The Futility of Planning
Now, when a production books you for work, they will put you on a pencil which is a fancy term for a heavy-maybe. They will then get back to you at a later date to say whether you are booked or no. The problem with this industry is even a booking is technically still a mild-definitely It is very rare to be cancelled from a booking as the production have so many factors to consider, not just SA wise, but weather, scenes, where the principles are in the world etc. So 90% of the time, it creates more work to move scenes around and if they don’t tell the agency in time, they’re legally obligated to pay the artiste a cancellation fee (half-day pay). It happens more-so with smaller productions, struggling to adhere to tight time schedules on a small budget, whereas the larger productions have so much care and planning going into them it’s all pretty much set in stone as soon as it’s announced.
This was not one of those weeks.
We were originally told we’d have 3 days in succession; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. However when we arrived we were told that the Tuesday had now be dropped all together and the Wednesday has been postponed until Monday next week. Which was a pain to miss out on some work, however not as gutted as a few of the guys who had booked hotel rooms.
Just goes to show you really cannot gaurentee days, regardless of how concrete the production is or how reliable they’e been for you previously. A few years ago I was booked on a drama where the 2nd AD booked a hotel room for me as a commute from Cardiff to Kent was exorbitant for 2 days work. Luckily for me the production picked up the hotel tab as soon as I got there I was told I wasn’t needed for the 2nd day.
It just goes to show how brittle and disposable we really are and unfortunately it does happen.
Still the day was rather pleasant apart from the peeved aura from a few of my fellow SA’s. Apart from an ass-hat who I mentioned in a previous post got changed from a peasant to a Knight. Which wouldn’t be so bad but I got put with him in a scene…
The 3rd AD dressing us on set was fairly new and, being a guard, wouldn’t be walking with a knight as they’re normally in pairs. I tried to make this fact aware to her: not just to be a professional in terms of continuity, but also as I wanted an excuse to get away from this inbred pleb. You know what else? He had the audacity to tell me, that I should just do as I’m told. How I did not release a barrage of abuse towards the hypocritical, piss-poor excuse for an SA and oxygen thief I do not know. After the first rehearsal, the 2nd AD noticed the error with a guard and Knight walking together and I was swapped out for another knight. So ultimately, I was right and if that condescending reject from the Jeremy Kyle holding pen tells me how to do my job, regardless if I’ve got clearly more experience in the role where this was his first day, I will give him both barrels of my metaphorical rant-cannon. Honestly, I hope he never procreates.