Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Peeled like a Grape

I was back on “Bones” today. One day has turned into the entire week. The best boy, first thing in the morning, told me that it was just today, and he didn’t have any work until Thursday. I made plans for Tuesday (Mr. Movie Star’s on a Wednesday through Sunday, so his days off are Monday and Tuesday), and then had to cancel them two hours later when the best boy asked me if I wanted to work Mon – Wednesday. Then, since I made other plans for Thursday, he asked me if I wanted to work the entire week.

No extra curricular activities for me until Saturday (although maybe not even then. We have night shots on Friday, which means I’ll see the sun come up on Saturday morning).

As I tried to get into the Fox lot first thing in the morning, I discovered that Production forgot to call my pass in, and the guards wouldn’t call anyone – I sat there for half an hour waiting for the pass to come through (guards at other studios will get on the phone and try to reach someone. Guards at Fox will ask you if you know who to call, and if you say no, they’ll shrug and say “I can’t let you through without a pass”. It’s enough to make me want to tear out my hair), and the whole debacle – production calling the pass in twice, and it not going through – made me 20 minutes late for work. I HATE being late.

Once I got to work, we were in the big set all day, and running like crazy. Most of the time sets are lit with soft light from above for ambiance, and all you have to do is bring in eyelights or a hard ‘kick’* but this DP doesn’t like the way that looks, so it’s all hard light, which is much more difficult to do, and takes more units. We used every light in the floor set, and then blew a 400 amp** breaker on the transformer coming into the stage.

Then the dimmer board went down. Twice. We continued to run like crazy – at one point, I was standing under the catwalk, and I felt something dripping on me. I thought it was an overturned water bottle. I looked up, and it was one of the other juicers sweating like he was in a sauna. Of course, every time crafty brought food he’d do it right when we were lighting, so by the time we got done, the food was gone. By lunchtime I could have eaten a horse – which would have been preferable to the swill Fox serves in their commissary. Blech. I ate about half a rancid salad (when you’re running around and sweating, you can’t eat anything heavy like a burger or spaghetti or you’ll throw it up. All of us have learned this the hard way) and then I spent WAY too much money in the Studio Store on Simpsons stuff.

The second half of the day was more of the same. When you run around like crazy because you’re getting worked to death, it’s known as ‘getting peeled’. We got peeled like the proverbial grape today. By the time I got home I was completely wrung out – but I still managed to watch two “Simpsons” episodes from the Season 5 DVD!

Call time: 7 am
Wrap time: 10 pm

* A “kick” or “kicker light” is a hard light that shines onto the back of an actors head, and gives a bright backlight. This helps to prevent the actor from blending into the background.

** Amps are a measurement of power. 1,000 watts equals 10 amps. Our power is ‘three phase’ which means that we have three ‘legs’ carrying (in this situation) 400 amps of power each. On each side of the set. On the floor only. The power for the hanging stuff is off a different transformer.
400 amps per leg, three legs = 1200 amps. Two sides of the set = 2400 amps. Hanging stuff is probably another 2400 amps. We burned so many lights that we blew a breaker. That’s nuts. To put all these numbers in perspective, if you live in a two bedroom house, you probably have 100 amps of power in the ENTIRE house. My two bedroom built in 1925 has 80 amps of power in the entire house.

Filed under: Work

3 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    Hurry up and finish Simpson’s Season Five… Season Six is coming soon in Homer’s giant head! :-)

  2. Peggy Archer says:

    I’m so pissed that I didn’t see Homer’s Giant Head in the Fox Studio Store.

    What I did see that I’ll probably buy just to have them are Homer slippers. They’re a Homer head, and you put your foot in his mouth and then shuffle around the house with Homer heads on your feet. Awesome.

  3. Hah! At first glance, I thought the title of this post was “Peeled Like a Grip!”

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