And How Do You Like Show Biz Now?

14 10 2005

Peggy Archer writes a blog that, despite her protestations, is an interesting look behind the scenes at the way that film and television is actually made. She is a crew member (electrician) who floats through shows like BONES and GREY’S ANATOMY and features.

In today’s entry she reminds people that filmmaking isn’t really as glamorous as everyone thinks it is. She talks about the endless waiting that is involved in filmmaking. A quote –

I blog about stuff that happens to me – but there’s a lot of time in between that stuff, and most of it’s spent waiting.

Waiting for talent.
Waiting on camera.
Waiting on lunch.
Waiting to see if they’re going to move on.
Waiting for the AD’s to call ‘cut’ so I can turn the page of the newspaper.
Waiting on the sun to go down so we can light the night exterior.
Waiting for no fucking reason at all.

Even rigging (setting up for the shooting crew) involves waiting:

Waiting to be let into the location.
Waiting for equipment to be delivered.
Waiting on the truck to show up so we can load it.
Waiting for the rigging gaffer to tell us what to do.
Waiting for the guys ‘up high’ to send the rope back down so we can tie on another load of cable.
Waiting on paperwork from the rental house.

I’d say that, on average, about 70% of my day is spent waiting.

This difference between perception and reality comes up even in the editing room. There is, in fact, usually one moment during the course of the post production process when we’re sitting in an editing room or outside a lab at 2am, waiting for something to happen… or hauling a print of a film out of a preview theatre in Bumfuck, Ohio at midnight after we’ve sat around listening to the brilliant filmgoers tell the focus group leader just what was wrong in Act 3… or whatever…

But there’s usually one moment where I turn to the director or producer or studio person or my assistant and say “So, how do you like show biz now?”

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