Readers of this site may be wondering where I have been lately. Well, you’re looking at it! North Shore Studios, stage 7 in North Vancouver. All day, every day.
In August I landed a job as a “stand-in” on the new TV series “Emily Owens M.D.” The pay is great and I jumped at the chance to improve my finances after a slow start to the first half of the year.
In order to shoot a full episode every 7 days, the whole crew works long hours. I am usually there about 14 hours a day and leave myself an hour each way for my commute to work. If I go straight to bed when I get home and spend no more than a half hour getting ready in the morning, I can usually get 8 hours sleep.
When they shoot a TV show, they hire union actors that are the same hight and skin tone to “stand-in” for the main actors. Once the actors have figured out what they are going to do in the scene, this “second team” of actors take over and the main actors go and get their wardrobe on and have their hair and makeup done.
The crew then adjusts the lights, lays down tracks for the camera to roll on and take focus marks using the stand-in’s as doubles for the main actors. Having two sets of actors really speeds up the process because they can work out all of the technical aspects of the scene they are about to shoot without waiting around for the main actors to return from hair and makeup.
Emily Owen’s M.D. premiered two days ago and did quite well in the ratings even though it was shown in the same time slot as the U.S. presidential debate. Hopefully the show is a success and I will have full-time work into 2013.