Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo

Dolly Track

The wooden wedges under the dolly track are to keep the track perfectly smooth and level – you’d be surprised how many bumps and craters there are in any supposedly level ground.

Since movie cameras don’t have image stabilization, even the slightest little divot in the track, on screen, will look like the camera operator got picked up and shaken mid-dolly move.

My call today is noon, which means I’m not getting home until well past midnight (the split: half day, half night. Also known as “Fuck You Friday”. You wanna have a weekend? Afternoon call. Fuck you). As long as I get home before the Friday night drunk drivers descend on my neighborhood, I’m fine. A couple of weeks ago there was a three a.m. drunken drag race right in front of my house. Ah, Hollywood…

I’ve almost got enough hours to make sure that I keep my health insurance in the event of another protracted work stoppage. Yay!

Filed under: locations, Photos, Work, , , , , ,

8 Responses

  1. Charli says:

    How long does it take to assemble a track like that, to make sure it’s leveled?

  2. jimsmuse says:

    I just recently watched some footage of the filming of Lawrence of Arabia…I can’t even imagine the headaches involved in setting up a 1/4 mile of dolly tracks in the middle of the desert. I admire people who are so devoted to the final product that they are willing to work so hard!

  3. meg says:

    My husband was not sad when he didn’t get a dolly grip job on a feature filming in Hawaii. I said ‘location in Hawaii, wow, wouldn’t that be great!’ and he said the location would be ‘sand and water’ and not fun. He had already done a feature in Thailand that required lots and lots of beach dolly track and didn’t want to repeat the experience.
    Note to jimsmuse: think about how heavy, awkward and bulky the cameras and dollies were, back in the Lawrence of Arabia days. Yeah, we’re talkin’ sum fun now.

  4. hkd says:

    i’m currently in the middle of a fuck you friday shift. you made me & my PA laugh our asses off. you rock.

  5. E. says:

    At the last show I worked on, we referred to late-call Fridays as “Fraturdays.” I feel for you, man, those are unpleasant.

  6. Gary says:

    Hey, I’ve been there! If that’s the warehouse I think it is, it’s a couple blocks east of the LA river at about 6th or 7th street, and has a set of RR tracks running into the west entrance. We shot a Bruckheimer/Disney movie there last fall. Is that the one, and what production were you on there? Speaking of dirt, that was the dustiest place I’ve ever worked. You’d think they could run a parking lot sweeper over it now and then!

  7. Glad you’re getting in the hours.

    Our union changed our hours last year so I ended up losing my insurance this year, in spite of all the work I did, which really sucked.

    Plus, they tend to change the requirements part way through the year, which sucks even more.

    Which is one reason I decided to switch over to writing full time last year. Why wait, since I was going to be without insurance any way?

  8. wasagrip says:

    Can you tap that last piece of track to the left? Thanks.

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