Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.


The thing about the winter’s first night shoot is I always underestimate how cold it’s going to be – I’ve gotten used to summer, when a long sleeved T-shirt is enough. I bring a few warm things and think I’ll be okay, but I usually have at least one body part that feels like it’s going to freeze off.

Last night, in Chatsworth, the temperature was in the very low 40’s (if you think that’s not cold, then try standing outside all night in low 40’s), and I didn’t bring enough clothing (my torso was fine, but my legs were really cold). I also got stuck baby-sitting the condor (it’s being sent up unmanned, but someone has to stay with it just in case). Had I gone up, I’d have had my sleeping bag and would have been fine. Instead I got colder and colder and ended up trying to burrow under the camo netting* to keep warm.

Camo netting is not an effective blanket.

I ended up having to hike the half mile back to the truck and get my rain gear because I needed the extra layer.

Call time: 2:30 pm
Wrap time: 4:30 am

For the next two nights, we’re in Castaic, which is going to be super cold (the predicted lows are in the mid-forties, but we’re shooting right on the shore of the lake, so it’ll probably feel colder than that), but I’m ready. I’ve packed every warm thing I own, and if I have to, I’ll wear them all at the same time.

Since Castaic is so far away (and we’re on nights, so we’d be fighting the traffic both ways), we’re being put up in hotels. I’ll be back Friday morning.

*When a large piece of equipment which can’t be moved might be in the shot (last night it was the condor base – it’s normally our trucks), it’s draped with military-style camoflauge netting. It looks cheesy as hell to the eye, but the film can’t read it. Sort of. If you know what to look for, you can see it – but if you’re looking at the background trying to see the camo netting, the movie’s got bigger problems than a truck in the frame, now doesn’t it?

Filed under: Work

5 Responses

  1. Try Keep you head thinkining thing warm is the most important. All Your blood flows to the vital organsl, so if you keep the non vitals warm you will do fine. Layer,layer and then layer. Your head is kinda vital so keep it warm so your body can afford to send blood to your other parts.
    I tent camped a few years ago in 10 degree’s below zero, for several days. Had it not been for us digging snow to get our jeeps out of our camp and the pizza/pub owner who loaned us shovels I may have been posting this but with a differant outcome. Maybe all my friends ashamed of my sacrafice for them is how I picture it… Layer and such 40 is cold with a wind but it can get woreser as we say in the mid-east-west. JW

  2. Rarity says:

    Hell, I’ll be looking for camo netting for sure no matter how great the movie!

    I love the little secrets let out! Stay warm!

  3. Charli says:

    I live in Santa Cruz and we are about to get hit with 50 mile per hour winds. I’ll trade your 40 degrees for our wind factor. Only advice I have is to go to a ski shop and buy wool socks. Scratch as Hell but they will keep you warm.

    Great, now I’ll be looking at the backgrounds of movies instead of the foreground (which, if you’ve been to movies lately, not such a problem).

  4. Peggy Archer says:

    Josh – I’ve got some decent cold weather gear, it just doesn’t help me when I leave it at home because I’m overly optimistic about the temperature!

    Rarity and Charli – the other thing to look for is tape. Grey gaffer tape or black paper tape. Also look in the shadows. Sometimes you’ll see the outline of a person who’s standing in front of a light.

    BIL – sometimes space heaters are impractical, unfortunately.

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