There are several things that make a set slow.
Being small, having only one entrance, having mirrors on all the walls, being on the 5th floor of a building that has only one working elevator, etc…
Usually these problems are reserved for location shoots. When one’s shooting on a stage, one usually has enough room to work and good access so things run smoothly.
Today, we worked on the set of death.
The set of death had just about everything that none of us want to see – it was small. Very, very small, and although it had three entrances, as the set of death had been shoehorned in between two larger sets, two entrances were blocked so ingress and egress were difficult even one wasn’t carrying a light on a stand or a ladder.
Because the pipe grid was hung for a larger set, it was a bit too high up thus requiring us to maneuver large ladders into and around what was rapidly becoming the biggest cluster fuck of this calendar year (so far), and of course, since we were seeing most of the set (how could we not? It was the size of a postage stamp) all the lights had to be hung from said grid.
Because the route from staging to the set was more than a little bit like a rat maze, getting equipment in after the gaffer called for it took forever and required one to fight one’s way through the over-enthusiastically placed fake trees outside the set’s windows.
Our boss deserves a medal for today. A lesser man would have blown his stack and threatened to kill us all and eat our skins during every lighting set up, but our boss just stayed calm, tried to be as clear as he could about where he wanted stuff, was cheerful when things changed, and just generally behaved like a little ray of sunshine.
And that, I think, is what made the set of death only moderately annoying and not killing spree inducing.
Our director, who’s normally very efficient, ground to a halt in the set of death and what should have been an 11 hour day turned into a 13 hour extravaganza.
I’m on a different show tomorrow, which, of course, is shooting across town near where I used to live, and also of course, has a call time that’s at the height of the rush hour traffic.
I’m off to bed.