There is a simple phrase that only three people on a film set like to hear. Those three persons being the producer, the assistant director, and any director crunched for time. In the ears of any camera assistant, however, that same phrase means bad news bears. The phrase, of course, adorns the title of this article.
Tales from the Front Lines of Movie Making
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We were creeping up on 12 hours with about 5 more pages to shoot and I was beat; Dead tired and ready to go home. There was no overtime and no 2nd meal and this was not the first time we had gone over schedule on this production. To say this production was rough would be an underestimation
Saying goodbye is always bittersweet, but was especially so on this film. I had felt mentored by many of the crew who had put up with my naiveté and as such I grew to become good friends with many of them over the course of the month.
I arrived on set for Day 1 early in the morning after a nice 40-minute commute to our location in Leesburg. I liked the drive, it gave me a chance to wake up and to consider everything. I had spent the night before pounding into my head as much as I could fit from my camera assistant’s “bible” and was ready to hit the ground running.
A couple of weeks ago I was called for a short film being shot entirely on a Steadicam with a RED One camera. The RED One is a heavy camera, so I was prepared for a bit of tweaking during our prep, but I wasn’t expecting the amount of DIY we’d really have to do.
Directed by Lisa Crawford with cinematography by Kuni Ohi, “Heather” tells the story of a lonesome woman who is deeply in love with her cat and constantly trying to avoid interaction with other people, especially men.
Anybody and everybody who has worked on a film set knows the sinking feeling that can happen when the days start to run long. People get cranky, tempers rise and irritations can burst from nowhere.
The following story is the first in a series of entries exploring Evan’s experience with his first job on a film set working as the 2nd Assistant Camera for “Ghosts Don’t Exist.” The series is divided into three parts: Pre-Production, Production and Aftermath. The “My Summer as a Camera Assistant” series will expand longer to the other films that Evan worked on.