The first day of principal photography is exciting and nerve-wracking as the cast and crew begin to get in sync with each other and with, most importantly, the Director. A typical film shoot can last from 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the budget and complexity of the shoot. Film schedules are based on five or six day work-weeks and shoot days can be long, averaging 12 hours. Scenes are almost always filmed out of story sequence but the producers and First Assistant Director provide a schedule in advance so the crew can prepare for the upcoming filming needs.
Most crew members are issued walkie-talkies to communicate with each other while they’re spread out across the set. On location and at the studio, department trucks, vans and cast trailers are parked together at base camp, located near but not always next to, the set.
During pre-production, the key department heads assemble crew members who help prepare for the upcoming production. Once principal photography is underway, the shooting crew reports to work.