I worked 5 full days Thursday(7am-4pm), Friday(6am-2pm), Monday(6am-4pm), Tuesday(10am-11pm), and Wednesday(2pm-12pm) on a commercial for an insurance company… didn’t get paid a cent and I’m glad.
Locations: Thursday(Abandoned Hotel), Friday(Sound Stage), Monday(Pool and Outside a Church), Tuesday(store fronts in eagle rock, Park and Gym), Wednesday(Dinner, Apt complex, and closed down two streets for car crash.)
The first day I showed up on set was a quick learning experience. I knew what time I was supposed to get there and where I was supposed to park… but after that I just had to guess and play it confident in order to walk on to set. Luckily, I saw a bunch of trucks and the Loader getting some gear ready in the back of one as I walked up. From that point on I stuck mostly with the Loader.
My contact, the 1st AC, was almost always with the DP, where all the action was, so I did my best to stay out of the way and decided that I’d learn how to be a loader. That turned out to be a great decision, the loader was supper helpful and had time to teach me things. He put me to work right away on preparing labels for the film.
For each film stock used during the production we used a different color of tape to label, first the unused canister, then the loaded mag, and finally the exposed film to be processed. The loader put me to work creating the labels that would travel with the film through the whole process. This is exactly what I wanted to know how to do.
Below is an example of what I wrote out (but spread out a little more):
400′ “State Farm” M# | R#
3/31/09 BISCUIT LI |
Film length; Production Name; Mag #; Roll#
Stock# – specific # for each film roll
Date; Production Company; Loader’s Initials
We had several film mags and each one was numbered. Once film was loaded into a mag the loader would remove the label from the film canister and stick it on the the mag and write the mag# on the label under M#. This was so that if during processing something was found wrong with the film, like a scratch, we would know what mag may have caused it and could replace it.
The Roll # was written on the label right after or before being loaded on to the camera, the roll number keeps track of what number load is in use. A1, A2, A3, A4… these roll numbers continue til the end of the production. “A” is for camera A… if there were two cameras it might go A1, B2, A3, A4, B5…
It was a good day with incredible food!!!! Breakfast and Lunch were served out of a catering truck and it was really good! If it had been at a restaurant the entree would have probably cost $30. Good tasting.
I learned tons more details like the labeling above but instead of boring you… more, I’ll list some highlights.
- Learned how and loaded a good number of dummy rolls in the dark room.
- Worked with HydroFlex gear and tech, which allows the camera to go underwater.
- Helped to create a Film Inventory spreadsheet which saves a lot of time
- Prepped the camera and the camera carts one morning by myself
- Closed down an intersection in front of the Clean House HQ to stage a night crash scene! Awesome
- Made friends
- Gave my contact info to the Production Manager to PA
- Ate lots of really really good food.