Vehicles On Set
How many vehicles and what type can I expect to have on my movie?
Where did they all come from?
You can count on there being more vehicles than you have space for on a movie set. Imagine how tough it was to find a parking space in college and you will get the idea of how many vehicles will be at your shoot. Below is a list and description of some of the vehicles you can expect.
The camera truck is the place where anything in your camera department will be housed. Usually this comes in on some type of box truck anywhere from 14ft to 24ft or sometimes it comes in a large trailer attached to a truck. From the camera body to the lenses, tripods, film or tape stock, etc. all of it will be on this truck. This is an important truck to have very close to the set.
Most of the time this is the same as the grip truck. Electrical just refers to the lights and the cables to plug in the lights. Also, anything that shines light, outside of mirror boards, will be on an electrical truck package. There are a few rare occasions where this will be on a separate truck from the grip truck.
This truck comes with everything you can imagine on it. Remember the show Macgyver? Think of what he would make and it is probably on this truck. If you need something rigged, built, raised, lowered, held up or attached to something this is where you go. Oh, and it also has stands for lights. This truck could be as big as a semi or as small as a van depending on your budget.
This truck has all props on it. Many times too the props truck will have some room on it for the prop master to set up a makeshift shop so that they can make things or prepare things on the spot for you. It is important that your props truck have a way to tie things down and also to stack things. Many prop masters prefer some shelving in part of the truck to make things easier for travel.
This truck is not for anything green or to house newcomers to the business. This truck contains all plant life that you could need on a set. Trees, ferns, plants, flowers and bushes are housed on this truck.
Motorhomes a.k.a Honeywagon
Motorhomes are a great asset to any set and sometimes you have a few of them. On larger sets there is a makeup motorhome, one for Wardrobe, one for production and a few for the talent. On a small independent film there may or may not be any. I have used as few as 0 and as many as 10. It all depends on your budget. A lot of times you can get by with 1, if you have any money at all, and just let the actors only (no crew, no production) share the motorhome. Most actors are easy going and will be happy with having one at all. Note: There should be no one hanging out in there except talent. Watch for this!
On bigger jobs wardrobe is usually housed in a semi trailer. On your job, wardrobe will likely be housed in the wardrobe stylist’s vehicle and then rolled on racks into a motor home or into a holding room for dressing people.
Sometimes there is a separate trailer for makeup to use for getting the actors ready. I personally put makeup and wardrobe usually in the same trailer or in a holding room for independent films with the holding room being my favorite.
This is always a nice gesture to your stars and gives them a quite place to rehearse. It is however not always affordable and once again you can provide your actors with a small room that they can rehearse lines in. One thing to keep in mind is that this trailer or room should have limited access to the outside world and crew to gives actor a safe haven. Make sure you have someone police who is allowed in and out of here or your actors will spend all their time chatting with fans and not preparing for their next scene.
On some sets each actor has his or her own driver to being them to and from set. They will usually just come in a normal vehicle and can drop off the actor at set and then take the vehicle to the designated parking.
Usually this is just a 15 passenger van with a PA as a driver that can be a gopher for anything you need. This is almost a necessity on a set. It is incredibly helpful to have a runner van to go and get lunch, missing props, etc. or to even move people from the parking location to the shoot location. More than 1 van is a great idea.