One of the things that directors never, ever think about but really should is how long it takes to move a 100+ person crew (and the associated equipment) when a show’s doing company moves (starting the day’s work at one location, then packing up and moving to an entirely different location).
Once the ADs call “we’re on the move”, we have to gather all our equipment, pack it onto our carts, walk the location to make sure we didn’t lose anything expensive, push the carts to the truck, load the carts, find a van and then travel.
All of this, as you might imagine, doesn’t happen instantaneously.
Today, we started out at one of Los Angeles’ many abandoned hospitals – we were shooting in the basement, and because the DP likes to see the whole world, we had to rig our lights into the dropped ceiling (not that difficult, but time-consuming).
Our intrepid director shot right up until lunch, and since we were just a teensy bit undermanned we couldn’t go eat lunch and then come back (after lunch, we would be needed to work the new set) so we had to wrap, load our carts onto a stakebed and then download before we could eat. Which was fine, except that the company broke for lunch about half an hour before we did.
The problem with this became apparent when it was time to go back to work and start lighting. They rehearsed, blocked and were ready to light, and all of lighting and grip were still at lunch for another 20 minutes.
The solution proposed by a very frazzled UPM was to have grip and electric take a half hour lunch (as opposed to the hour everyone else had), so we’d be back to work along with everyone else.
So that’s what we did.
We cut our lunch short to keep the day on schedule – because we’d all rather have that time at the end of the day when our feet hurt and we’re tired and want to go home.