Thursday, May 25, 2017

Marry The Night.

"Hey moon, please forget to fall down
Hey moon, don't you go down."
-Northern Downpour Panic! At The Disco

Most people dread night shoots. Most people get a sour look on their face when they see "5pm crew call" written on the top of the prelim.*

Me? I don't mind them so much. Since I'm a night owl anyway, switching from a day schedule to a night one isn't that hard for me. Plus, unlike most days, there's a definite end in sight. The company can only shoot night scenes until sunrise, and this time of year, that usually limits us to a 12 hour day, or less. And who doesn't like the sound of that?

But sometimes, I will admit, I wish the nights were longer. Sometimes, the weather is calm and just right; the city is quiet and still; the crew is jovial and in sync with each other; and your own department is taking a rare night off from drama. Crafty is bringing in a food truck and a coffee truck, and it feels less like work and more like a social thing. Sometimes, things just click.

Sometimes, you have a moment where you sit on the back of a tailgate, surrounded by your favorite people and just shoot the shit while looking at the stars. Sometimes, you get so caught up with running around in the day time so you can get home that you miss the night and what it has to offer. The quiet and peace that it can bring. The darkness that allows the city to twinkle and shimmer.

Sometimes, with the rest of the world so quiet and asleep, you feel like you have the whole city to yourself. Sometimes, it feels like your show is in it's own happy little bubble. It's like the best parts of a good day without any interruptions from the real world.

Call me crazy, but sometimes, the night shoots changes your crew in a good way. And sometimes, it allows you to look at things in a different light. And it's times like those that I don't want the night to end.

*Preliminary Callsheet.


Michael Taylor said...

I don't think I've ever truly not wanted the night to end on a shoot, but I totally understand what you're saying here. Although I absolutely hated the idea of night work, that feeling would last right up until I actually started working... then it became fun, the crew bonding in way that feels very different from day work. And there's one thing to be said for night shoots: what we do on the set lighting crew makes all the difference in the world -- something not so obvious on a day exterior when were mostly adding some front fill to balance out the almighty fusion engine in the sky. There's also something special about seeing the eastern sky lighten at long last with the approach of dawn -- and we've all had some magical moments in that altered state once the sun appears after a long, cold night.

But the worst of the worst is then hearing the director order the DP and grips to tent in the location so we can keep filming as that sun rises ever higher in the sky...

A.J. said...

Michael - Thank you for putting into words what I failed to say in my post. ...Except for that last sentence. That's awful. Luckily, most of the time if we do a night shoot, it's for night exteriors, and there's usually not enough money in the budget for tenting the whole sky. :)

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