Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Don’t worry – I’m still alive.

Working nights really sucks for me – I’ve never been a night person, and I’ve always been a light sleeper, so when I try to sleep while the rest of the world is noisy and bright, I just don’t get any rest. I’m semi-useful at the beginning of the week when I’ve spent 90% of the weekend asleep, but the closer it gets to Friday, the loss of sleep catches up with me.

When I don’t sleep, the world is Technicolor and fuzzy (why is it that colors look especially vivid, but blurry, when I’m sleep deprived). Sound is muffled, and it takes a few seconds for me to process information – I probably shouldn’t be driving or operating heavy machinery, especially since drinking coffee does nothing to combat the fatigue when it’s gone past a certain point.

Stuff happens at work (interdepartmental dust-up over weight limits on a truss resulting in engineer coming out and posting a big notice that the truss is at weight limit and no more than three people are to stand in the same area of the catwalks at any given time, effects guy falling off platform and breaking several bones), but by the time I get home I’m completely wrecked and can’t do anything other than collapse into the bed, desperately hoping to get more than three hours’ sleep before the noise outside keeps me awake.

The only thing that’s making me feel better (I’m not sure if it’s genuine schadenfreude or just misery loving company) is the knowledge that everyone else is just exactly as tired and miserable as I am – some even more so. I’m told that small children simply do not understand the concept of being quiet so someone can sleep during the day, so one of my co-workers is lucky to get an hour and a half of sleep each day.

I suppose in comparison, I’m lucky – I’m managing to get between three and five hours per day.

Filed under: Work

9 Responses

  1. Not4me says:

    Wow. Just reading this stuff is making ME sleepy.

  2. boskolives says:

    Not to transport you into Elvis world, but you might want to consider some sort of meds for those days, and only those days, that you really have to sleep. As a sound mixer, I can’t afford a “Sound is muffled” day, that would not be a good career move for me.

    I’ve been using some stuff I bought over the counter in Vancouver called Sleepeeeze (or something like that, I, umm….. accidently lost the box before crossing the border).

    With that stuff, as long as I can hit the pillow before sunrise, I’m very likely to get 8 hours or so of good sleep, and wake up cleanly with no hangover. If I want to wake up with one of those, that requires different self-medication.

    Of course, your milage may vary!

  3. Meg says:

    Nightwork/daysleep SUCKS. Have you tried a sleepmask, earplugs, a whitenoise type device (I find a fan set on low does the job) blackout curtains, or any combination thereof? Sleepy people make for dangerous sets. Be safe!

  4. Charli says:

    I think I’m the only one who will state the obvious.

    GET ANOTHER GIG.

    Okay, maybe it’s not that simple, but really, girl, get another gig. It’s hard to see you, not see you, see you.

  5. Dan says:

    I made some folding partitions out of 3/4″ plywood and glued 3″ thick Auralex http://www.auralex.com/acoustic_studiofoam_3w/acoustic_studiofoam_3w.asp to one side. I made enough panels to surround my bed. It cuts the noise way down and blocks the light. They fold up when not needed. Funky, but works great, as I can’t sleep with ear plugs or anything else attached to my face.

  6. Meg says:

    Yup, stating the obvious WOULD be “get another gig” but as far as I know, things are pretty slow right now, at least for grips, which is what my husband does. One would think that with strikes looming, things would be busy, but noooooooo. It will be busy soon, but as always, the film industry is Feast or Famine.

  7. she_said says:

    Seems like I am always offering suggestions and I never know if any are helpful – BUT…

    If you have a window in your bedroom…moving box cardboard can be a pretty good sound insulator. Doesn’t look great. It also blocks out all the sun. Permanent midnight.

    When I first moved into this place it was the only window covering we had before unpacking. It is still up a year later. I figure the neighbors can deal with one window looking like a crack house.

  8. not random says:

    Have you tried the white noise headphones that are out? Thet only run about $50, might be worth a shot.

  9. Meg says:

    This is for Dan- I am LOL at the image of your folding partitions to block out noise and sunlight. Kinda like a fold-up coffin? (VERY big grin at this thought!)
    My husband recommends duvateen for the windows. That’ll block out the sun.

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