Years ago i recorded a movie in Beijing produced by a company from Singapore. When i signed it was on the understanding that we would be shooting 6 days a week, but a day after I arrived there a schedule slipped under my door showed a 7 day a week shooting schedule. From day one we worked at least 14 hours and because the whole movie was in the studio, we soon found ourselves starting days at 11 pm, after which theyd flick us back to 6.00am starts. I was a mess and to top it off, they didnt want to pay me extra for the 7th day. In the end i kept my DAT tapes for the second half of the film and flew to Hong Kong and basically blackmailed then into paying me what they owed me.
The crew were mostly chinese, half from Hong Kong and half from Beijing,only two of us from Australia, and to them the hours were normal. Quite a few of them slept in the trucks and in the studio, they set up cooking facilities in the sound stages and treated the job as 24 hours a day. I'd never experienced anything like it, but I couldn't really leave so I stuck it out.
I tell this story from years ago because then it seemed so extraordinary to work those hours, but here I am in Australia on a Studio Picture heading into my 14th hour with no sign of stopping, no questions asked, no acknowledgement that we are exhausted.
In Australia we often call Fridays, the longest days, Fuck you Friday, because thats what it feel like.