Day Two – Life of the Producer

Well, today has been quite the day! It started with a drive to the studio from the Cupboard, which due to roads and traffic took just under an hour. Coming from an island where you can drive anywhere in about twenty minutes, an hour drive is a long time.

The four other producers and I met at the studio office at just before 5am. A few were cloudy headed but all in bright spirits. The conversation started nervous and stilted like so many work place conversations I have had before. I soon changed that and we are now straight talking with each other. This can only help going forward!

The camera guy (Tall Jackson) and the light guy (Short Round) arrived at about 6am and went straight to the floor. The first shots will be shot on Saturday and they want to make sure they are ready for them. These two are professionals, and I am glad to have their sound knowledge and advice on tap.

At 7am we broke for coffee, and everyone ended up in the producers office. It was a nice time, the so called calm before the storm before the talent showed up. Both Tall Jackson and Short Round wished me luck with that.

Five of the Nine main stars (Eight expected today) showed up nice and early. These were the five who also shot the pilot with me, and are the only five (apart from me) who have come from that to this. It was good to see them again and as we recounted the ‘made on a dime way’ we shot the pilot, the professionals in the room rolled their eyes and sighed.

The sixth turned up a little later, a last minute replacement. I had a good chat with him about the roll. He is nervous and shy, but I will take that over loud and brash any day. The original five took him under their wing. Two of the producers whisked them off to their hotel.

It was around this time that a well groomed woman came bursting into the office, demanding to know who owned the van with the all number number plates. When I said I did she demanded I drive her to some antique shops and an auction. Before I agreed I thought it prudent to ask who she was. She is the set designer / dresser, with a list of awesome credits behind her. She never asked who I was. I called her Mrs Bucket, to which she responded ‘it’s bouquet dear’. A shared grin and we both liked each other a little better.

The outing to a lovely small Welsh town was nice. Going in and out of antique shops with Mrs Bucket was a laugh and a half, and I was never sure when she was toying with me, the shop owners, or just being her self. The only time I managed to make her stop in her tracks was when I introduced myself to a shop keeper as a professional horse jockey (if you have seen me you know how absurd an idea that is). Her ability to see something and see what she could use it for is amazing.

The auction was back in Cardiff, and we purchased a large amount of swords, walking sticks and one awful looking table. Getting it all in the van was fun, as was hoping not to get stopped by the police with a van full of swords. When I asked what the table was for all Mrs Bucket did was wink at me with an evil grin on her face.

We arrived back at the studio shortly after 4pm. Mrs Bucket got two of the other producers to help her unload the van and went about dressing up the already fantastic sets. Shortly after we all stopped for some fried chicken and a chat (Mrs Bucket did not partake of the chicken!). While away the seventh main actor had arrived, and we had a note explaining the delay of the eighth. He should be here by the first table read tomorrow.

While I was away it would seem the costume and makeup department turned up and measured and fixed up all the costumes. I get to meet them tomorrow afternoon, Short Round says it is an experience.

The day ended with a large meal in a pub. The majority of the crew did not come along, leaving me and Grinning Kitten (the main producer in my eyes) to have fun with the actors. Mrs Bucket did come, and after a few drinks she twigged I was the writer who had tagged himself on as producer as well. This made her laugh and state she will giving me a much harder time going forward. I don’t know what that means, but I am sure it can’t be good.

There is a dark side to the day; the director was never seen, and he was meant to be at the studio all day. Grinning Kitten had made many calls throughout the day with no response. She assures me everything is ok. When we left the pub she was still working on it. As I write this I have no idea if we have a problem or not, but no point worrying on it until I know for sure.

Tomorrow we go through the first table reads of all the episodes in order, followed by detailed readings and instructions for the shots being filmed on Saturday and Sunday. This will be our first full day. I wonder what it will be like?

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