[Notes from on location]
Unpublished, fragmented manuscript of a theatre director’s thoughts during his first film shoot.
“I say I want a steam locomotive and twenty-nine Gypsies. He gives his assistant the order to get me a steam locomotive and seven Gypsies.”
About the text
The text is in part a tribute to the profession of production assistant:
The director is naturally dependent on the producers, but there’s another person who is arguably of even greater importance, especially in a large company where the producers are occupied with several films at once. This indispensable figure is none other than the production assistant, as they are now called. It is the production assistant whose broad shoulders must bear the weight of the entire operation. His is the most important role of all: to make sure that the shoot goes smoothly, without interruption, without delay, with a minimum of friction. He’s the company’s piggy-bank, the producers’ enforcer, the director’s confidant and whipping-boy – in other words, he must become all things to all men. For example: I say I want a steam locomotive and twenty-nine Gypsies. He gives his assistant the order to get me a steam locomotive and seven Gypsies. Gypsies, you see, are expensive, and it is on indisputable grounds that this exceptional man explains to me that I really only need seven Gypsies and a steam locomotive. Naturally, this will save the company many hundreds of crowns. Over the course of his tireless campaign, waged against directors, actors, architects, labourers, and even time itself, this most excellent man can save his company millions. If he can also manage to become liked by his director, then his work verges on the miraculous. To all of the good, the loyal, the skilled production assistants: I salute you.
 sheets ; 29 x 23 cm
Typewritten script. Undated. No title. First page missing. A theatre director’s thoughts during his first film shoot.