Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Dude, what’s that smell?

One of the things that’s really affected us is the industry ban on zip line. Zip line (lamp cord to you, buddy) is what we used to use when we had a bunch of practical lamps in the center of a room – zip line’s damn near flat and it’s easy to tape down so the actors won’t trip on it. Because it’s flat and easy to tape down it’s very easy to hide from the camera even when it’s running across the middle of the floor.

Now, we have to use standard heavy-duty extension cords (“stingers“), which are safer, but harder to hide from the camera and much more of a trip hazard (even when taped down). Some studios will let you run zip line for a few feet, and some won’t allow it’s use at all, but we can’t run hundreds of feet of it anymore no matter where we are.

Most of our work today was wiring the small table lamps in the center of the club, aiming the lamps that we hung yesterday, making sure that the stingers were well-hidden and taped down, and making sure that we got power to all the last-minute lamp additions.

Yesterday, one of our guys had to leave early because of the paint fumes. He came down from the perms, told us that he felt like shit and went to see the nurse.

What he didn’t tell us is that he threw up somewhere in the upper levels of the facade where he was running cable.

Now, I certainly can’t blame the poor guy – there are some bodily functions that just won’t wait, and sometimes you feel like crap and just forget to tell people things (had I been vomiting I don’t know that I would have remembered to inform my supervisor about it – “Hey, I just hurled upstairs somewhere! Have a great day!”). No biggie, except for the smell.

It smells like, well, puke. It wasn’t so bad first thing in the morning, but as soon as we turned the lights on and it got hot up there – icky, icky poo (or icky, icky puke as the case may be).

We’re not exactly sure where he puked, although we can make an educated guess from where the smell’s strongest (none of us were really all that eager to find a puddle of vomit, anyway).

So of course, that’s where we put our dimmer board operator’s table*. We even made sure it was safely secured to the deck by bolting it down.

Wasn’t that nice of us?

* We all love our dimmer board operator – he’s a great guy, and we’ve all known him for years and had some great times with him on various shows. Don’t feel bad for him. It’s really easy to re-locate a dimmer board, so he won’t be in the smell for long, but that five minutes or so are just going to be priceless. My only regret is that we won’t be there to see it.

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, Work

4 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    Not to sound all smarmy, but was safety notified about the paint fumes? When it becomes a health issue, then it really SHOULD be reported. BTW-I drove on Willoughby today and looked for couches. Not a one-but I did see a great dining room table and chairs across the street from the Magic Castle when I swung up on Franklin to the fwy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We always called it “zip cord”; I think of a zip line as a bit of cable traversed with a couple of sheaves mounted with a handle. Having to tail everything with SJO is a bit of a headache but I guess the fire danger is less, and with the ground it’s safer, but tracking down the fixture guy can be a headache at times…

  3. Robert Hogan says:

    Back in the day when I use to tech at a local music hall we used to get in all kinds of road hard college bands. As the drum tech it was usually my job to make sure the drums where all miced up and ready to go. Sometimes this included actually setting up the kits for the bigger acts.

    One time I opened up drum case and was greeted with a nice smelly pile of vomit that had been left inside a $500 tom drum.

    Turns out the bad teched themselves out at the previous gig and bass player was so wasted that he just puked in the closest available container.

    The drummer was pissed when he found out what twenty hours of stomach acid (and assorted illicit drugs) can do to a maple drum shell.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We call a “stinger” a “single extension” here on the east coast. I usually use a scrim bag for all of my emergency bodily functions. That’s just me. Still rockin’ the zip cord out here too! Screw SJO!

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