Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

When is a joke not really a joke?

While watching a Simpsons DVD today (I should have been re-doing the grout in the tub, but I just had to see the episode where the movie shoots in Springfield), I saw something that was intended as a joke, but in fact really exists:

There is actually such a thing as a movie screw.

No, it’s not when you sign your deal memo* – it’s a 3/4 inch drywall screw.

Go ahead – try to find one at Home Depot. Screw that (pun intended) – try to find one online. Try to find one anywhere.

Although they’re the standard screw in the film industry (well, one of them at least) – just about everything is built with them as they’re the perfect size for just about anything – the only way that I know of to get a box of 3/4 inch drywall screws is to ask the grips to order one for you.

They have some secret source for the damned things.

A significant percentage of the stuff in my house is held together with salvaged 3/4 inch drywall screws: bookcases, the couch (don’t ask), the desk, the spice rack.

Want to figure out which one I am on set?

I’m the one harvesting the discarded movie screws from the stage floor.

* A deal memo is what we sign when we start a job. It spells out the terms of the contract (no double time until after 14 hours, crappy rate/good rate, whether or not we get ‘kit rental’ – which is pay for use of our personal gear), and you have to sign it or you don’t get paid.

Filed under: Work

6 Responses

  1. Robert Hogan says:

    I love those screws. I buy a couple boxes at a time and use them for projects all around the house. At least then $4 for a box of 100 there a pretty damn good deal too.

    I bet it’s killing you that I haven’t told you were to get them.

    Rob

  2. Anonymous says:

    mcmaster-carr?
    they have the 1″ kind (a bit long)
    and 7/16″ (which are a bit short)

    abt $5/box for 250.

    or are they K-lath screws (FK142Z)
    http://www.fantastictools.com/pages/loose_screws.htm

    or these:
    http://www.phoenixfastener.com/viewprod.asp?index=246&cid=14

  3. Anonymous says:

    Check out http://www.studiodepot.com

    search for drywall and you can find the 3/4″ screw $3.50/box

  4. RJ says:

    And you can get sprocket holes from the ACs.

    RJ

  5. Anonymous says:

    BTW, Studio Depot offers (or offered, haven’t checked lately) a 20% discount to union members. It’s a division of Mole Richardson, and is located on La Brea Ave. just south of Santa Monica.

    TheOldTimer

  6. Anonymous says:

    You know what else is funny? When you hear a loud “bang” on set and when you look up you see smoke pouring out of the perms. Then the fire alarm goes off and they evacuate you off your set even though you’re an hour and a half behind and you’ve already dropped a scene. And THEN the fire department shows up.

    Actually that’s not the funny part.

    The funny part is when you’re standing outside wondering if your renter’s insurance will cover fire foam damage to your computer because you left it on set like a jerk.

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