Friday, December 22, 2006

New Years resolution: do not kill local actors

Yesterday, I had to coordinate my first all-day full-cast last-minute press shoot. Two days before the Xmas weekend.

It didn’t start off too badly. The cast coordinator and photographer were there at 7:30am, as promised. The set stylist and wardrobe artist were late. The main actor was late. Then the cast coordinator told me she had never seen the schedule before… the schedule that I sent out on Tuesday. This was a problem, because she had failed to inform the main actor that he would be needed all day. Main actor had other plans (like picking his parents up from the airport, two days before the Xmas weekend). It’s not exactly like I could’ve told him to stuff his family plans, it wasn’t his fault his fekking production company had failed to pass on his schedule.

It’s my fault really. When I sent out the full day proposed schedule and call times, I probably should’ve pointed out in the email that both were attached on different sheets on the same Xcel workbook. Oh wait. I did. I probably should’ve resent the schedule the day before, just in case. Oh wait. I did. You see, it’s my fault really. I didn’t put enough effort into my communication.

So at 8:30am my entire production shoot fell apart. The cast group shots that I was supposed to get were stuffed. The show is called Joseph’s Burden. Without Joseph it’s just a burden really. My burden.

I also established that the cast and crew had had their year-end party the night before. So they were all irritable and wanted to leave as soon as they arrived, which was a bit tricky as we were due to shoot (as stated on my carefully planned schedule) until 6:30pm.

Then the prima donna of the show called to say she couldn’t make her 2pm call time, so she was coming now, at 10am and ‘I would just have to fit her in.’ Awesome. What part of SCHEDULE don’t these people understand?

I should’ve just sent out an email the day before saying, “Open invite! Please stop by whenever it suits you. We look forward to seeing you! Ps. You’re all on a local South African production. Don’t kid yourselves; you have not hit the big time.”

By 11:30 I was juggling the main actor who had to leave by 11:30, another actress leaving by 11 (who had, in fairness, told me of her other plans two days in advance), and a fekking drama queen who was three hours early and only wanted pictures taken from this angle, to be published in this paper, with this information. Oh and can she have some coffee. I pointed to the kettle. She didn’t appreciate that.

‘Tis the season to be jolly (and not think murderous thoughts).

By midday I was still trying to placate actors who had not been told that it was an all day shoot. The make up artist, the set stylist, the wardrobe artist and the cast coordinator had all fallen asleep in the studio.

By 1pm, I was playing cast coordinator because the actual cast coordinator had gone home – a fact I only established when I realised that actors weren’t being picked up or dropped off at the studio anymore.

All in all, a very successful day. Three more sleeps til Christmas!

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