There’s a weird thing that happens whenever I’m the board operator on a show and it’s going to be a ‘light’ board day – which means that when we’re in a setup that’s not using the dimmer board, I’m expected to jump in with the set guys and help out. I don’t mind doing this, but as soon as I decide we’re not going to use the board and I should go work on set the gaffer will call for something on the board – not as I’m thinking about it, either. As soon as I’m far enough away from the board that it’s going to take a minute to get back there and the gaffer’s going to notice the delay, that’s when it happens.
So I spent the first half of the day being a victim of bad timing and having to scramble back to the board without having anyone see me running (running on a set is a very bad thing – it makes you look like you’re not in control), and then when I got to where I was supposed to be, having to disguise my wheezing from the gaffer over the walkie.
Then, we moved to a night exterior on a construction site. Most of our equipment is loaded on carts so we can roll it around fairly quickly, but those carts don’t work very well on unpacked dirt at construction sites – we’d unloaded some of our carts off the stakebed (since it was only one scene, we didn’t move our 40 footer, we just loaded everything into a smaller truck) into the street, only to have our boss tell us that the carts and truck needed to move to the other side of the set – across about 100 yards of loosely packed, uneven, rock-strewn dirt. Somehow the carts didn’t make it back onto the truck before it moved, so we ended up having to push them.
Remember those old Tom and Jerry cartoons where the cat would run after the mouse and then run off the edge of a table to find himself in thin air with his feet going like crazy while not going anywhere? That was us trying to push head carts across the construction site. We managed to do it (with two people per cart and a lot of straining), but my legs are still sore today. At the end of the day on the way back to crew parking, one of my co-workers compared walking on the dirt all night to running on the beach, and that’s about how it felt, were we running on the beach while pushing a steel cart loaded with 300 lbs. of equipment.
Call time: 10 am.
Wrap time: 11:45 pm.
Also, in today’s episode of Things I Really Wish I Hadn’t Eaten: The soggy meatball sandwich doused in some kind of unholy gravy-like liquid that was set out as second meal at 10 pm. Blech.