During the rare but not unheard of Sunday rigging call, we were in a very expensive boutique hotel on the Sunset Strip, which, given the only reason the hoi polloi shell out to stay there are hopes of catching a glance of a movie star, is surprisingly hostile to film crews.
We weren’t allowed to be in the hotel before 4 pm, which really sucked since the shooting unit had a 5 pm call and since there was no way we were going to get all the cable run in an hour, our boss begged or bribed or something and got us in early – on the condition that we be very, very quiet. Which, when one is rigging, is harder than one imagines.
I suppose it’s possible to gently set down a 100 lb. (45 kilo) coil of cable, but my back just wants me to drop it.
The other thing that slowed us down was the stairs. Oh, the stairs.
This particular hotel was built during an era when handicapped people were fucked (so why even let them out of the house), and therefore has no ramps. Anywhere.
The area we were rigging wasn’t accessible any other way than stairs, which meant that cable carts were useless – we could get them about halfway to the set, and then had to pick everything up and walk it the rest of the way.
Actually, it was two sets of stairs.
And this beauty:
That second set is so narrow two people can’t pass on it, so the person with the lighter load yields. Unless it’s a guest, and then one squeezes to the side and waits, like Atlas, while cursing the universe.
Lucky for us the rig wasn’t that big and it wasn’t too hot – also I was working with a fantastic group of guys that make any situation fun, so it was a good day, even though at the end I would have handed back my entire day’s pay just to sully the hotel’s lovely pool with my dirty blue-collar cooties.
It was only a one-night shoot, so we were back this morning to wrap everything. Upon arriving, we were informed that the shoot had gone past the scheduled out time (shocked. I am shocked, I tell you) and the hotel management were a wee bit cross (something about the location manager’s head and a pike, but I didn’t get details), so we needed to double time it to get out of there.
As we started to gather equipment, it became apparent that, at some point during the wee hours, the hotel management mistook the shooting crew for cats and turned on the sprinklers in the hope that it would make them run away.
If only that worked.
Thirty minutes into the day we were soaking wet and smeared with dirt, and I guess my appearance was scary enough that when I greeted a guest with a cheery ‘Good Morning’ her response was a hissed suggestion that I go fuck myself.
If only I could. I’d never leave the house.
After carrying everything back down the stairs, we loaded the truck and rigged our second location – a theater with ramps. Lots and lots of ramps.
Of course it has stairs, too, but we didn’t have to deal with them.
I love you, cable carts. I’ll never take you for granted ever again.
Tomorrow, we wrap the theater and then unload the truck at the rental house.