Since Grey’s didn’t need an extra guy today, I was back on Bones for a second unit shoot.
The horror stories about that show have been spreading – All the boys on Grey’s want to know who the new gaffer is, who among the crew’s going to stay, etc.. One day back I’m happy to say that I’m able to provide the gossip.
In addition to the electric department jumping* to Fast and Furious 3, the sound department has quit, one of the AD’s has quit and half the grips have quit.
One of the other AD’s came up to me today and furtively asked me if I’d pass his resume over to Grey’s.
The dimmer board operator told me that last week they had 3 9-page days in a row**. That’s got to have something to do with people leaving. It’s busy right now and it’s really easy to jump. Were it slow, people would probably be sucking it up – but I don’t know for sure. At some point, taking unemployment starts to sound better than months and months of 80+ hour weeks.
Another rumor going around is that the entire crew of House quit (for very similar reasons, I’m sure), but I couldn’t find out for sure as we were busy today and I couldn’t get away to go and look on their stage.
Today’s second unit stuff was the new gaffer’s first day (the old gaffer’s last day is tomorrow), which was a good thing – second unit’s always more mellow, and it gave him a nice quiet day to learn the set and to figure out how long it’s going to take for the juicers to move things.***
We still got peeled, though. We only had four people to work that gigantic set. Luckily the new gaffer’s very nice and patient – my one complaint is that he doesn’t use his walkie, and his voice is the exact same pitch and tone of the general hubbub of a working set, so it’s damn near impossible to hear him.
Not my problem, though. I’m back on Grey’s Anatomy tomorrow.
* Quitting one show before it ends to go onto another show is called ‘jumping’.
**Movies shoot about 3 pages a day, TV shows shoot from 5 to 7 pages a day; a page being about a minute of screen time (with notable exceptions such as the infamous “Atlanta Burns” from Gone with the wind. 1/8th of a page, WAY more than that on the screen). A 9 page day is just sadistic, and more than one day in a row of 9 page days is so far beyond horrible that I don’t think a word’s been invented to describe it accurately.
***While this sounds trivial, it’s really, really important for a gaffer to know that it takes 15 minutes to set up a BFL on the catwalk, or that in order to move a 10K on a rolling stand across the room, we have to have furniture moved – which entails getting the set dressers, who usually hide and have to be tracked down. This way, when he’s on first unit – which is WAY more pressure, he’ll be less likely to start screaming into the walkie that things are taking way too fucking long.