Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The Mysterious Stage Syndrome

There’s a phenomenon that occurs when a director who’s used to shooting on location gets on a stage for the first time – they slow down. However fast they were working, they’ll work at about half that speed once that stage door closes.

I think it’s the static lighting. On a stage, you can’t see the sun moving across the sky, so it’s impossible to tell how much time has passed; meaning it’s very easy to slip into thinking you have much more time than you actually do.

This director, who’s the nicest guy in the world but isn’t very fast even on location, has slowed to damn near a full stop since we’ve been on stage.

Scenes are being cut and added to the next day’s work in an effort to keep the hours down, which just means that we’ll have a super long day on the last stage day (Wednesday). We had a second unit today just to help us catch up, as we’re moving to another stage first thing in the morning.

Inertia is frustrating. When you sit and do nothing, it makes the day seem longer – although after all these night exteriors, I’m happy for the opportunity to sit and read the paper.

The cold from hell is still raging around set (when you work 14 hour days your immune system doesn’t work well). My boss got it today, so he’s staying home tomorrow (in a much appreciated effort not to get the rest of us sick), which means that I’m the best boy until he gets back.

For the humble re-rate of $1.00 per hour, I get to return stacks of equipment from two different rental packages, wade through piles of paperwork, and fill out timecards instead of sitting on my ass, staring slack-jawed at a spot on the wall while we do 17 takes of every angle.

Hey, it’ll make the day go faster.

Filed under: Work

December 2005
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