Yesterday was my first ‘real’ day on “Danika”. Our location for the next two weeks is a house in Sherman Oaks (I HATE the Valley in the summer – the backyard of the house is like being in a oven). This particular payroll company are strict about wanting employees to provide a photocopy of I-9 information, so I hit a Kinkos on the way to work to copy my expired passport. At the Kinkos, there was an abandoned puppy – apparently someone had just tied her up to the door during the night and left her. The good news is that there were three people on cell phones trying to find her a home. She was very cute – no day can be bad if you get a puppy kiss first thing in the morning!
We had a one hour ‘pre-call’ so we could run the cable and get the lights set up, and I misheard the best boy when he told me the call time, so I ended up getting there WAY too early. I walked down to a little cafe on Ventura and got some breakfast and read the paper.
The first obstacle of the day was trying to get the big lights into the backyard. The only door into the backyard (through the garage) was too narrow, so we had to take out a section of fence and pull up a bunch of decorative paving stones (the family are planning on re-landscaping after this, so no one cares. They’ve even agreed to leave the sprinklers off for two weeks, because they’re reseeding the lawn. This is a good thing. HMI lamps and power runs do NOT like getting watered).
The second obstacle was inside the house. Production were too cheap to bring in a company to put a protective cover over the REALLY expensive wood floors, so we’re having to be extra careful inside. We’ve got padding on all our stand legs, and every time we move something someone starts yelling for us to be careful.
A single family home (even a very nice one that’s on the large side) was not designed to have 30 people in there at once trying to work around one another, so inside the house it’s crowded, hot, and frustrating.
Luckily, the Gaffer’s not a screamer. He’s a really, really mellow guy who’s doing his best not to bone us, which counts for a lot.
I’ve worked w/ the DP before – years ago, on some crappy AFI movie that I still have nightmares about. He looks exactly the same, and said hello. Neither of us can remember the name of the movie, though.
Then, we had to run power to craft service*. He’s got a really nice trailer with a stove and fridge and expresso machines, but his generator is loud, so we had to run him a line off of our generator. Because the compressors in the coolers will make the lamps flicker, he’s got to have his own line. Normally, this is not a problem, but he’s so far away that we used up ALL our extra cable to power him. The best boy wasn’t happy, as now if we have a piece of cable burn, we don’t have a replacement.
The cherry on the sundae, so to speak, was that next door there was a garage band practicing – ALL DAY. Production somehow managed to stop them during takes. I’m sure they had to pay them off.
Call time: 10:30 am
Wrap time: 12:40 am (20 minutes before we would have hit double time)
*Craft Service is the film industry’s way of circumventing OSHA regulations about meal and rest breaks. If there’s food out and crew members can go eat anytime they want, then the company doesn’t have to give them as many breaks.