Corey Kramer grew up in Cold Spring, attended Bishop Brossart High School and earned a degree in criminal justice from NKU in May 2017. But while pursuing a career with the federal government, he's made money working with Hollywood.
"Having a degree in criminal justice, I was always interested in crime, particularly the Italian mafia," Kramer says. "When I saw 'Gotti' was being filmed here starring John Travolta – expected to release sometime this year – I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of."
But, like most of us, Kramer wasn't exactly sure how landing a gig with folks in the movie-making business worked. With research he found an online posting from D. Lynn Meyers Casting, advertising work with the Gotti film. Kramer sent in his information and head shot. "They gave me a call, and that is how it all started," he said. "I am gracious for everything they have done for me," he says.
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"They asked if I would be interested in doubling and standing in for Zac Efron," Kramer says. "I went in for an interview with one of the directors and director of photography, and they felt I was a good fit and had prior experience."
And, because Kramer studied Ted Bundy in college, he said, "it was something I no doubt wanted to be a part of."
During the interview, they took more pictures of Kramer (the casting company has some on file), and checked his skin tone, height and weight to make sure they were a close match to Efron.
|Corey Kramer tests the lighting before Zac Efron comes on set.|
"My job on set is to make his job as easy as possible," Kramer says. "Everything is tested through me." Everything includes lighting, camera angles, action and movement. Kramer recited lines and went through sound checks. "We want to make sure everything is ready to go and film when he [Efron] gets to set," Kramer says. "It is so he does not have to wait around while lenses are being changed, or a new angle or close-up is being done, which can take awhile."
The gig was paid, and Kramer worked 12-plus hour days with the crew for 30 days of filming. "It was fun and tedious," he says. "I enjoyed every day working on set but after awhile 12-hour days or longer will get to you mentally and physically. However, I would not trade it for the world."
Because the majority of the crew is local, Kramer says he had made friends with many of them while working on previous movies. "All of them are so awesome to work with, along with the crew they had brought in from out of town," Kramer says.
|Corey Kramer with Production Assistant Reid Schroder at the film's wrap party.|
Kramer also spent a lot of time interacting with Efron. "Most people do not realize they [actors] are regular people just like us," he says. "They just happen to have a different career. I do not talk to them about movies or previous work they have done. No one really likes to talk about work outside of work. I think that is why they enjoy conversation with me."
What did they talk about?
"Zac and I talked about shoes, clothing, the winter olympics, and many other things any other person would talk about," Kramer says.
And yet, Kramer couldn't help but be a bit star struck by the talent on set.
Kramer says one of the coolest aspects of the job was seeing his local community transform into different time periods and locations. "My favorite being Mainstrasse in Covington – some great scenes were filmed there," he says. "Also filming at NKU – it had more meaning to me because I graduated from there, it is in my backyard, and I spent so much time there and still do being active with the school and community."
Kramer says working with Efron, in general, was a great experience. "He is such a great guy and I wish him nothing but continued success," Kramer says. "He gifted me a custom jacket for helping him out which was such a nice gesture. The producers invited me to the wrap party, which was a great time with the cast and crew to celebrate all of our hard work."
|Zac Efron gifted Corey Kramer a custom jacket once the movie wrapped up.|
Kramer encourages everyone local to see the film once it comes out. "All film locations were here and you will definitely recognize them in the movie," he says.