Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Today, I was wrapping out a set for a movie (The Kingdom) that, during the past few months of shooting, has had four deaths of crew and over 100 workman’s comp claims.

Needless to say, we were all really, really careful all day. No one wanted to be number five.

Since our call time was 5 am at Sony, I had to get up before 4 (3:45, to be exact) so now, although I’m insanely tired (at 8 pm, which makes me feel like a total loser), I have to stay awake until the best boy for tomorrow’s show calls me and tells me what the call time is. On shooting units, since the next day’s call time depends on how late the day runs each day, he won’t know what call is until they call wrap.

That could be, well, anytime.

If I go to bed early, I’ll wake up early – which will be a bad thing if the call time is, say 10 am which means we’ll work until at least midnight.

If I anticipate a late call time and drink a bunch of coffee to stay up late, he’ll call and tell me there’s a 6 am call time and I’ll be all wired and won’t get any sleep.

I can’t start calling the best boy and nagging him about call time, because if I do he’s going to decide that I’m a pain the in ass and not hire me again.

Pretty much my only choice is to sit here, waiting.

My sister just called me and asked what I was doing, and when I told her I was sitting in my room waiting for a boy to call, her response was “aren’t you a little old for that sort of thing?”

Yeah, you’d think so.

Staying awake would be easier if TV weren’t so bad.

UPDATE: 9:30 am call, which means parking in the Fox structure is going to suck, but at least I can go to sleep now.

Filed under: Work

6 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    Hmmm, 9:30 am call at Fox. My husband was waiting for the BB to call HIM with his call time tonight for tomorrow, too. He said if he doesn’t call me by 9 pm, I’m calling him. The best boy called at 8:30. Are you working 2nd unit?

  2. Dave2 says:

    Sleep. Glorious sleeeeep. I don’t have to worry about getting up early or going to bed late… I just can’t sleep most of the time. If I get 5 hours rest, I consider myself lucky. :-(

  3. getsheila says:

    Do I need to go back through your archives? How did FOUR crew die? Yikes!

  4. Meg says:

    For Sheila: If you go to and type in The Kingdom, one of the choices is a movie dated 2007 (still in production.) Under the Trivia category (which sure the hell doesn’t seem very trivial to ME) is one of the deaths. It doesn’t list the others.

  5. Mark says:

    What’s the deal with four deaths?? The only reports I saw covered one, the car accident with Nick Papac — which was mostly played as an “also” to coverage of Jennifer Garner fainting on set.

    Who died?

    Peggy sez: The other deaths were not directly related to production, I guess, so they didn’t make the news. One was a heart attack, I want to say the third was an accident either coming to or leaving work (but I’m not entirely sure about that), and I can’t remember what the fourth was – this is what happens when people tell me things at 5:30 in the morning.

  6. Mike80 says:

    If any of our unions had any balls, they would have shut this thing down already. That’s what happens when the national head of your union (IATSE) has done federal time for racketeering.

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