How we spend our time off set

The movie making business is a blast. When the three of us are on set filming, there’s an energy flowing in the room that is pretty irresistible. We’ll get started, and then before any of us realize, six hours will have gone by. Often times we don’t even stop for food, which we usually regret later when our stomachs are growling uncomfortably.

But when we do stop, it’s like we flip a switch. Movie making time is over. At first we weren’t like this. We thought that if we were going to finish this movie and any of the others we’ve thought up over the years, we were going to need to give it 110 percent all the time. However, we were burning out doing this, and then when Tom came across some research saying how taking breaks can improve creativity, we decided to build some downtime into our filming sessions.

Unless we’re in a crazy groove, we try to take a fifteen or twenty minute break every few hours. We find this allows us to film for even longer, bringing us even closer to getting all the footage we need for this film.

Yet the three of us are far two hyperactive to simply just sit around for fifteen minutes, so we’ve come up with a few ways to pass the time when we stop filming that are fun and interesting, and sometimes REALLY competitive.

For example, we’ve really gotten into chess. We have a bit of a round robin tournament going, and every time we take a break, the two of us who are playing get into it. Sometimes these games get so intense we end up coming back to them when we stop for the day. It’s a bit nerdy, but that’s never really stopped us from doing something before. I am clearly the best of the three, although I am sure Mike would not agree. We know Tom is the worst, though!

Another thing we do is target practice. A little while back, Mike bought this fantastic air rifle to goof around with. So what we did was set up a target we can shoot at. Some of the spots give you points while others take some away. We keep a running tally and whoever has the most at the end usually gets something from us, like a dollar, maybe. Then at the end of the week, the one with the least amount of points has to buy the rest of us a beer or something. I’ve been getting lots of free stuff from Mike!

And on those days where we really don’t want to break out of the movie world, we’ll play some trivia. We bought an OLD version of Trivial Pursuit, and we ask each other questions during our breaks to see who knows the most. Again, we keep track, and then at the end of the week there’s a prize or a punishment, depending on how nice we are feeling that week. But we’ve all seen a lot of the same movies, so sometimes this gets pretty cutthroat. Tom usually does better than the two of us…for once!

That’s about it. We’ve found that forcing ourselves to take these breaks makes us a bit more productive. Our days are structured a bit more, and we spend less time messing around on the set. We save it for break time and have a lot more fun with it.

Hopefully this will allow us to get more work done so we can finish with this project and move on. Until then, the games go on!

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