The amount of effort that goes into making a modern movie is pretty insane, so with that in mind it's not that surprising to learn that working as part of the crew can be pretty tough sometimes. What it is surprising to learn though is that sometimes the crew doesn't just have to deal with long hours and the occasional Christian Bale outburst, they have to deal with some seriously weird stuff.
1. The cast and the crew of The Matrix had to read a big-ass philosophy book.
The Matrix is a movie that has something for everyone, for action nuts it has some of the best gunfights and car chases ever filmed, for romance fans it has the blossoming romance between Neo and Trinity and for everyone else it has Laurence Fishburne headbutting Hugo Weaving in the face. The movie also has a very dense philosophical element that you'd need a degree in the subject to actually understand (the DVD releases even have commentaries by philosophers, for those of you who hate yourselves and don't value your time).
Which is presumably why the Wachowskis totally made everyone on set read a book on philosophy called Simulacra and Simulation before they even started filming anything. Oh wait, we left a part out of that previous sentence because we meant to say that they made everyone read and understand a book on philosophy called Simulacra and Simulation before they were allowed to film.
According to Carrie Anne Moss, this was one of the parts of making The Matrix that she personally found the hardest, and this is a woman who spent 6 months learning to throw her foot over the back of her own head.
2. The crew of Inglourious Basterds had to watch a bunch of movies, just so they had something to talk about with some old dude who was there for a day.
Fun fact: The guy who played Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds was big-name actor from the 50's called Rod Taylor, whom Quentin Tarantino specifically requested for the role. Rod, who was retired from acting at the time the movie was being made, only agreed to take the role when Tarantino personally called him to say he couldn't think of anyone else who could possibly pull it off.
Now you'll notice that at no point during that paragraph did we mention that the movie crew gave any sort of a shit about who played Churchill, because as far as we can tell, they didn't - they were just there to do their jobs. Which didn't stop Tarantino making them all stay after work just to watch a selection of movies starring Rod Taylor so that they would have something to talk about with him when he arrived on set to film his two lines.
3. Working on a Hitchcock movie was a nightmare, because...Hitchcock.
Alfred Hitchcock is a name synonymous with horror and suspense. The guy was so dedicated to making sure people were surprised when they watched one of his movies that he literally tried to buy every copy of the Psycho novel just so no one would know how it ended.
Now something few people seem to know about is that Hitchcock's love of scaring people wasn't just limited to his movies - he was infamous with actors and films crews for his warped sense of humor. Now, we'd feel bad for the actors and actresses Hitchcock tormented by sending them hundreds of fish or throwing birds at them (all things he did), but at the end of the day, they got to go home and cry about it in giant houses. The ordinary people just trying to earn a wage on set that Hitchcock picked on, however, didn't really have that option.
Perhaps the worst thing Hitchcock ever did to a member of his crew was when he bet a random studio hand that he couldn't spend an entire night chained up inside the studio. When the guy agreed to the bet, Hitchcock spiked his drink with laxative and left him handcuffed him to a part of the set. The guy was apparently found the next day sobbing, covered in his own shit.
Which as bad as that sounds, actually makes us feel better for all of those times we almost shit ourselves watching Hitchcock movies.
Source: Telegraph UK
4. James Cameron has his crew on edge, just in case.
James Cameron's temper is the stuff of Hollywood legend, this is a man who has made actors cry and swear off ever working with him again just because he's too real man. But it's Cameron's relationship with his crew we're here to talk about.
There are dozens of stories and rumors circulating online about the kind of crazy stuff Cameron would do to members of his crew if they pissed him off. One particularly hilarious (yet terrifying) example is the time he reportedly took a nailgun to the phone of one of his runners when they wouldn't listen to him.
But here's the thing, according to Cameron - all of that stuff about his temper is blown out of proportion...which hasn't stopped him capitalizing off of the sheer terror those stories inspire in his crew anyway. To quote the man himself, "I don't have to shout any more, because the word is out there already." The 'word' being 'if you mess with James Cameron, he will freaking end you.' In other words, working for James Cameron is basically emotional torture. Sure, working for a guy who yells at you sucks, but at least you know where you stand with that guy. Working for Cameron must always have you on edge because you're never quite sure if he's going to be cool, or if he's going to whip out his nailgun.