TV shows chug along, usually impervious to the director, who on TV series has minimal creative input. Movie directors have the luxury of being an enfant terrible or a control freak, but TV directors are mainly traffic cops.
The actors already know the character, the sets are already there, wardrobe’s already set, etc..
All the TV director can do is move the actors around a bit.
Some TV directors do this very quickly, others not so much. Yesterday’s director is a very, very nice guy who is clearly good at his job as he’s been working steadily for years, but he’s one of the slower directors out there.
He earned the nickname “Captain Overtime” on a cable cop show that shot years ago where he never worked anything less than a 15 hour day. Some of his days went up to 18 hours. Sucked at the time, but the checks were fantastic.
Yesterday when I walked in, concerned that I’d only got one day lined up so far, I smiled when I saw Captain Overtime at the helm. This particular show has decided that they won’t allow days over 12 hours anymore, but his presence guaranteed at least a 12 hour day.
Not to disappoint, Captain Overtime came out of the gate by taking 5 hours to shoot a 1.5 page scene with three actors.
He didn’t speed up all day, until the UPM showed up on set to crack the whip and then he finished us out at 11.5 hours.
I should mention that I really like Captain Overtime. He’s a wonderful guy and gets really good performances out of the actors. Also, he pads my bank account. Hell, I love the guy.
And, I’ve ended up with three days this week so far. Tonight’s a night exterior with stunts, so I’m going to freeze my ass off, but at least I’m working.