Why are they all tired?
They woke up before dawn and drove for three hours to be here in time for the start of your business hours. Since then, they have been standing all day.
Why are they standing still?
Because footsteps or the rustling of clothes may interfere with the sound and ruin the take. Movement behind the camera may distract the talent and ruin the take. Moving shadows unrelated to onscreen action may interfere with the shot and ruin the take.
Why are they clearing away the gawpers?
Because every extra body near the shoot is an extra chance of a shuffle, or a belch, or a sneeze, or a cough, or a ringtone. See above.
Why won’t the grips let me help them?
They’ve got a job to do, and it’s a matter of pride. And if you drop a £3,000 lens, you’re paying for it.
What are they waiting for?
They are not waiting. The boom mike is recording ambient sound or “room tone” just in case they need to drop it in under a voice-over later.
Why is the clapperboard upside-down?
Right way up for the start of a shot; Upside-down for the end of a shot. All so that the editor can spool through on fast-forward looking for the next take.
Why won’t they try our exciting local delicacies?
Because if someone has the squirts tomorrow it will cost thousands in lost time.
Can he use chopsticks?
He has three degrees and published an acclaimed translation of The Art of War. He has been using chopsticks since before you were born.
Why is the talent nodding at nothing?
The A-camera was on the interviewee for the first take, while the B-camera was focussing on anything she pointed at. For cutaways of the interviewer listening, they need to go back and film a second time, of him doing “noddies.”
Is he wearing the same clothes every day?
He has five duplicate sets of clothes, so that the continuity matches from day to day.
Why is the director annoyed with me…?
Are you wearing jangly keys? Is your phone off? Did you just try to sneak a photo of the shot, and forget that your phone makes a clicking noise? Are you just… there?