Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Weekends can be dangerous

Some locations are only available on the weekends.

Parking garages in business parks, for example. Not shootable on weekdays when workers fill the spaces, but on weekends, they’re a wasteland just begging for some stunt driving, which is what we were shooting on Saturday.

This particular parking garage was in Santa Clarita, which, if you’re not familiar with Southern California geography, is north of the city and approximately three degrees cooler than the surface of the sun. It was so hot up there that I stopped having to pee despite drinking copious amounts of water all day. I’d just go to the bathroom for the opportunity to make a big puff out of toilet paper and desperately dab at whichever body part I could easily reach in a futile attempt to dry off.

We were shooting on the lower levels of the parking garage and were all very grateful for the cover provided by the roof. It was hot inside (and full of exhaust fumes, of course), but not nearly as hot as it was outside with the sun beating down and reflecting off the acres of cement and steel. Near the end of the day there was a shot on the roof of the garage (involving a helicopter and gunfire) but as we didn’t light it (a wide shot during a day exterior means little, if any lighting) our boss was the only one who had to be up there. Poor guy.

Despite the heat and the humidity (storms over the desert, while they’ve given us some lovely puffy clouds in the sky, have made it feel like Miami around here) the day went fairly smoothly – since we were doing driving shots all day the lighting was fairly simple and there’s a huge difference between the ‘artiste’ type of director and stunt directors. Stunt directors just want to get the stuff shot and move on so they can get their day while the drivers are still fairly alert.

Even the fairly simple stunts take a lot of time to set up, rehearse and shoot (and it’s not possible to rush stunt people) so we had a 14 hour day. In one of nature’s cruel jokes, just as we were leaving the temperature dropped and a nice refreshing cool(ish) breeze picked up.

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

3 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Uuugghh, I have zero right to complain about the heat here in Hollywood, good grief! What a trooper (you!). Just popping in to wish you icy cool relief and remind you that I love reading your blog. Take care!

    Peggy sez: Oh, feel free to complain about the heat in Hollywood. Just because it’s hotter in Santa Clarita doesn’t mean it’s not hot here.

  2. Peter says:

    The union ought to negotiate a deal under which there is a premium paid for each hour that the temperature exceeds a certain point.

  3. Téa :) says:

    i loved reading this.

    I HATTTEEE the heat!
    Bring some snow and icy weather to California please

    Peggy sez: Snow’s fun when I can drive to the mountains, look at it and then drive back home, but when I did live somewhere that had snow, I hated having to dig the car out before I could drive anywhere. Oh, that and frozen water pipes. Didn’t like those, either.

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