terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Things I Learnt from Making a Movie

After eleven hours in the still sweltering heat of the late morning and afternoon, at the shoot of the movie I'm supposed to be documenting, here's what I've learnt:

1. Apparently I am to be treated as a fourth uncle thrice removed on the set. I arrive, no one briefs me and I'm left to my own devices. Most of the day I'm ignored and no one knows what I'm there for (or I'm ignored). Did I mention that I was largely ignored? Luckily, I was prepared for such eventualities (I chose, this time, not to aggravate the peevishly petty people I have to deal with on the set) and I brought along my cellphone, which happens to have a radio and I was able to entertain myself without resorting to the use of either hand.

At best, I've made contact with the gaffer, Zul. At worst, I'm left to lunch with X, who, fortunately, happens to work in the vicinity, and I have to buy drinks on my own. On a hot day.

Also, apparently, our role on the shoot is to be mind-readers as well, because I was told that I was supposed to bring the shots home, download them onto my computer and then burn a CD for them and then submit said CD to the liaison the next day. Yeah, right, because I know that I only need hand over the CD the next day, that's why I brought along my 4.3 kg PowerBook today to burn the images onto the CD on the spot and not hand the damned thing over to the liaison the next day.

Which is another challenge, because the schedule has changed so much, that, what was current only two weeks ago has gone the way of the dodo.

And tomorrow, I have a whole new schedule to play with.

Uh, right. If that's how you want it played. Sure.

What? I'm not happy doing this anymore? How can you tell?

2. While being bored out of my head on the set, I managed to calculate the following things (because of the need to close down the road for sound takes, traffic had to be shut down for a while, and it was during this time that I learnt):

- 90% of the drivers who horned impatiently happened to be taxi drivers. More interestingly, the remaining 10% of drivers were owners of Mercedes Benz Arse- (sorry, S-) series cars;

- 75% of the drivers who displayed various levels of irritability and restlessness had various religious symbols displayed prominently in or on their cars; and

- 100% of the drivers who failed to obey the helpful traffic hand signs from the crew were women.

How's that?

3. That having a sign on the back of your car that says "Baby On Board" isn't going to save said baby any more from the recklessness of other drivers than the stupidity of said baby's own parents who chose to have the baby in the front seat with the mother, and no seat belts.


  • At 10:24 PM, August 31, 2004, Blogger NARDAC said…

    funny how everybody thinks that shooting a film is anything less than fully chaotic and boring, and that a million and a half assistants only make the logistics of the it all more, uhm, challenging???

    sorry terse to rag, but the film industry, unless you're the great and stress-out director, is quite a thankless sector...that's why everybody has to walk around pretending to be important.

    but, cheer up...you can take twenty minute pee breaks in between the shoots and you don't have to fuss about taking up and down the lighting.


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