Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Cooperative obstructionism

The waning days of a rig are the most frustrating. Most of the work is done, so it’s just small tweaks – pan a light, add a gel, etc.. But since there’s more crap hanging in the air and stacked on the ground and stuff is harder to get to, the illusion of forward momentum is much harder to maintain.

Boss: “Pan that light. No, tilt it. No, wait. Dammit, that tree’s in the way. I can’t see. Stay there and I’ll get it moved”

It’s frustrating for us, it’s frustrating for the gaffer and the DP and people trying to dress the sets while we’re rolling lifts through them, and everyone else. And we can’t put anything off until tomorrow because the stage shoots tomorrow. And since all of us have to work the set, we can’t stay super late because there will be turnaround issues.

In our contracts,  we have specific turnaround times – the time between when we’re dismissed for the night and when we have to report to work in the morning. Although it can go as low as 8 hours (usually on what’s called a distant location where the crew is staying in a hotel and being driven to the set by the teamsters), it’s usually 10.

A forced call is when we’re brought back to work before that time has elapsed. When a call is forced, we start the day in whatever pay bracket we ended the last day in (double time, usually), which, as one can imagine, is expensive, so production never wants to force a call without a very, very good reason or rivers of tears from the director.

Also, it’s not good for a crew to have a call forced. We come to work tired and not at our best, which means we’re far more likely to have or cause an accident than we would be had we just gotten enough sleep.

So we tried our best not to destroy the sets as we added a few lights, changed some other lights and finally went home.

It’s as done as it’s going to get, and my main challenge tomorrow will be to stay away from the junk food at craft service.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , ,

March 2013
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