This past week has been one big, amazing whirlwind. When I sat down at my desk on Monday morning, I had no idea that a mere 48 hours later I would be reporting to the set of USA Networks new show, Political Animals – starring Sigourney Weaver – as the new Unit Publicist.
Some might say it was being in the right place at the right time, others might say it was business deal made over cocktails and craps – I think it was a little of the two combined. In any case, this past Wednesday, I was on-set to get acquainted with the cast and crew. As a Unit Publicist, my on-set responsibilities include making sure any outside press and guests are escorted to their correct location and that they get everything they need, i.e. interviews with talent, B-Roll, etc.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned so far:
- You HAVE to roll with the punches. There was an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) being filmed on Wednesday which meant we would likely need most of the talent for short interviews. This particular EPK was being filmed for LA Screenings, where they will try to sell this series internationally. There were specific actors that we wanted more than others, but timing wise, it’s not always easy to get them at your beck-and-call. We were able to get four actors before they began shooting. It was another six hours before we were able to get any more. There’s nothing that could have been done differently to get more interviews completed – it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
- Actors work really hard. On Wednesday, they shot ONE scene – EIGHT different times. It was a dinner scene at a long table and they wanted to make sure they got everyone’s different reactions so they had to get so many different shots. The actors not only had to shoot the same scene for over FOUR hours, they had to eat melon and steamed carrots so it would make it look more realistic. Not only did they have to repeat their lines and have the same reactions, they had to pretend to enjoy their bland food. Right after they finished filming that scene they broke for “lunch” – at 5:00PM. They only had a ½ hour and then had to get right back into make-up to start filming the next scene.
- Get to know EVERYONE. From assistant directors to producers and costumers and craft service – everyone will have a different yet extremely integral role in helping me do my job to the best of my availability.
- Be prepared and ready to go at any time. There was definitely a lot of down time, but we had to be ready to go at any time. If any actor had 5 minutes to spare, we had to make the most of the time given – even if it was only a very short few minutes. Just like the actors have to come to set ready with their lines memorized, I also have to come prepared with a list of tasks that need to be accomplished for the day.
I’ll be back on set Monday and Tuesday (and probably dozens more times before the show airs in July). It’s definitely an amazing experience to be able to see all that goes into making a television show – it gives you a much deeper appreciation knowing all of hard work and dedicated hours people put in to make a successful (fingers crossed!) show. Check back for updates and maybe some behind-the-scenes shots!
May 11, 2012 | Posted by administrator | Categories: