Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

An 11-step plan to keep oneself occupied during a normally boring day exterior

1. Notice that sky seems to be getting awfully dark and full of ash.

2. Wonder if ash-laden air contains enough oxygen to keep an adult human being conscious.

3. Begin to have trouble maintaining verticality.

4. Notice ground approaching head at a terrific speed.

5. Completely miss point of impact after hitting head on leg of crank-o-vator stand on way down.

6. Wake up in ambulance wondering what the hell just happened.

7. Notice that colleagues removed toolbelt, which was the only thing holding up pants.

8. Hope desperately that pants did not fall off during the trip from set to ambulance.

9. Regret choice to ‘go commando’ (due to laundry issues) this particular day.

10. Vow never to ‘go commando’ ever again, even if it means staying up all night washing underpants by hand.

11. Get released from hospital just in time to go back to set and help load truck because the producer called an ‘insurance day’ after four other crew members and director passed out, too.

Filed under: hazardous, life in LA, locations, mishaps, Work, , , , , , ,

13 Responses

  1. JohnC says:

    Is this based on a true story?

    If so, ouch and sorry and hope you feel better.

    Peggy sez: Of course it’s true. Or maybe it’s not. Since I hit my head, I probably can’t be trusted.

  2. E. says:

    Yikes, glad you’re OK. Where were you guys shooting?

    Peggy sez: Stupidly, we were shooting near Malibu.

  3. Proto says:

    Oh my, glad you survived.
    Comando or not.
    Does an insurance day a day of work to everyone’s schedule too?

  4. Proto says:

    I meant, add a day of work…

    Peggy sez: It adds a day to someone’s schedule, but not necessarily mine. I may be on another show when they pick up the day.

  5. clyde says:

    hope your head is ok. i learned not to go commando in something simply referred to as the “incident.” i also learned to appreciate why my dad wore a belt and suspenders …

    Peggy sez: My head is fine – I’ve got a bump, but not a bad one.

  6. Charli says:

    In Santa Monica the sky toward the coast is bleak, never seen sky look so unnatural. It’s the worse looking ‘fog’ you ever did see.

    Rachel – on the last thread as a reply to your post, though I understand the WGA wants to represent the writers in a way in which they won’t regret it twenty years down the road, I don’t think strategically they went about it in a way that would be most advantageous to its members, good faith call or not. It’s easy for a top paid writer with a thick bank account to be at the forefront yelling, “strike, strike” and it’s much more difficult for a writer who lives on each paycheck to yell with the same fervor.

    I also don’t feel there is a consideration for all of the lives a strike will disrupt. I understand the need for a stand, but as story is the heart of every production, and electricians, carpenters, PAs, script supervisors, etc., need their jobs, I don’t feel the script should be wielded like a sword to gash at producers without the consequence of who else it will hurt.

    From a BUSINESS point of view, I don’t think the WGA went about it smart.

  7. David H. says:

    Ouch! That’s no fun! And about the breathability of the air…if it looked anything like this video I shot while driving through LA on Monday, then probably not:

    Peggy sez: Yeek! Yep. That’s about what the air looked like. Hopefully the wind will change soon.

  8. Mary Sue says:

    Goodness! Hope the noggin’s ok!

    And didn’t your momma tell you to always wear clean underwear in case a blazing inferno caused you to pass out and conk yourself on the head and be taken to the hospital, ’cause mine sure did.

    (I wish I was kidding.)

    Peggy sez: My mother’s caution was against wearing dirty underwear – hence my thinking that going without would be better than the ER workers’ gross out. I’ve certainly learned my lesson.
    Oh, and I’m okay. Just a bump.

  9. getsheila says:

    I bet the producer didn’t call the insurance day until after the director passed out.

    Hey, were any of the ambulance attendants cute and single?

    Peggy sez: How right you are. The day was only called after the director passed out. The ambulance guys weren’t all that cute, either – or they could have been and I didn’t notice because I was consumed with worry that I’d just shown everyone my ass.

  10. JCW says:


    I guess Marie Osmond really wasn’t faking it after all…..

    Always keep a spair pair from Victoria’s Secret handy for those “out of clean” undies days…..

    That issue aside, I’m sure your ass is lovely and everyone enjoyed the view.

  11. nezza says:

    Bloomin’ ‘eck Peggy! I’m glad to hear you’re okay though.

    I have about a gazillion pairs of undies to prevent that problem from occuring. Yes – always wear undies! And perhaps a crash helmet…..

  12. MARCI says:

    you poor thing – and yeah, of course they didn’t call it until the director passed out!
    Hope you’re feeling better and can take it easy this weekend and re-hydrate!

  13. al smitty says:

    Funny how grips and electrics don’t have to wear hard hats. In the construction biz, electricians, steelworkers and carpenters all have to wear them on construction sites. You guys would howl like crazy if you had to wear them though.

    Is it worth it on the off chance that you’ll take a header, or get hit by a falling tool or light? I’ve seen a few lights fall on set, never seen anyone hit.

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