Zombie flicks must be 'in' these days...not that they were ever really out-of-style.
Oh, I don't mean movies that are about zombies, I mean the ones where the cast and crew are
zombified by the shooting schedule.
I shouldn't complain, really; twelve-hour days and strange, wandering schedules are the norm and we're
all used to that (and worse). This weekend was just a little tougher than most, but not because of the shoot itself.
Partly it was because I had the all-day conference on the Legal Aspects of Film and Video Production during the day...and
shoots that ran from shortly before sunset to shortly after dawn during the night, and even more than that it was because
of all the time I spent not doing anything.
For the conference, I was mostly doing technical and miscellaneous support stuff, which wasn't really all that demanding,
especially once the speakers were set up and running. If I'm giving a talk, I can stay awake and alert
forever; it's when I'm sitting there idling in the back when the lack of sleep sneaks up behind me and starts poking me
repeatedly in the back.
I finish up at the conference and get off to the shoot, where the call time is 7:00PM. No problem...except it wasn't
until 3:00AM that there was anything to do...at which point I felt I was feeling tired and out-of-it enough
that I felt that I couldn't blow anybody up safely. Killing the actors is generally frowned upon even in low-budget
productions and I'm pretty sure it's against union rules. Worst of all, though, it doesn't look "real" to the audience.
But since the scenes that didn't involve explosives had been finished up on Saturday night, on Sunday evening
everybody was ready to go. That made it a lot easier to stay awake and alert...and best of all, though we worked
through the night until after the sun was coming up, there was not a single misfire or even the slightest timing problem
with any of the explosives. Whew!
Which all comes back to what we learned from the movies that are intentionally zombie flicks: non-zombies
are much easier to shoot than the walking undead.