“What are we doing?” The Passer says as she rolls up next to me in the parking lot in front of the Shoot location.
“Waiting for someone to let us in.” I say and smile.
The Passer whips out her cellphone and calls the number we have on our work schedule. The man on the other end is amazed that we want to get into the building at Noon, since we don’t start work until Two.
“Sir, we have to set up our equipment.” The Passer says letting just a bit of annoyance enter her voice. “The Photographer is told to arrive two hours before the start time and I am told to show up one hour before start time.”
“Well, no one told me any of this.” The man says defensively. “I had no verbal or written instructions about opening the building two hours early.”
This is pretty common. One time, we were sitting in front of the Shoot until almost start time before we were able to get a hold of someone-only to be told that we were not going to shoot in the Church, but at an auxiliary building in a residential neighborhood several blocks away. They caught us just before we all headed home.
The Wife was a Passer for a couple of years and we worked together during that time. We liked to show up even earlier, setup, and then go have a nice lunch before the Shoot started. Some of the Shoots didn’t like it, but more of them didn’t seem to care much one way or the other. We got in the habit of calling these people the night before to make sure they would be there to let us in. I seldom call people these days, most of the time someone is there. But once in a while, you have to sit around in the heat for an hour or so while someone with a key can be found.
Now I know that these people have been given a box filled with information about The Shoot, including a list of times when to let us in, when we will start, and when we will end. But, even if they had not been given any idea as to what time we will need to be let in to set up, how can they think that we will walk in at the same time as the first appointment? It doesn’t make any sense, and yet, it happens regularly.
There was one tiny Shoot where we sat around until ten minutes after the Shoot was to start. We did give up and go home that time. A problem I ran into with a number of other Companies was showing up only to be told that the Shoot had been canceled. This has only happened once with the current Company, which is kind of amazing now that I think about it.
Since I am one of the last people on Earth not to have a mobile phone, I have to wait for the Passer to show up, or go somewhere that does have a phone and try to call the people running the Shoot. I tend to sit around and listen to an audio book until the Passer shows up. It doesn’t really take two hours to setup, but it is always good to have a little more time in case you need to slap the computer or the camera around. It is always a bit annoying to have two or three little old ladies wandering around bitching and moaning about having to wait while you setup as well. None of them care that it’s The Coordinator’s fault.
Shoots with a lot of old people also tend to have a lot of early birds, as these are people without lives of any kind, they are often sitting around two hours before the Shoot when we show up. These are the ones that want us to hurry up so we can get them their Freebie as quickly as possible. This is not really a big problem, not being able to get into the building is a pretty serious problem. Once in a while the two problems come together and we have Early Birds that find the building locked and they take it upon themselves to try and find someone to let us in.
About the only good thing about The New Work Hours is that we don’t have to worry about there being too many people standing around tapping their feet as we setup. With so few people to shoot compared to what we used to shoot, we seldom get too backed up, even with a full appointment sheet and a late start. Needless to say we don’t make anywhere near as much money as we used to make either.
It’s one more thing we can blame on the PreSeller-they are supposed to give the Coordinator all the details-sometimes they just give them a box with a bunch of Post It notes. Some people just aren’t that good at reading directions.