Many A Mickle Makes a Chuckle

I thought you might be interested in how many people are employed in the making of a comedy show. Or maybe you couldn’t give a toss. Maybe you already know. Fair enough. I’ve been wrong in the past. Ten minutes in the past actually. I thought I had cleaned the grill pan to a satisfactory level. My girlfriend pointed out how very wrong I was.

Anyway, for this clip of Gary: Tank Commander….

You will need…

  • A Location Manager to find the location, which happens to be an OTC building. They also help organise the Unit, all the vehicles, catering, generators and drivers required to house and feed a crew of up to 40 for the day.
  • A Director of Photography to discuss with the Director where exactly to shoot, in this case operate the camera and light the scene.
  • A Focus Puller making sure the camera is in focus all the time. There’s also a Camera Assistant to carry all the gear.
  • A Lighting Gaffer and, on this day, one electrician. They place every light where the DoP wants them, careful not to overload the electricity supply. For this shot they also lay the track for the camera and push it along.
  • Someone from Make Up to apply then maintain that smashing tan under the heat of the lights
  • Someone from the Wardrobe Dept has to be there to provide the uniform and make sure it looks the same in every shot.
  • A Sound Dept consisting of a Boom Operator and his boss the Sound Recordist who constantly mixes what is recorded.
  • A Stand-by Art Director and Stand-by Props to ensure the background is nice and pretty. They are working underneath the Production Designer who designs the entire series. The Art Dept also has a Prop Buyer and an Art Director, as well as a few Set Builders.
  • A Script Supervisor to watch that Greg doesn’t miss any of his lines. Normally, they also watch continuity between shots, but as this is one shot, that’s not required.
  • A 1st Assistant Director to run the shoot, making sure all the departments are working to the schedule so that all the monologues we need to shoot that day actually get shot.
  • A 2nd Assistant Director who administrates each day’s schedule and ensures that Greg is ready to be shot when the crew are ready to shoot.
  • A 3rd Assistant Director who assists the 1st AD on set, picking Greg up in the morning, running about assisting whoever needs it, and hassling council workmen who want to do some pneumatic digging outside.
  • A Production Manager and various production staff to watch the budget, hire everyone and everything, fix all the Director’s problems and, most importantly, book the wrap party venue.
  • You will need someone to write the script. Greg wrote all the monologues for the show, although this particular one was made up on the day. Greg, the Producer, the Script Editor and I discussed some ideas 2 minutes before, then Greg sat down, everyone pressed rec&play and he made it up as he went along.
  • An Editor to trim the start and end, using the notes the Script Supervisor has prepared. Then they add the onscreen text.
  • A Colourist tweaks it to look a little bluer and give it a vignette.
  • A Dubbing Mixer cleans the dialogue and matches the sound level of the rest of the show.
  • You’ll need me, the Director. Although to be fair, I’m just the monkey dancing on the organ.
  • And Greg to say the words.

I won’t bother with all the accountants, commissioners, lawyers, executives, technical staff and general office people required to do their bit for the show. It might take the count into the hundreds.

So there you are. All these people working hard for less than a minute of what I hope is funny. If it’s not then you know who to blame. All these other people.

Okay, if you have any other questions I’ll be at the sink scrubbing a grill pan.

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2 Responses to Many A Mickle Makes a Chuckle

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