What is the process of getting “out times” from the working trucks?
One of the more important aspects of the PR is recording the times every member of the crew started and ended their day, along with any meal penalties, NDBs, and stuff like that.
[The set is] a world apart from the quiet routines of those in the production office who sit at a nice clean desk and deal with paperwork all week long.
Now, exactly how nice, clean, and routinized my production office actually is, is a post for another day, but he’s broadly correct. People make mistakes when trying to figure out the 24-hour clock,1 or fill information on the wrong, or just plain forget to turn in the time sheet at the end of a 17 hour day.
So, it becomes the office PA’s job to track down this information. Sometimes you can just call their office, if you’re a multicam show that’s always on stage. But on a single camera show, you’ll have to do some walking.
Go to the various trucks (grip, electric, camera, wardrobe, hair and makeup; you might have others), and ask the appropriate person when they’ll be done for the night, so you can mark it on the PR. For grip and electric, that person is the best boy of the respective department. Camera, probably the 2nd AC or loader (sometimes the 1st AC; basically, whoever seems friendly). Wardrobe, hair, makeup, props, and set dec: ask the key.
Depending on the type of show you’re on, you might have a few other trucks (i.e. special effects), but again, the key is usually the person to ask.
And even though they didn’t report their own out times correctly, you should be meticulous. We’re talking about people’s livelihoods, here.
And the budget, too, don’t forget about that. You may not realize it, but the accountants have the budget broken down to the day. Every day, they have to check this against the hot costs.2 Since the crew’s pay is a significant portion of any budget, getting accurate in and out times is very important.