Over on The Black and Blue Facebook page, I asked followers to share a story about the worst thing that ever happened to them on a film set. The answers – whether scary or funny – show that we all have our bad days on set and, yes, sometimes it could be worse!
Tales from the Front Lines of Movie Making
Most Recent Articles in "Production Stories"
If you’ve ever been anywhere near a film set, it’s no secret it’s a male-dominated industry. Overwhelmingly directors, producers, and crew skew toward the male gender. There are a few exceptions in stereotypical areas, like wardrobe, hair, make-up, and script supervising. But, for the most part, a film crew is comprised of a bunch of men.
He never even knew it happened. I didn’t tell him and, as far as I know, he has never found out. What effect it’s had on him, if any, I’m not even sure of. But adding him to my blacklist was something I needed to do — because I never wanted to work with him again.
What is so awesome about shooting in restaurants — good restaurants — is you get the satisfaction of a finely prepared meal without the guilt of paying for it. In fact, someone is paying you to eat it.
Even though their performance is fed through a lens and molded by an edit, there is a live performance aspect to actors in front of a camera that crew on set experience. On this stage, I’ve watched some of the most hilarious things take place. Today, I want to share three of those funniest stories with you…
Filmmakers love music. Ever since the first films were produced, there was music set to them. It’s the silver screen’s partner in crime. For film crews, well, we love music too.
As a camera assistant, my job is inherently physical, rough, and full of sweat. Meanwhile, their job is mentally draining, emotionally exhausting, and full of a different kind of pressure. At the time I envied their ice cream cones, but I didn’t bother to consider the weight on their shoulders.
One thread I’ve seen weaved throughout my career is the appearance of – to borrow a term from caving – “squeezes.” Squeezes are the nearly impossibly thin gaps between two large rocks cavers have to experience.
Producers, I think, cringe at the thought of an “early wrap.” They cringe in the same way a struggling business trembles when you bring in a 50% off coupon. Both want their money’s worth and both, though they know it’s a fair deal, can’t shake the feeling they’re getting shafted. So whenever I’m on a shoot supposedly ready to wrap early, I wait a few moments for it to really sink in.
There are also two types of squibs I’ve run into in my day: the compressed air squib and the explosive squid. Each has their advantages and disadvantages (mainly cheap vs. pricey), but there’s a good reason why I have always considered compressed air squibs to be a waste of time. Here’s that story.