Some of you have been asking what an average day is like for me at the moment. I don’t know why you want to know, this is just a job after all. But to sate the curious (and hoping none of you were cats, as I can’t have that on my conscience), I will go through what a day looks like.
My day starts at around 4am where I attempt to get ready in the Cupboard without feeling used and abused. This is often accompanied by me hitting my elbows and knees on hard surfaces and cursing loudly. It is not graceful, and in no way is it pretty.
By 5am I am at the studio. Usually not the first but I am among the early arrivals. Tall Jackson and Short Round are normally in before me, getting their equipment set up and checked. While they are doing that the New Director, Grinning Kitten and I will go through the scheduled shots for today and the next day. Today so we know what we are doing and the next day so we can schedule everyone we need for tomorrow. We also have breakfast as we work. This normally lasts until around 7am.
By this time the rest of the cast and crew are normally shuffling in for free food and, for those that need it, time in the hair and makeup trailer. Between 7am and 9am there is normally a good flow of traffic through the office as people come in to see say hello and prepare for the day.
Just before 9am the orders go out for the coffee run, with everyone (save some of the cast) taking their turn to do the coffee run. This is normally a three person job, but depending on who orders in any given day it can sometimes take six people to ferry all the coffees back.
At 9am we all meet on the floor to go through the schedule for the day, including listing any re-shoots we may need to redo. Everybody can have their say here on if anything needs to be changed or rescheduled. Most days this is an easy meeting, some days (especially with more awkward shots) this can become quite long and heated. This meeting never goes past 9:45, as shooting starts at 10am.
From 10am to about 2pm we are shooting. How many minutes of footage we get depends on what it is we are shooting and how complicated it is. We have three cameras (yes we are back to three cameras!) and we try to capture each scene in one go from three angles. Sometimes this is not possible so a conversation between six people may need to be shot six times so we have footage of everybody. A little tedious but that is the process.
Once the wide shots (master shots I believe they are called) are done everything is then reset for any closeups we may need. It is rare for us as most scenes are fairly simple, but in the first 4 hour filming window we may come out with only 2 minutes of actual run time.
These four hours can either be fast paced and hectic, or long and slow. Again this depends on how many resets we need and how long these take. Every reset is a time to drink, eat or pee.
Assuming we are on schedule 2pm till 3pm is break time. Here everybody is free to wander off and relax. If we are not schedule this break time is cancelled and we just carry on.
It has become usual for New Director, Grinning Kitten and myself to use this time to make sure we have what we need in terms of footage, and to make sure everybody who needs to be here for the afternoon filming window is here. If there is no break then New Director stays on the floor and Grinning Kitten and Myself chase everybody else up.
3pm till 7pm is the next shooting window and follows the same pattern as above.
7pm till 8pm is second break. Shooting always stops at 7pm (or thereabouts) to give everybody time to actually have a break. It is very usual for this to be the first break of the day. During this time we eat and tick back the list of shots, as well as identify any re-shoots we may need. If we are not finished for the day then shooting starts again at 8pm until we are done.
On the good days the majority of the cast and crew leave at 8pm as all shooting is done for the day.
For those that don’t it is time to actually watch the footage filmed that day to make sure we have everything we need and that it all looks good. Although we can have anywhere from 4 minutes to half an hour of run time footage, we will end up with at least three hours of footage to scrub through.
Any shots that need to be redone are listed and texts sent to any cast affected, as well as any additional crew who may have not been needed otherwise. If there are a lot of re shoots then the cast will be called in for a 6am filming start, but we try to avoid this as much as possible.
By 11pm (sometimes later) the day is done and it is back to the Cupboard for a few winks before it all starts again!