Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Long nights make short tempers

The problem with afternoon calls is that everyone starts the day in ‘death march’ mode – we know it’s going to be long night and since most of us weren’t able to sleep all day for various reasons we’re not starting out the day particularly fresh.

For me, the worst time of night is right around 3 am. I haven’t gotten that pre-dawn second wind yet, the coffee’s stopped working and all I really want to do is jump in my car, yell “see ya, suckers” and go home. Of course, that would result in my no longer getting work calls, so I just have to stick around and suffer. You’d think it would make me feel better that everyone else is just as tired and miserable, but no.

Production delays are worse when one is tired, the crafty’s worse when one is tired, the fact that the caterer put fucking capers in the goddamn chicken again is worse when one is tired and there’s no end in sight.

So all of us started out Friday in vile moods, and when everyone on the crew’s cranky it just creates this endless loop of sour grapes from which there is no exit.

This was made worse by our boss deciding to get pissed off about the crappy equipment we have in our lighting package.

Boss: “What the fuck is wrong with this stuff? Why can’t we get equipment that’s in proper working order?”

Me: “Because when we loaded in the lamp dock were out of all the good stuff and they won’t let us sub-rent* anything, so we’re stuck with this crap.”

Boss: “Unacceptable. Do something about it.”

Me: (pause)”Okay.”

Boss: “And stop fucking blinking so much”

It just went downhill from there. It’s worth noting that our boss is normally a really nice guy, but late call + slow director = cranky. The fact that they kept adding and dropping a move to another stage didn’t help the general mood (“Wait.. are we moving still?” “Last I heard, but let’s ask again in 5 minutes and see if the answer’s changed”)

By the time the impossible happened and we actually did have an 8 hour day it was too late. The cranky had taken hold of everyone. I went home, had a couple of martinis, decided to skip that night’s installment of the battle of the claws (Me: “Just let me trim those” Cat: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”) and start fresh the next morning.

Of course, my next door neighbors chose Saturday to have a garage sale. Right outside my window. They’ve recently acquired a smallish yappy-type dog which, also of course, decided to start yapping right about 8 am.

Eventually, I decided to leave rather than give into the temptation to kick the dog and the neighbors into next week, only to find my driveway blocked by a nice lady who refused to move her car as she was busy perusing the selection of heavily used muffin tins.

When I finally did get to leave, I went to the gym and swam for almost two hours, which improved my mood greatly. After a decent night’s sleep, I feel almost human today.

*sub-rent: when a rental house doesn’t have a particular bit of equipment, they’ll rent it from another company and add it to the package. For obvious reasons, rental houses don’t like to do this.

Filed under: cranky, up all night, Work

5 Responses

  1. JCW says:

    Personally, I love night shoots. I can (and have) seen where it’s a pain in the ass for crew, but for background, it’s kinda fun.

    We have so much time to kill in holding, by the time we hit set at midnight or 2:00am, we tend to get kinda slap happy and have a lot of fun with it.

    Agreed, though, that capers suck. An unappetizing meal spread always puts a damper on any shoot.

  2. ironrailsironweights says:

    Capers rule! They make almost anything better.


  3. JacobR says:

    Haha Capers! That brings back memories of PAing in NYC, what a nightmare! But on the good side it’s where you find out what you’re made of. Great post, it makes me tired just reading about it!

  4. bob says:

    who did ya rent from– that the lamps where crappy at

    just want to know –use streets or city to protect the guilty

  5. A.J. says:

    I actually don’t mind night shoots and capers. But shitty gear is enough to piss anyone off no matter what’s being served at catering.

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