View from the crew

Hollywood's sound stages and location crews are swamped these days. At her blog Totally Unauthorized, Peggy Archer regularly posts about what it's like from the working stiff vantage point. In today's entry, titled Stick a fork in me, I'm done, she writes:

Working 14 hour days every day is really tiring. All I really want to do at night is wash off the layer of grime and pass out for my allotted 8 hours before I have to get up and go back to work...

Tuesday - we set up for two shots in the Fox commissary (which is doubling for a Starbucks) at the end of the night. Because the director was so slow (14 hours to shoot two scenes of three people talking in a room), they scratched the shot - at the last minute, after we'd rigged it, had all the lights burning, and were sitting there waiting for the actors to walk on set. And they wonder why they're over budget.
Call time: 9:30 am
Wrap time: 11:30 pm

Wednesday - on location with a company move* from a tenement in the drug dealer infested neighborhood of Pico - Union (where an angry neighbor leaned out of his balcony and threw water on some of our lights, making one of them explode and almost kill the PA that was standing there minding his own business) to a residential area (West Adams) filled with more neighbors who were NOT happy to see us. I can totally understand this - once again, we were the victims of the slow director who took 12 hours to shoot two scenes of people talking in a room, so we got to a residential neighborhood for a night exterior at 10 pm. On a weeknight. I'm surprised they weren't shooting at us. I went up in the condor and got stung by a bee that had gotten tangled in my hair. This was at 1 am - for some reason I thought bees slept at night.
Call time: 11 am
Wrap time: 1:30 am

Thursday - the director must have gotten a talking to, because he moved considerably faster Thursday. We were back in the set of death on Stage 6, but we had an extra guy (making our crew total 8), so we didn't get peeled quite so badly.
Call time: 12:30 pm
Wrap time: 1:00 am

A company move is when the entire group sets up and strikes multiple locations in a day. She adds, "Company moves, although sometimes necessary, suck and crews hate them."


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