743 An Actor's Routine

Matt talks about the daily routine of making a movie.

story image

Todd: So, Matt, what's it like working on a TV set or a movie set?

Matt: Well, of course it's different for every movie and every television show. Movies, most of the time, are going to be on location. When they're not, they're in the studio and you're waiting inside in a big studio. Usually Paramount, of Fox or one of those studio lots and you're behind the scenes waiting basically for your scene to be called.

When you get to the movie set in the morning, you give them your role. You check in with wardrobe. Wardrobe gives you your outfit for the day or several outfits depending on the day shoot schedule is like and then you go to make-up, where you get anything: alterations, mustaches, sideburns, wigs, haircuts at some point, sometimes, excuse me.

So you have to do all that preparation the first hour and go quickly. Usually the call times - the time you have to meet - is fairly early in the mornings, six, six-thirty, and they like to start filming anywhere between eight and ten o'clock in the morning. There's an hour for lunch. Usually you film and then you get an hour for lunch and depending on how the day goes, you are there until they finish that scene, or those scenes and usually they can run anytime, anywhere from twelve to sixteen hours.

Todd: Whoa, that's a long day.

Matt: Yeah. And you get paid double time anything over twelve hours, and I've been on sets where we've gone all night and it just depends on the movie or it depends on the television show. They are all different. There are lots of night shoots where you are filming a party scene or you are filming at a club and you show up anywhere from seven to ten in the evening, check in, have dinner and then a lot of times you can sleep on a chair, you know, the stars will be in their trailers. You don't see them unless they're filming but, yeah, it's just a basicly a waiting game.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

on location

Movies, most of the time, are going to be on location.

When an actor is 'on location,' it means that they are filming somewhere other than the the studio.

Notice the following:

  1. When we film on location, we always have outside caterers who take care of the food.
  2. He'll be on location for the rest of this week, but he's going to be home next week.

studio lots

Usually Paramount, or Fox or one of those studio lots.

'Studio lots' are large areas of a film studio where the production company will set up large film sets to record outdoor scenes.

Notice the following:

  1. My job is help to design the scenes for the studio lots.
  2. The studio lots are very large.

check in with wardrobe

When you get to the movie set in the morning, you give them your role and you check in with wardrobe.

When you 'check in with wardrobe,' it means that you let the wardrobe department know you have arrived on set so that they can start to dress you for your scenes.

Notice the following:

  1. I just need to check in with wardrobe and then I will be right with you.
  2. I have had my make-up done and now I need to go and check in with wardrobe.

night shoots

There are lots of night shoots where you are filming a party scene or you are filming at a club.

'Night shoots' are the scenes from a film that are set in the dark and have to be filmed at night time.

Notice the following:

  1. Night shoots are very tiring.
  2. We have had to do a lot of night shoots this week.

waiting game

You don't see them unless they're filming, but it's just a basically a waiting game.

A 'waiting game' is the name that is given to a length of time in which you can do nothing but wait.

Notice the following:

  1. It is just a waiting game, we have to see what happens.
  2. I have been for the job interview, so it is just a waiting game to see if I get the job.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
location • studio • wardrobe
night shoots • waiting
  1. We have given them our proposal, so now it's just a game to see if we get hired.
  2. She has been on shooting a film for the last six months.
  3. He has been sleeping a lot during the days, because they are doing now at the studio.
  4. There are some scenes that we can film on our lots, but for most of them we will be on location.
  5. I don't know where she is. She hasn't checked in with yet.