Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I hate late calls.

The normal way to schedule a shoot, especially when you need daylight when the days are short, is to have an early call time. You park the trucks at 6:00am, have crew-call at 6:30 or 7:00am and start shooting not long after sunrise. The sun is going to set by 6:00 pm, so you use every hour of daylight you can get their hands on.

We're not doing that.

Today's call was 10:00am. Gah! Granted, I don't have to get up at 4:00am to be at work on time, but I was still working at home at 6:00. And then I was on set by 8:30 to get the set dressers into the location.

At 9:05, I get a call on the radio: "One of the extras just fell down the stairs at the holding area. She says she's fine." I say, "OK. Make sure you get her info and pass it on to the paperwork P.A. so it get's on the production report and specify that she refused medical attention. And WTF is she doing showing up an hour early anyway?"

We spent the day shooting exteriors (in the rain), and then, as it was approaching time to break for lunch, two realities set in:

1.) We had one more exterior to shoot.
2.) If we broke for lunch before getting the shot, it would be dark by the time we got back from lunch. (Hey, remember that thing about scheduling lunch 6 hours after call time? Lunch was scheduled for 4:00pm.)

So we decide to keep shooting until we've got the last exterior done and then break for lunch. (Hey, remember that thing about meal penalties for breaking late? We broke for lunch a 1/2 hour late.)

So, we break for a half hour lunch at 4:30-ish. We're back "in" from lunch at 5:30-ish. (Hey, remember that thing about a 1/2 hour lunch that takes an hour? Well, it does!)

When we came back from lunch, we started on the interior scenes. This is what it looks like when you're shooting "Nite-for-day" scenes. These shots were taken around 8:00pm (photo credit: Malcolm Alston -- happy Graham?)

Between the people inside and the people huddling in the dark, there are about 100 people involved in this shot. They'll be aiming to wrap by 11:00.

And, OK...I admit it. I got home a little while ago. Nobody needs me huddling in the dark.

Update: They didn't wrap until 12:45am (I'm still not sure if that was "camera wrap" as in stopped shooting at 12:45am or wrapped, as in "last man out the door".) Regardless, today's call time is pushed to Noon. The list of things that this sucks is myriad.


Some dude stuck in the Midwest said...

I wonder how the neighbors react to the flood lights. Or do they disperse so much, that nothing in 50 feet radius is lit?

Steve Buchheit said...

By Friday start time should be 3pm.

Nathan said...


this shot is only lighting into specific windows, so we can control it fairly well. When we're lighting the whole street, everybody whines. (We hand out blackout material to people if it's shining in their windows.)