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Parkinson’s Law of Wrap

On almost every show I’ve been on, someone has remarked during production that we’ve been allotted an ungodly amount of time for wrap. You’ll hear, “Can you believe the studio is giving us five weeks for wrap? What are we going to do with all that time?!” Or you might get, “I once had to wrap a show in ten days. Four weeks of wrap should be a breeze.”

Despite this, you always end up scrambling on the last day, hurriedly labeling boxes and files as the movers are apathetically waiting to haul them away. (Or, if you’re unlucky, you are also the mover.)

Why does this ALWAYS happen?! Because work fills time. On my last show, we spent the first two weeks of wrap doing absolutely nothing. You’d expect to find me happy as a hog, but actually, I was furious. “Why are we wasting all this time?” I wondered. I was right. We paid for that do-nothing week dearly, on the back end, when the last week of wrap was a holy hell nightmare.

On my next show, I’m going to start wrapping on my first day of work. Even if I’ve still got months of employment ahead of me. Even if people scratch their heads in confusion because the new guy is already packing up boxes. Even if it makes NO SENSE AT ALL. If somebody asks, “What are you working on?” I’ll answer, “A head start.”

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4 Responses

  1. Ive been wondering about this myself. On the show I’m currently on, the week before wrap was incredibly slow that I thought we should at least start packing up the office supplies so we’re not overwhelmed later and my bosses thought I was crazy. Now that we’ve wrapped we’re still moving slow and still working almost 12 hr days.
    My last job we started early cause we’d rather work hard at the beginning of wrap and have the last week be easy and I don’t think we ever worked pasted 7pm

  2. This is actually I think a sign of someone experienced. Because it’s only if you’ve been through wrap a few times that you start to know WHAT people want during wrap / how boxes go etc. How do you get a head start without that experience? You don’t.

  3. What happens more often for me is when production is ahead of the schedule for the day. Everyone has this “we might wrap early” mentality and it always pisses me off because things slow down. It’s a terrible mindset. Those are the inevitable 22 hour days..

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