Film Industry Professionals Share Their Best Insider Secrets

Knowable

Hollywood loves unlubricated condoms.They're perfect for water/sweat/mud/life proofing things like small microphones, wires and cords, etc.


Plus they're typically easy to find. They tend to be the last ones people go for unless they've got an allergy - for obvious reasons.

Honestly, you'd be surprised how much movie magic you can work with stuff you grab off a drug store shelf. It's one of our favorite tidbits of industry knowledge - but certainly not the only one.

Reddit asked:

People who work in the film industry, what are some of the inside secrets, insights, fun trivia, etc. that you could share?

This thread turned into Reddit Pop-Up video, with bits of trivia and factoids flung all over the place. Love it. 10/10. Would recommend. Five Stars.

Bored To Tears

God it's boring. Actors have the most boring job on Earth. They just hang around all day, they're on their phones or their laptop, just bored out of their minds.

Then they have to go into makeup and that takes hours. I mean, even for a really natural face, cos God forbid the Key Make Up Artist isn't happy with every damn pore. And the actor isn't in much of a hurry so that trailer is just a black hole of time sucking. SFX make up? Oh God just take the whole morning. We'll be hanging around on set just waiting, whilst the DP bitches to anyone who's forced to listen. DPs are just the crankiest, most negative people, just huge pains in the ass.

And then the scene starts and the actor has to go from 0 - 100. From basically being horizontal with boredom to this whole animated other person. That's when they earn their money, cos God knows I couldn't do it.

Or not - more actors are actually kinda sh*t at that energy than great. They're a lot of people treading water cos they're in their 40s and never finished school and literally have no other option.

But some really try their best to absolutely explode when needed. It's really hard though. I never ever once envied them, even the rich ones. It looked to me like a really shitty job.

Then in between takes there's the touch ups. And the resetting. And more hanging around. And more bitching from the DP. And shouting from the 1st AD.

I had to get out, everyone else thought it was such a cool job but I was bored out of my skull.

Oh and in terms of secrets? Nobody ever cries on cue. Or cries real tears. They either blow crystals into their eyes just before Action that irritates the membranes so its basically an onion-cutting situation, or dab Tearstick on their fingers, so halfway through a scene they can raise their fingers to their eyes and BAM! their eyes start watering like mad.

- Johnboysmole

Megan Was Telling The Truth

Giphy

Michael Bay laughed like a maniac after a boom tech passed out due to heat exhaustion. He passed out as a result of Bay demanding that the crew water trailer be moved ten miles out into the desert because the edge of the hitch was visible in one of his shots.

I'm really glad I'm not in that business anymore for lots of reasons, but he was a real piece of work even in that world.

- IWasSayingBoourner

Lighting

Once you realize that a LOT of lights go into making a shot's lighting look good, you start analyzing the lighting in every shot you see. Ex: Does the moon reaaally give off that much light? If the only lamp (that we see) in the room is to the right, then how is the actor's whole face lit? Hmm...

- tallente

One of the fascinating details about media personalities working from home during the pandemic is observing how the production companies prepared their home studios. Some just set up a webcam and a laptop with room or natural light. Others clearly have a professionally lit green screen backdrop, a couple of softboxes (map lighting off the eyeball reflections), and a 4k camera. Some of the uplinks are high quality (apparently Stephen Colbert has a satellite truck parked in his driveway) while others use local network infrastructure.

If anything I bet a lot more media personalities are going to want to work from home after this is over.

- tweakingforjesus

Hurry Up And Wait

There's a lot of sitting around and doing nothing.

I'm a Script Supervisor, which means the majority of my work is done days before shooting starts, and then I watch the shoot with the directors to catch continuity errors, and then after wrap I have reports to write. During the entire process of scene transition (which is the most time-consuming part), there is nothing for me to do. I don't mind this, because I like downtime and am really good at entertaining myself. Also film sets usually have at least a few cool crew members to shoot the bull with (I almost always make friends with the sound guys).

And then its reversed if you're a grip or camera assistant. Busy as hell during setup, but as soon as rolling starts (unless you're operating a dolly or otherwise directly assisting the director of photography) theres nothing to do but hang out, eat snacks, and be super quiet if you're anywhere near the set.

There's a joke motto for film sets: "Hurry up and wait." And it's so true.

- remnant_phoenix

Drew's Tips

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The Price is Right is actually super easy to win. Drew Carey would actually brief the audience on a few tips, plus there's a few patterns that he's openly talked about that'll make things easier for you on the price guessing. It turns out there's just a lot of morons.

- UltimaCaitSith

The Intern

I once saw an intern forging our main actors autograph on like 200 posters as per the producers request. It was on a very popular show too.

- Baker88

Racism

I work as a background actor. The amount of a$$ kissing and racism in this industry is astounding.

We were setting up for a classroom scene and one of the PA's asked me to leave and said "don't take this personally". He essentially kicked out most Asians and left one or two in the scene lol.

The industry works by promotion, so that means the people at the lowest (PA's and background actors) tend to be nicest to the people above them and b!tchiest to the people at the bottom. If you aren't famous, don't even think of being talked to by anyone.

It's kinda funny to watch when a celeb will say a small joke and everybody laughs like it was a Stand-Up show. Also the producers treat us like animals. I've seen people pass out because we had to wear winter clothes while it was summer. (Fun fact: seasons in movies doesn't mean it's the same irl). They basically make you sign something so you can't sue them.

- Suprlotto

Smoke Sesh

Some movies have a tremendous amount of smoking in it. As a rule, nicotine-free herbal cigarettes are used. Otherwise, in order to shoot one scene where a character smokes, where many takes are often needed — it would do significant harm to the actor's health.

- LOUDCO-HD

Forgotten Expensive Stuff

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My friend who works on set stages for TV shows found and copped a free DSLR camera from one of the sets he was working at, so I guess people just leave really expensive stuff around and forget about it.

- tuttikanaynee

Exaggerated Body Language

High school friend went on to become a "professional extra" in university as he was studying film and wanted behind the scenes experience. A lot of the times those extras you see in the background of movies and TVs are just mouthing phrases at each other, like "peas, corns and carrots" and "a pink and purple elephant".

They can't talk because the background sound gets added in post. If they are required to talk, they have to talk in low murmurs but not whispering as whispering gets poorly picked up on the mic. He said for the most part, directors want tneir extras to use slightly more exaggerated body language to show a conversation is taking place.

- LittlestSlipper55

Setting The Setting

Movie sets are often built two or three times for different occasions or events. For example one set is built standard but another is built on scissor lifts to be lowered into the ground.

- rippoownow

Crew On Crew Action

A lot of crew members hook up with a lot crew members. Not me, but from what I witness/heard it was common. Think about it, a lot of us spend 12+ hours for numerous days/weeks/months together, we gain numerous friendships but others get much closer.

- ghostofanoutcast

G'Day Sound Mate!

Can't remember his name but there is a top quality sound effects engineer who works on top budget films from a small shed in the Australian outback.

- ladyships-a-legend

Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or ":zipper_mouth_face:" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.

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