Fastest Way to Get a Heart Attack? Be an On-the-set Writer!
Fastest Way to Get a Heart Attack? Be an Onset Writer!
I in entertainment since I was 18 years old. I’m not going to mention how many years ago that was since that’ll just depress me. What I will note though is that out of all of my experiences onset, nothing comes close to the stress of being an onset writer.
I am on the set of Jess Meyer’s Tale of a Weekend Suicide for Reel Gem Films and Shae St. Films. I was hired onto this film as a co-producer. As production time the other producers decided to have me write revisions of the script. ust like that I became co-producer/writer of the film.
When we came to Big Bear to shoot the film, I thought I was just going to do typical producer duties like manage crew and write checks only I were that lucky. We came here with a very aggressive schedule in mind were able to get all of the shots that we needed, so the assistant director asked me to do rewrites on the spot.
I had to take off my producer cap and put my writer cap back on. I literally locked myself in the production office and commenced writing onset revisions. Everyday the assistant director would bring me a list of scenes they shot so I could cross them off my list. He would tell me how many pages we were able to shoot with our budget and time constraints; I would then cut the script down and still try to keep the integrity of the original story.
Let me tell you right now, this was a pretty stressful experience. I had to write on a consistent basis against the clock. Then I would have to redo everything I had already done according to what they shot. I persevered and made changes as the schedule tightened. I compromised with the directors and argued with the actors on a daily basis.
I am not bitter the experience.If I can handle being an onset writer then I should be able to handle everything else Hollywood throws my way – hopefully!
Victor Phan & Rylie Potter
Torture Chamber Productions
August 29, 2009