Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A nice change of pace

Most of what I’ve been doing at work lately is standing around on the same set with the same people doing the same thing – which is fine, as they’re extra wonderful people and I’m happy every day that I get to see them, but on the other hand it doesn’t leave me much to write home about.

Except today, when I got a call to go rig on another show, with people I’ve never met before (and who, of course, turned out to be wonderful and lots of fun to work with).

On this particular set, all the heavy cable had been run already, so mostly what we were doing was wiring up wall outlets and making sure the practicals (lamps that appear in the set) all had the appropriate globes. There was no particular hurry, as the set we were working in wasn’t scheduled to shoot for another week.

Until my boss got a text – production had changed the schedule at the last minute, and the set that they were going to shoot next week was now on the schedule for tomorrow.

Said set had no dimmer power, no dimmer packs (the things that make the dimmer lines dimmable), three practical lamps that we hadn’t figured out how to power yet (set design run amok), and while all this would have been easy to do in a week, now we had to get it all done before the end of our studio-mandated 10 hour day (overtime is evil, even if it’s to cover higher-ups’ incompetence) .

After a moment where we all stared at each other and tried not to let panic take over, panic took over and we spent the rest of the day running around like the Keystone Kops in order to get the set ready.

Luckily, we did it (except that there’s no dimmer power, but as a very wise man once said, you can’t always get what you want), and hopefully I’ll get a call back from the very nice bunch of folks.

I’m back to standing on set tomorrow, also with wonderful people.

Yay work!

Filed under: Work

An Unexpected Commodity

Once upon a time, we had an AD who like that expensive imported Italian bubble water, so he had the craft service guy buy it for him and keep it in the trailer, supposedly hidden.

Of course, the crew found said stash and would consume all of it by the end of the day’s first rehearsal.

So the craft service guy got tired of overpaying for imported Italian bubble water started buying this stuff:

It’s cheap, wet,  and bubbly, and everyone loves it, but still – there’s never enough. Interdepartmental wars are breaking out over the Refreshe stash at crafty.

It’s gotten so bad that now we’re all hoarding it on our respective trucks.

Me: “There’s a whole case of Refreshe at crafty!”

Boss: “Bring it to the truck and make sure no one sees you.”

So we all sneak cases of canned water from crafty to our respective hoarding spots, and still there are shortages.

 

Sure we could buy it ourselves, but where’s the fun in that?

Filed under: camera, Photos, Work

Some weeks are better than others

This week started out so well. Work’s picking up, the weather’s been gorgeous, etc…

Until Tuesday, when I decided to go to the grocery store, and because I needed some bulky stuff, I took the car.

Midway through my backing out of my parking space in the six-space carport, the neighbor’s little rat-dog ran across the alley and under my wheels, and in an attempt not to flatten said rat-dog, I swerved and hit the support post instead.

Which would have been fine, except my current car is apparently made of vacu-formed tinfoil as the low-speed oopsie resulted in the following:

One torn off driver’s side mirror

One severely dented front driver’s side door.

One fucked up front quarter panel.

One fucked up front bumper.

One $500 deductible.

One rat-dog owner refusing to admit that she’s at fault.

Awesome. So now, I’m on the hook for five Benjamins and my car has to go to the body shop for an undisclosed amount of time.

Also, I’ve spent eons on the phone with said insurance company and will now get a point on my license and jacked-up rates for the foreseeable future.

Lucky for me my insurance covers a portion of the rental car – not all of it, of course, but some of it.

Gods bless America.

So for the next week or so, I’ll be driving a Prius, which is what the rental car company gave me. Side of smug is on the house.

And five days of work turned into three.

How was your week?

Filed under: cranky, life in LA, mishaps, Non-Work, Off-Topic, overspending, , , , , , , , ,

Friday Photo

image

We broke every one of these rules today.

Filed under: Photos, Work

Once removed

For the past couple of days, I’ve been obsessively watching the riots in England on the BBC live feed.

The only reason I can figure that I’m so obsessed with watching this is that when citywide, out-of-control rioting happened here, I was right in the middle of it and scared absolutely shitless for about a week.

What you can’t get on television is the smell of a city burning around you. It’s not a nice comforting campfire at night smell, it’s the acrid stench of building insulation, plastic goods and other assorted stuff that one really shouldn’t smell burning in a civilized society.

Looking out over the city, there was a thin band of daylight near the horizon, and the rest of the sky was pitch black with smoke. The Emergency Broadcast System had taken over the airwaves and the automated voice was begging people to stay at home and stay calm, but calm was difficult  as there seemed to be far more rioters than police.

Several people who lived downtown had come over to my place because it seemed safer and offered better access to the roads leading out-of-town, but at some point, we realized that two converging mobs had sealed us in and escape from the city was impossible.

So we sat in the living room, drinking cheap beer and watching the televised images of the city burning as the city burned around us.

One would think that I’d have been out with my camera getting the shots of my life (or at least a better TV), but there was something so dark and terrifying about an out-of-control mob that I didn’t dare leave the house after the first foray where I camera’d up, got a few shots and then narrowly escaped getting the crap beaten out of me (no, I don’t have the photos anymore. I was shooting for one of LA’s throwaway newspapers and turned my half roll of film in to the photo editor. Not only were they never published, but I never got the film back).

There’s been a lot of discussion on the web about guns – if they allowed them in the UK, then this wouldn’t happen, blah, blah, blah…

From an eyewitness perspective, I can assure you that even a heavily armed police force and a heavily armed citizenry did nothing to stop or even slow down the looting and burning.

Most of the TV coverage was shot from the safety of aircraft, except for this bit of journalism gold from LA news icon Bill Kurtis:

The only thing that really got the rioting under control was the military.

The National Guard and the Marines rolled down the streets and all of a sudden the darkness began to ebb.

So much so that we decided to break curfew and go have pizza at a place on Fairfax that, back then, was good enough to risk getting arrested for being out of the house after dark.

The restaurant was packed – mostly with people just as relieved as us to be finally getting out of the house, but there were also quite a few police officers taking a dinner break in full riot gear.

They were reasonably relaxed and chatting with us criminal curfew-breakers who crowded around them to sincerely thank them for at least trying to keep us safe and offering to buy them dinner.

As the riots tapered down and it became safe to go out again, there was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking and blaming and mea culpa-ing but  it was a long, long time before life began to feel normal and the city hasn’t ever really been the same afterwards (although between the riots and Rampart we did get the ‘kinder gentler’ LAPD, which was a nice change from the ‘beat ‘em all and ask questions down at the station’ LAPD).

I could do my own comparing, contrasting, and pontificating, but this is getting kind of long, so I’ll just leave with this:

I hope the rioting in the UK dies down quickly and everyone over there is okay.  Until then, I’ll be watching on the interwebz re-living my own past.

Filed under: life in LA, Non-Work, Off-Topic, , , , , , , , , , ,

Eye update

Turns out there’s one motion picture clinic open on Sunday, which is great, especially since it’s conveniently located in West Bumfuck.

So I hopped in the car, drove over, got into see a doctor and was told that they didn’t really know what was wrong, but they guessed that something had gotten under my goggles.

Awesome. I couldn’t have figured that one out on my own.

The solution was a shot of Benadryl in the ass and a prescription for some sort of goo which I guess helps as my eyes are still red and a little itchy, but not as bad and the swelling has gone down so I look less like something out of a horror movie, which is good.

Monday at work went well – it was good to see everyone again and I had a good day, even if my feet did hurt from walking laps. It’ll get better. I’m just not used to it yet.

I also need to make an appointment to get new orthotics since the ones I have now are worn out.

Filed under: Non-Work

August 2011
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