If you've never been on a film set, you might be surprised to learn that it's mostly a very boring experience. Sure, the occasional shot requires a great deal of exciting machinery and on-set wizardry that is a joy to behold and take part in, but a lot of time spent shooting a movie is time spent twiddling your thumbs, waiting for other people to finish whatever it is they're doing. It's been a long-established military adage that war is 'long periods of boredom punctured with short periods of terror', and filmmaking can be described in very similar terms. Here's what everyone gets up to in their 'long periods of boredom':

1) Find out where the tea / coffee / food / sweets come from

This is the vital first step for anyone arriving on a film set. Sugar is important when you're on your feet 12+ hours a day.

OK team, to get to the canteen first we need to go through the costume department, up to the top of the studio, abseil down the side and then a quick leap across the canal. You fall, you get left behind - no namby-pamby bullshit here.

OK team, to get to the canteen first we need to go through the costume department, up to the top of the studio, abseil down the side and then a quick leap across the canal. You fall, you get left behind - no namby-pamby bullshit here.

2) Realise that everyone knows everyone - apart from you

The film industry - especially the independent film industry - is a very small world. On any given set, it is likely that most of the crew will have worked together on numerous projects before.

Forever alone

Forever alone

3) Try too hard to make friends with everyone

You're about to spend 3 solid weeks in each other's company. You don't know it yet, but you'll be sick of the sight of them by the end of it.

Friends?

Friends?

4) Bump into a light stand. Feel time slow down as it wobbles.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Fly-you-fools_clink_large

5) Drop something and feel you're going to get fired

This is why you do not touch things that are not your department - even if you're just trying to help.

UHOh

6) Make hilarious puns based on the name of the movie / director

This is what we did on the set of our movie, 'Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey', directed by Ate de Jong, who also directed Drop Dead Fred. Look at the tape on the camera.

Hee hee hee 'Drop Dead Red'

Hee hee hee 'Drop Dead Red'

7) Revere / Despise the 1st AD

While a Director being crap at their job means the movie will be crap when it's finished, a 1st AD being crap at their job means misery for everyone on set for the duration of the shoot. Depending on how good / bad they are, you will wind up trying to kill / adopt them.

The crew had had enough of this 1st. Off with his head (once we've wrapped, of course)

The crew had had enough of this 1st. Off with his head (once we've wrapped, of course)

8) Make friends with the sound guys

Don't ask me why, but in my experience sound guys are always the quietest, nicest, most helpful people on-set. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they spend a lot of time quietly reflecting on sounds only they can hear.

Your friendly local sound man. Incomprehensible equipments comes standard.

Your friendly local sound man, Nigel Albermaniche. Incomprehensible equipment comes as standard.

9) Fall in love with the actors

Ah, those beautiful, tall, charismatic people that make the fairest of crew members look like semi-human demics. Their perfect smiles, charming manner, statuesque bodies... Like civilised elves visiting a world of orcs.

Look at these pretty, careless, happy assholes

Look at these pretty, careless, happy assholes

10) Fall out of love with the actors

This one happens quite often, apparently:

ACTOR: Can I have some water?
RUNNER: (Handing the actor a fresh bottle) Sure, here you go.
ACTOR: (Giving the bottle right back) Can you open it for me?
RUNNER: (Screams internally and pictures shoving water bottle through actor's eyeballs) Yep!

The more films you do, the better your asshole antenna becomes

The more films you do, the better your asshole antenna becomes

11) Try to make other crew members laugh during takes

Classic

Classic

12) Talk about the wrap party (which isn't going to be that good)

The truth is that, after a few weeks of 12-hour days (and maybe some night shoots too) all you really want is a mug of Horlicks and your childhood toys back.

PARTY_314964_409518

13) Freak out when the AD calls 'Wrap!'

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

bird_girl

14) Sit down and feel like your legs are floating away

Ahhh. Bring me the wine and let me never rise again.

Ahhhhhh...bliss.

15) Miss it and hope you'll do it all again soon

Filmmaking is torture. Sweet, fulfilling, creative torture. And we love it.

headcam

 

Orestes Kouzof
Orestes grew up in Greece and studied Drama at the University of East Anglia, but despite this has still managed to get a job. His various other experiences include working as a technician at the Norwich Playhouse, writing screenplays (one of them won an award!), articles and Theatre & Film reviews (only the capitalised sort though) and doing lots and lots of Theatre, as an actor and a technician.
In 2011, while he was still a student, he interned at Raindance and was subsequently hounded and begged to return [citation needed] for a few months in 2012 as a penniless graduate. Eventually, he succumbed to the incessant job offers [citation needed] and took his current position in marketing, where he helps spread the word about the courses and the festival.
Orestes is also Hire Manager for Raindance's rehearsal rooms and regular contributor of articles and reviews, both during the festival and around the year. In the future he hopes to stay alive and working in the creative industries in some way or another!