Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Two outfits, one day

Most of the time when I’m working, I aim for wearing clothes that don’t smell and haven’t got rips in embarrassing places, but sometimes I do actually have to dress up to go to work (actually, I usually wear my ‘normal’ clothes in and change at the last possible second to avoid any teasing, wolf whistles or photographs which may or may not later end up taped to the set cart with some sort of smart-ass caption).

One of these times is running a follow-spot.

A follow-spot is a light which requires an operator to, well, follow a person on stage with the spot of light. This can be very, very easy or maddening depending on the size of the stage and how much caffeine said person has had that day. Don’t even get me started about follow spots for anything involving dancing.

Luckily, my job yesterday was ridiculously easy as some extremely thoughtful person had removed the small stairway that would have allowed the speaker to step off the dias and roam into the audience, so he couldn’t move more than a couple of steps in any direction.

Whoever you are, I thank you.

Since this event was on a studio lot and attended by Important People, those of us working the event had to look presentable yet invisible at the same time – this means solid dark colors. I usually wear black slacks and a black long sleeved t-shirt which makes me not frighten any honchos who may come in contact with me (“eeek! It’s one of them! Run for your BMW!”), but since they’re fairly nice clothes that I’d like to not ruin, after the event I changed back into my normal work clothes to wrap the stage.

This particular lot has a policy that when workers are on an 8 hour call, said workers are not to be released before those 8 hours have elapsed, so after we got everything on the stage wrapped, we had to go work on the lamp dock for the rest of the day.

Which is fine – if the studio doesn’t want me roaming the city engaging in potentially criminal or dangerous activities while I’m on their payroll, I understand and since I happen to really like the guys that work on this lot’s lamp dock it was a very fun afternoon.

Although just for the record I would have been at the gym doing leg presses while on the studio’s payroll.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Kind of off-topic, but I saw something today of interest while at the Edith Head building at Universal.

    Edith Head contains both props and costume. Workers were wheeling garment racks onto semi trailers. Nothing unusual in that, but what I was told was their destination did give me a frisson of things to come: they are headed to New Mexico. Not to a specific production, but to Uni’s new facility that will service New Mexico’s burgeoning film industry.

    Wanna work there? Gotta join their local, unless you’ve got some special dispensation.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  2. scotsirishgirl says:

    2 things….chris…WTF? with the Universal thing?? I’m going to ask my friends (in very medium places) there what’s up with that!

    Peggy…Oh, the trials and tribulations of running follow spot at a dance concert, especially a modern dance concert. I’ve done that more times than I care to count. At least with ballet you can watch which way the dancer’s chest is pointing to give you some sort of idea where he/she is heading. Modern dance (and even worse, jazz dance) gives you no such clues. I’m glad you got a stationary target!

    Peggy sez: Uni has sent trailers of lighting and grip equipment there, too. They’re moving as much production there as they can. Don’t worry. It’ll start to get expensive there once the subsidies are eliminated (that’ll happen once the state figures out how much it’s losing) and they’ll come back.

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