Supporting Artiste


7th August 2015

Day 8 – The Half-Day

The day before any filming day, some poor soul makes what we call a call sheet. This fabled slab paper, is the bible to the crew on the shooting day as it has all the information such as call times, wrap times, important crew numbers, script, etc. but more importantly it has meticulously planned out the entire filming day from how long it’ll take the principles to go through costume/make-up process and getting to set, to not only what scenes are being filmed today but also in what order.

So, what happens when the 3rd A.D. looks at this call sheet on the day and notices that the SA’s aren’t needed for the 2nd half of the day? You guessed it! Half-day shoot! Now, as much as the prospect of getting paid for a full day and being told you can go home at 11:30 is a rare and exciting to hear but frankly I was a little bit infuriated by this. Only a little.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the position I’m in in this weird, wonderful, crazy, boring industry. But on this production I’m slowly getting worn down by the excess cleaning which has become a daily requirement.

The normal routine of this particular job seems to consists of:

  1. driving to set,
  2. getting in costume,
  3. get covered in fake dirt (which is giving me dermatitis which I’ve never had before),
  4. get hair slobbed in texture glue to make it look unkempt and greasy,
  5. get teeth stained to look rotten/yellow,
  6. walk onto set,
  7. conduct day,
  8. get out of costume, not bothering to take off fake dirt as it’s applied with spirit-based make-up so baby-wipes don’t touch it,
  9. drive home looking homeless,
  10. jump in the shower,
  11. wash hair twice,
  12. scrub the silver from the chain-mail off my neck until it goes red-raw and pray it goes back to a more-human colour by the time I next see a human being which will be the costume girls the next morning at 8am.

Now with all this is mind, you can imagine why I was a little annoyed when number 7 “conduct day” consisted of only a tiny fragment of material from my left shoulder possibly in view at the end of a very long, narrow corridor with 4 other guards around me and a few other principles blocking in the view of the camera.

Again, I love my job, but to be told we could go home after this small scene made me genuinely ask “Really? Is that it?” Oh well, at least I got the cleansing routine out of the way earlier than usual and spent my evening playing the weird, wild and downright outrageous No Time To Explain. Always got to think about the positives!

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