Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Set

This is my first major "Hollywood" feature set. When I worked for MTV I started to pick up the vernacular and the motions of a set. Going to film school made me familiar with the equipment and the positions. None of these experiences really can prepare you for the machinery of a large scale production. Every person walking around with purpose, earpieces attached, visiting the various camps. Tents stretch up and down the street, each housing equipment, monitors or people. The clock is constantly ticking, the ship that is the movie is gaining steam with Dieter, our first AD at the helm urging it on. Every second is accounted for- it's quite the surreal experience.

"Hurry up and wait" is the often used maxim of sets and I've found it to be very true so far. We've covered two scenes inside a house from every possible angle over the last few days, sometimes it can be mind numbingly boring. Over and over and over the same lines and same movements. On the flipside, when you are there when the actors first make the connection and you can see the script pages come to life- it is pretty damn inspiring.

However, as much as I enjoy my work and being a part of the crew I've realized that I need keep my head straight and focus on two goals: providing the best stills and video I possibly can and two- start to wrap my head around the question of what the hell I want to do in this business.

I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the crew that Tucker et al have assembled for this picture. The work they do on set is done well and done quickly. We have braved 95 degree heat coupled with 90 percent humidity and the crew hasn't missed a step. We all pull 12 hour days. I'm up at 5:45 and am wrapping somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30. I'm not sure I want to be pulling these sort of hours. Our first AD, Dieter, has found a way to balance his demanding work and travel schedule with a family- I'm not sure down the road I could do that. Which brings into question what road I choose. Do I pay my dues while I'm young in my early twenties to work my way up the chain of command the traditional way? Or do I do something else entirely? I'm leaning towards the latter.

The entertainment business provides plenty of options, plenty of perks and plenty of opportunities. I know that if this were my "baby" as it is for Tucker and Nils I wouldn't be having this conversation. I can very easily throw myself into my work, especially if I'm the one who created it. But having no creative input, having no say in the direction of the film drives someone like me insane. I need to have vested interest in what I work on. And I think that drive and passion will point me down the road less traveled.

We'll see.

Sidenote: New Photos and Video on the I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell website.


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