Source: J. Kristopher
So I booked a feature film and the call time was 9AM. It was NON PAYING but I felt good about it because I talked the director into using my friend as another character in the scene.
My friend and I arrived together. There weren’t any CARS around so I wasn’t sure I was at the right address. I knocked on the door to the place. The A.D. (assistant director) peeked out of the drapes with a dazed look on his face, like he’s been smoking a joint. I ALREADY KNEW WE WERE IN TROUBLE. He opens the door in boxers, “COME ON IN MAN, have a seat.”
ME: “Hey did I get the call time wrong, I thought it was 9AM.”
HIM: “No…they are going to start soon, they just wanted to actors here.”
Never in the history of projects have I ever seen actors arrive before the crew but whatever… So we are sitting there making small talk, all the while I’m thinking…..I WONDER WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING TO ARRIVE.
All of a sudden, the guy’s roommate walks out of the other bedroom (startling because I didn’t even know anyone else was home) and he yells, “DAMN IT BRO. YOU’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE DISHES!!!”
The A.D. goes to the kitchen to try to calm his roommate down, “ok ok man….I said I would get to them. We have people over.”
ROOMMATE: “GOOD I DON’T GIVE A SH*T, MAYBE THEY KNOW THAT YOU DON’T CLEAN YOUR DISHES!!! COME ON BRO!!”
My friend and I look at each other as if we were witnessing a domestic dispute. I suddenly felt like an intruder. Finally, more actors came. THEY WAITED. By now, I’m thinking DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN THE CREW or THE DIRECTOR gets here? The A.D. gets on his cell phone and starts making calls. FINALLY someone is taking charge. He leaves for about 15 minutes.
My friend looks at me like WHAT DID YOU GET ME INTO? I felt bad. I wait a little while and decide to join him outside. I walked up to the A.D. interrupting his conversation on the phone “Hey man, what did they say? Did they tell you what time they were going to be here?” He says, “Huh? Oh……I don’t know. I’m on the phone with my dad.” **Blank stare** My friend whispers, we should just go. I’m thinking, Lord knows I want to but REPUTATION is everything is this town. Someone will take this situation and PUT the blame on ME.
Finally I cave in and said, we will give the another HOUR since we planned on being here anyway. If they don’t come, we are out. Another 15 minutes goes by and I see them come up the driveway. THANK GOD! The director says, “Ok so where are we shooting? OMG!! They don’t even have their location down. This is the first time he’s seeing it. They open the garage. The director says, “Ok…ok….THIS WILL DO for a police station. All we need is a table. Did anyone bring a table?” (Did he just say police station?) Everyone just looks around at each other like WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TABLE?? Then one person speaks up and says, there is a HOME DEPOT down the street.
I exhaled…I had this HELL NO look on my face. No more waiting.
So I speak up, “excuse me mr. director, I don’t have that kind of time. I can give you an hour or two at the MAX. But I have another shoot to prepare for and I have to drop my friend off.
Director gets mad and pulls me aside with my friend. “J. Kristopher, I just want to let you know this is HIGHLY unprofessional. You know you should of planned on being here ALL day. But I guess we can get your scene out of the way since it is short.”
I look at my friend and he already could read my thoughts. DID THIS _______ just say I WAS UNPROFESSIONAL? ARE THEY SERIOUS? OK J, REGAIN YOUR COMPOSURE…… and I speak up….”You’re right. My apologies. I just didn’t think it I was going to be here this long considering my call time was 9AM and we are now looking at 1PM.” Director said, “well on future sets you should always plan to be there all day unless you let someone know.” I smile.
We shoot the scene WITHOUT THE TABLE and leave. Needless to say, another day in the life.