Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's a wrap... Part Two.

No... the show is still wrapped, that hasn't changed. Except... that's not entirely accurate. While it's true the actors are gone and the make-up people have packed up their trowels and brushes, and the directors and (some of the) writers are spending the day trying on dresses, getting their hair done or shopping for souvenirs, there is still, at this very moment, a band of intrepid film makers: a producer, a director, a DOP, a couple of camera, gaffer and grip types who are hard at work shooting pick ups and establishing shots and all the minutiae that somehow fell between the cracks while primary photography was going on.

They are The Second Unit... think of the A-Team... only tougher. Many of this crew were working (in addition to the 12hourday5dayweek (Saturdays and Sundays when the rest of us were in rolling around in bed complaining how tired we were.

It's all the more impressive that they are shooting today after the exciting day we had yesterday.

It began early, at the corner of Burrard and Pender right in the middle of downtown. Peter and Susan, our locations people, managed to get a great office building and plaza to shoot a big musical number that will be prominently featured in the next season. There were lights, choreography, music playback and something like 50 extras. The circus, (the place where all the performers’ trailers and the catering truck are) was about two blocks away so there was a constant flow back and forth between it and the four locations nearby.

Having so many factors to consider there was something bound to go wrong... and it did. But what makes it all the more incredible to me... is that they actually planned for something unforseen to go wrong and we prepared for whatever unexpected thing to go wrong did... what the hell?

In this case we lost an hour or more to this major air conditioning unit from an adjacent building that choose this one scene-- the only scene with synched dialogue in our entire day-- to do whatever it is that air conditioning systems for fifty story office towers do. It made filming in the location impossible.

What did we do? And by we, I mean not me (who stood there holding a box of belts-- another story for another time) but I mean these teams of men and women in tank tops and khaki shorts who literally erased any trace of our presence in that place and set us up inside in a location for which they had planned, in case it rained, or snowed, or the neighbouring office tower decided to start snoring.

So while that was being set up we (and by we I mean not me, but an entirely different team of men and women in tank tops and khaki shorts) set up other shots, originally slated for later in the day. So our last shot of the day was actually second last and our third last shot was actually the last.

When the last shot of the day was done there was much cheering and clapping. There were plenty of hugs both sincere and showbiz in nature, and a couple of tears, which seemed entirely genuine.

I missed the wrap last year, and I'm glad I came back these last few weeks for this one. There’s a real sense of accomplishment and family. And I'm glad to say, even though like any family there are occasional arguments and hurt feelings, it's not a dysfunctional one. It's a family that works very hard together and takes pride in one another's accomplishments.

At least it looks that way from where I sit. I’m feeling very excited about the show this year, and I think our pride isn’t immodest but earned.

I guess we’ll see in six months or so.

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