You ever been on a film set? It's a world all to itself...like nothing else.
It's like being stranded on an island with it's own society that has it's own language, rules and expectations. It's kinda amazing.
And if you live in that world you know that regular people can never understand the life we lead. Especially, if it's an away job - on some location far away from our natural habitat. Not that it has to be many miles away. A movie set is always far away from a regular life experience, no matter where we shoot.
However, for the past month I've been shooting in another state, and beyond that, the set has absolutely no phone service and there has been minimal time for emailing and blogging. The only way I'm able to get the time/service to write this post is by not sleeping after an 14 hour day that ended Saturday morning. I came home for a short weekend (time outside the bubble). And even though most of my weekend is spent preparing to return to the bubble, I decided to forgo sleep so I could write, while out of the bubble, to try to express the wonders of the movie industry.
Making a movie is nothing like anyone would imagine. The hours are brutal (we consider 12 hour days, a short day) and when we have a 9am call (start time) we consider it a late start -- so partying ensues the night before any day, but especially a "late call" day. Days start anywhere from 4am to 4pm (depending on if we need the light of the sun or the dark of the night for exterior shots that day). And we work until the work is done...no mater how long it takes - mostly.
On a movie set, each department has their own, very specific, jobs that do not overlap with other departments but dovetail with them to make each shot the best it can be. Like a beehive with each worker bee (department) working on only their task. This makes for a very efficient team - as long as each department is skilled in their particular duties. We work separately but in coordination with each other to get the job done.
Movies don't generally take place at only one location, so we are much like the circus or like carnies...moving everything swiftly from place to place - carrying our show with us. Movie people are mobile!
But that's just the job part of the bubble, which sets the hierarchy of the mini-culture of a set. Then there's the social factors that create this world, where people who have never met before are suddenly working closely, trusting each other to make it all happen.
Instant intimacy occurs, fast-friendships are developed within days of shooting and secrets are not secretes. Everyone plays hard together after each day of shooting...so everything and everyone you experience happens inside this bubble.
It's truly a world of movie magic, because the passion of making something creative colors the mood or the milieu of the set culture. There is nothing in this creative bubble world that is impossible. And we insiders have no choice but to live in the moment. We know that we will never have this specific experience with these same people, or this same project again. It is a finite world. Each set culture lasts as long as it takes to shoot it and then it is gone.
So, if you've missed me lately, thinking that I've been radio silent...that's where I've been. I'm going back to the bubble now...see you on the other side!!