Is everybody happy?

A few years back, my friends asked me if I could spare an afternoon to help them shoot a film. Intended to be five minutes long, they explained that the script was prepared, all equipment was set up, and I’d only need to say a few lines. In spite of my bashfulness, I decided I’d step into the spotlight for them. When I arrived on set that day, it was quite the spectacle! Shooting inside an old auto-repair garage with a barely functioning air conditioning system, my friends appeared sweaty, exhausted and highly irritable. As the cameras and sound guy prepped for the shoot, I asked the key grip what was going on. “The A/C in this place cut off in the middle of the night”, he explained. “The worst part of it is that the crew’s been here since midnight.” I couldn’t wrap my head around that, until I realized they were shooting for a 48-hour film festival. The director, one of my close friends, was trying to get ahold of the owner of the garage, attempting to coax a visit from an HVAC repair technician out of the guy. While they had several box fans around the set, they couldn’t match the output of a central air conditioning system. I had half a mind to call an HVAC service tech myself, just so we could shoot in a garage with decent air quality. After several vain efforts to address the lack of air conditioning, we agreed to shoot quickly, and the fans had to be cut off during shots avoid picking up the sound of them running. Fortunately, the plot of the film was about a kidnapping, so it worked to our benefit to look sweaty and exhausted. I was glad to help my friends in a time of need, but boy do I hope they secure a set with better air conditioning in the future!

furnace filter