1. There is a lot of food available on a film set. A. LOT!
2. Imagine the number of people you’d expect to be on a film set. Double or triple it. It takes about 30 people to shoot a 90 second video.
3. Even though there are a lot of talented people on site (camera people, producers, wardrobe, make-up), only the actors are called “the talent” (even if they’re amateurs).
4. It takes about 10 hours to shoot a 90 second video.
5. If you start the shoot at 8:00 a.m., it can take until 4:00 p.m. before you shoot the first take.
6. If you’re the one paying the bills, everything will grind to a halt and start over again if you express even the slightest bit of dissatisfaction.
7. You could easily sneak onto a film set, pretend you belong there, and scam free food. Nobody knows who all the people are and why they’re there.
8. Even if there are 29 other people on site, there’s still some expertise I can bring that nobody else has.
9. You can make it look like people are anywhere if you shoot in front of a green screen. These people are actually standing in a field (or at least that’s what you’ll think when you see the finished product).
10. A seemingly minor problem (like a little irregularity on the rails that makes the camera wobble when it moves) can delay a shoot for about 4 hours.
11. If you ever have reason to be at a film shoot, be prepared for a whole lot of waiting. And when you’re finished with the waiting? Just wait a little longer.
12. Did I mention the food? Even after you’ve eaten the equivalent of 4 meals plus snacks, don’t be surprised if the caterer brings out freshly grilled sandwiches.
13. Everyone’s a specialist on site. There’s one guy whose only job is to run the playback when the director calls for it. I wonder what he tells his friends when they ask what he does for a living. “I’m the playback guy.”
14. If you get a chance to go for a walk to stretch your legs (while they’re fixing the rails), and you happen to find an “artisan chocolatemaker” among the funky shops in The Distillery and you buy some cashews tumbled in Costa Rican milk chocolate infused with Chai spice, your mouth will thank you again and again and you will dream about the flavour when you’re not eating them.
Note: for more photos of my very brief visit to Toronto, click here. I only had enough spare time for one quick walk down to the harbourfront.