PART 2: A Day (4:30am to 1am) Working On Bridget Jones’s Baby as the Director (’s assistant).


So in Part 1, me and the director had just pulled up to set. It's 7am. My day is nearly 3 & 1/2 hours old, and it will be another 16-18 hours before I get to sleep, and it's not just because of Bridget and her quest for a sprog. 

07:00am - Arrive on Set. Get us breakfast. Boss needs food, don’t let the director go hungry, you won’t like it, trust me. I try not to order mine until after hers, otherwise I’ll slow down the caterers or they’ll get confused between my bacon egg, sausage, hash brown and baked bean bap, and her poached eggs and avocado. 

07:30am - Wipe down the baked bean stains on my active wear. 

7.45am - Walk to set, say hi to everyone (Really nice crew on this one, always good to say their names as well, and learn them, don't just call everyone John/mate), load up the monitors with the three bags of medicine, chargers, snacks, water and thermoses that the boss needs to survive the day. 

08.00am - Call Time! We’re officially counting the hours to wrap and the crew scoot about getting everything and everyone ready (and yes, some of them have been working since I was struggling up that hill all that time ago). Director and DOP get together with the script and discuss the day’s work. More of a recap rather than fresh invention. They’re pros so it's mostly discussed prior (mostly...). 

08:10am - Find out the day’s sides (script pages) have changed during the night. 

08:11am - Have heart attack with Producer’s Assistant/Best mate about printing off the new sides, taking extra care to investigate emails thoroughly, call everyone back at the production company to see who has these phantom pages, time is of the essence! 

Spend an excruciatingly excessive amount of time doing this, hope to god we’re printing off the right sides... I mean, we speak to everyone that could possibly know. Even people that don't work on the project anymore!

08:45am - Get shouted at for not printing the right sides. Sometimes everyone forgets to CC us into emails with people that could possibly know. 

9-ish - We’re rolling, first take of the day after rehearsals and final looks. 

Now until lunch - Stay out of the way as camera and grip and costume and make up and anyone else frantically reset the scene take after take after take. You’ve seen one set, you’ve seen them all, let people work. Tackle emails, (Both Bridget and for my projects when time allows) and concentrate on the radio, shuddering with horror upon hearing your name blast through it, “Is Gaaaaabe around for Sharon?!?!”; RUN TO SET.

3-5 minutes later - Take lunch order once they've cut. Breathless from running. Help find wifi. Print off another copy of the shot list. 

1330pm - It's running Lunch, so you essentially work through it. Which is hard to imagine as Renée jumps around to House of Pain whilst our key grip shovels a beef wellington down their gob behind camera. (Any similarities to key grip's diets here are coincidental). I eat my food once I’ve got the boss’s. Go back to unit base in the golf buggy to discuss pick up times for tomorrow with transport. Have a look at tomorrow's draft call sheet, prepare for locations and scenes. You’ll find that taking notes all those months ago in prep come in handy at this point. ‘Do art department have the fake cat?!’

13:45pm - Call art department to make sure they have the fake cat. Of course they've got the fake cat, they’re professionals. Here name on radio “Where’s Gaaaaaaabe?”; RUN TO SET. 

13:55pm - Breathless, you have to reassure everyone that Art Department will have the fake cat for tomorrow’s scene. But they haven’t got ice cream for the dessert in the scene we're shooting right now! FUCK, who forgets ice cream?! It’s a new request so it's understandable. Spend the next twenty minutes in the biggest supermarket in the world elbowing grandmothers out of the way at the checkout with soft scoop gelato spilling from my weedy arms. Barry is primed outside to leather it back to set. 

Get to set, ice cream and raspberry ripple in arms. Take pride in job well done when suddenly... "IS GAAAAAABE around for Sharon, cup of tea for Sharon Gabe". I hope to hell we've got milk left. 

Part 3, next week, where we learn about afternoon tea, and going over!