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Take 56: With Abbey on Set

Now, I don’t want you to assume from this video that an actor’s life is super easy. We get picked up at 5 am and we wait around most of the day (and there isn’t always a table tennis table to keep us amused).  We freeze for hours in winter shooting summer scenes. Then we spend August sweating into thick costumes and fur coats! We wear uncomfortable ill-fitting shoes or corsets pulled tight. We may or may not have time to eat lunch. It takes hours to do our hair so we can’t lay down or sit back because we might ruin it. We have to be prepared to do an emotional scene twenty times if necessary, sitting in frozen mud, covered in sticky fake blood, with snot running down our faces.

But without a doubt, we get it easiest.

First on set are the makeup and wardrobe girls. They have to get up around 3 am each day. They get everyone ready (including all the extras) and then have to be on set the whole day fixing our makeup and clothes between each take. A normal shooting day is 12 hours. But can be as much as 17 hours. And when the actors are back at the hotel sipping wine, they have to wash the costumes, sew buttons, prepare wigs, and clean makeup brushes. They get to their hotel at around 10 pm and will be picked up the next day at 3 am again. And you know what? They have a smile on their faces every single day. It’s amazing.

And then there’s the AD and the 2nd AD. The AD is the Assistant Director and he/she is responsible for everything that happens on set. Everyone must know where they should be and what they should be doing.. all day long. He/she gets each shot ready and looks after the extras.  We have been working for a month on this shoot now and I have never seen our AD sit down or take a break.

But even more amazing in the 2nd AD. She is up with the makeup girls and in bed after them. No matter what question I have, she finds an answer. She looks after everyone all the time and knows what is going on at all times. I would love to be that organized one day…

So many people are involved in every single movie you watch. The credits go on for like ten minutes sometimes. And each one of them is working long hours for days on end. And always with a smile.

I wouldn’t want to work in any other industry.

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