It's Wardrobe Hell...
Extras in costume sitting in the audience seating area, waiting for their scenes in the pre-shoots for the Halloween show.
A film crew is a bit like a miniature city, with each department a distinct neighborhood connected to, but apart from the others. Given the collaborative nature of the medium, we all work together as a unit, but some departments work closer than others, sharing more common ground. Grips and juicers work closely together, and are thus very familiar with the obstacles each must face. Props and Set Dressing also share such an affinity, as do Hair and Makeup.
Then there's the Wardrobe Department.
As a juicer, I very rarely have occasion to interact with Wardrobe. Most of my work is done on (and above) the set before filming commences. Wardrobe works both ends of the block, with lots of frantic activity well behind the scenes, and at least one or two wardrobe assistants on set during filming to make last-minute adjustments before and between takes. That said, much of their work -- choosing, buying, or renting the appropriate wardrobe for each character in every scene of each episode -- is done by the time the actors walk in front of the cameras. Occasionally a Wardrobe girl (in my experience, they're mostly female) will knock on our door asking for a new or brighter light bulb to illuminate her work area, but other than saying "hi" at the craft service table, that's about it.
It's probably a safe assumption that Wardrobe pays as much attention to set lighting as we do to them -- which is minimal -- but every now and then a show comes along that leans very heavily on their considerable skills. When that happens, even we who spend our work days running cables and hanging lamps up in the pipe grid can't help but notice Wardrobe's hard work.
The Halloween show is always different, often fun, and occasionally something special. The nature of the occasion -- people letting their Freak Flag fly for one night of festive make-believe -- allows the writers considerable leeway in crafting their usual 22 minute trifecta of the A plot, B plot, and rimshot tag. Actors always appear on set in the costume of their character, but most Halloween episodes require separate -- often very elaborate -- costumes for the entire cast and a raft of extras. The Halloween episode we recently shot included a scene of a rollicking Halloween party featuring two dozen extras, all of whom had to be provided with uniquely distinctive costumes.
This was a nightmare for the Wardrobe Department. Since the actual Halloween party was only one of many scenes in the show, Wardrobe had to shoulder their usual work load along with handling (and dressing) a couple of dozen extras in extremely creative and colorful costumes, some of which were very complicated. They hired extra help to get through this show, of course, but the sheer logistics of their operation was daunting, to say the least.
The only thing I could compare it to was if we'd been asked to light a huge and elaborate music video shoot on a separate stage in addition to lighting the usual show -- and I would absolutely hate that.*
There was no complaining from our Wardrobe Department, though -- they just went about their business in a very focused manner, and the results were impressive. They did a fantastic job. I never got a chance to see the finished episode, but during the filming on set, those costumes looked terrific.
Under our lighting, of course...
* Having squandered too many long, ugly days and nights of my professional life doing music videos back in the day, I have no desire to repeat the experience...