Film Union Lobbies For 12-Hour Day

[Originally posted on Feb. 18, 2014 at Hidden Baltimore by Mark Burchick and Sarah LaCorte]

Editorial Note: On Feb. 22, this article was taken offline briefly and edited. The story had received over 5,000 page views causing Brendan Cathcart, a key source, to express concerns about the job security of unnamed sources who could be identified based on his comments. That section of the narrative has been rewritten to focus solely on Cathcart’s perspective and protect those who are incidental to the story.

Bracing himself for another long day on the set of the Netflix Original Series “House of Cards,” Brendan Cathcart pulled on waterproof mud boots and poured himself the day’s first cup of coffee. It was 8 a.m. in his Bolton Hill apartment.

Cathcart, 24, arrived at Patapsco State Park at 10 a.m., the location of the day’s shoot. He walked through the Civil War style encampment alive with crowded tents and burning fires. The air was muggy and clouded with swarms of bugs.  Horses used for the scene trotted in the background as crew members started rigging lights.

“This first scene was this person on this horse and they kind of did this re-enactment thing. While we were shooting the first day scene the gaffer had us go over to the first night scene which was at the tents and get everything ready, rigging the set because we were hours away from shooting it,” he said.

Coffee number two.

Cathcart is one among many film set workers that combat long working days and occasionally harsh conditions, all in the name of their literal labor of love.

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