There’s a lot more involved in loading a truck than one might think. Everything has to be tested (to make sure the lamps burn, the bolts in the stands are tight and the cable’s good), marked (if you’re carrying a rigging crew, everyone picks a different color tape to mark their equipment with – since the rental house bar codes everything, this helps keep everyone’s equipment in their own truck and makes end-of-show returns easier).
On this show, the gaffer is using a lot of his own lights, and he’s just come back from Canada (he left X-Men 3), so we’ve been having to change out the plugs on all the lights (and test them – a lot seem to have been broken by the shipping company), mark everything with our tape color (hot pink for us, yellow for the rigging crew), test fire everything, and then load it in the 48 foot trailer – and it has to be loaded in such a way that it can all be seen, found and gotten out quickly if the gaffer calls for it.
The cable all goes in the belly (lighting trucks have ‘belly boxes’ which are storage areas under the chassis of the trailer – they’re for heavy things like cable and distro, and they’re also good places to sneak a nap), the small lamps get loaded onto carts (so they can be rolled close to the set), and the BFL’s (Big Fucking Lights) and lights that don’t get used often get stowed on the shelves.
Since the rental house closed at 6 (and once the rental house closes, there’s nothing to do), I had the luxury of a free Friday night – which I utilized to the fullest by falling asleep halfway through The Magnificent Seven.
I’m back on the low budget Monday.