. So, a few weeks after the convention, I shot off an e-mail. This beautiful doll below is the outcome.
Nicole created both the face up and outfit on the provided Make It Own kit. I knew the outfit would be complicated to create on such a small scale, however simple the design looks on the outside, which is why I’m amazed at how similar she was able to make the Pullip sized fashion!
Nicole was awesome enough to even make a backpack to represent the times when production thought I was hired as a teen and not an adult! (It was a running gag for me that I never knew if I was going to be a teen or an adult on set! If they called for both types of extra’s, I would just stand smack dab in the middle of the adults and the teens and see what happened.)
And the face up– it blows factory face ups out of the water. It has so much depth to it. I personally love the strong, in your face freckles this doll has. On the back of her head cap, there is a brilliantly drawn image of the original inspiration for this piece. Everything about this face up is so well done.
The wig is a Monique wig. Technically, the hair should be pulled into a bun, but I couldn’t find one with a bun attachment that was easy to get in a hurry! I’m fine with this wig, though, because it fits my current look.
How stunning is this face?! It’s natural, yet striking. (I wish I had an ounce of this talent when it comes to face ups!) The brown eyes Nicole created have more depth than you traditionally get with factory eyes, adding to this dolls lovely appearance.
I am extremely pleased with how this Abnegation Pullip turned out. From head to toe, she’s a perfect little ‘mini me’! If you’d like to see more of Doll Angel’s work or commission her to make an amazing Pullip for you, you can find her at the links below! I highly recommend working with her on a custom one day. She excels at natural dolls like this, as well as cool fantasy ones!
Doll Angel graciously put together a Collectors Spotlight for the site, which should be up before the year is over. Stay tuned for that! And in the meantime, what event in your life would you like to re-create in Pullip or doll form? What do you think of this custom? Do you have questions about shooting the film? Let me know it the comment area!