It’s working two jobs in the same day – i.e. working one job during the day, and then going to another one and working at night – it’s generally not allowed (if you do it, and the boys at the union find out about it, they’ll fine you), but when it’s busy, the union will let you do it..
I wrapped a music video (Green Day – I hate them and hearing the damned song over and over and over didn’t help) Thursday night ( 11pm – 6am), and then went to rig some TV pilot (“Halley’s Comet”) today (8am – 2pm). Thank God it was a short day.
Actually, thank God they were both short days. When I was in my 20’s, I used to double dip all the time (I think I worked 24 hours straight more than once), and I’d just sleep the next day and be fine. Now, it hits me hard – I can tell when I’m REALLY tired and shouldn’t be driving when I see animals that aren’t there running across the road. It’s really freaky. I’ll see some brown furry thing running across the traffic lanes, I’ll freak out and slam on my brakes, and then it’ll disappear. That means it’s time to pull over and take a nap before I kill myself or someone else.
We started out in Van Nuys at a crappy warehouse stage (no ‘permanents’ – the wooden walkways in the ceilings of a real stage – the warehouse stages just have ‘pipe grids’. That’s exactly what it sounds like – a grid of pipe hung from the ceiling to rig hanging lights from. Pipe grids are a pain in the ass as you have to use a lift to get to them, whereas on a real stage you have a walkway to get to the lights. I’ll be able to explain this better when I’m not insanely tired).
We were “off production” – just taking the lights and cable out before the next video came into the stage at 7 am this morning.
Rock and roll lighting is similar to movie lighting, but different. It’s rigged differently – they don’t use stands – everything is hung from the ceiling, and they cable differently than we do. That’s fine, but it means that you have to think when you’re wrapping. If you pull rock n’ roll rigs out the wrong way, you end up with a big fucking mess that takes hours to sort out (you know how Christmas lights get all tangled up? Our cable does the exact same thing. It’s just a LOT heavier than Christmas lights, and you can’t get pissed off and throw it in the trash. You have to untangle it – so it’s better not to let it get fucked up in the first place).
One of our lifts died, and the stage manager had to call a condor mechanic to come out and fix it. I had three ‘new guys’ on my crew, so someone had to babysit them all night – they did fine, though.
Then, after the Starbucks version of a “Big Gulp”, I went out to Pasadena to put this TV pilot rig in. It’s shooting in a closed hospital (there’s a bunch of those in Los Angeles, and they all have film crews in them all the time), so we just had to change tubes in the fluorescent fixtures (actual fluorescent tubes photograph green as the proverbial ‘ fucking shamrock’. Movies use special “color balanced” tubes. Light is measured in degrees of Kelvin. Different degrees of kelvin results in a different color of light. Again, something I’ll have to explain when I’ve had some sleep), and run a small amount of cable.
It’s still busy as hell – on my way home, I called the union hall to register as ‘out of work’, and got sent right back out for Monday. I’m back on “Enterprise”. The call steward said it was rigging, which confuses me, as I thought that show was done.
I’ll find out 6 am Monday.
I’m off to bed.