Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Hard Outs

Certain parts of Los Angeles have decided that film crews are a giant nuisance and have enacted laws to rein in the madness. Most of these areas are, of course, the areas where everyone wants to shoot because they aren’t instantly recognizable as Los Angeles.

One of these areas is the city of Pasadena, who, in a desperate bid to save their citizens from the horror of late-night shoots, have declared that any shooting in the city must be over by 10 pm – and that’s not ‘stop shooting at 10 pm unless you slip someone a couple of Benjamins’ like it is in certain parts of town. That’s a hard out, or ‘taillights’ by 10. That means that the dirty movie people and their accompanying cluster fuck must be on the freeway hightailing it out of town by 10 pm on weeknights. Period. No extensions.

This is fine with most of us. It guarantees that we won’t have a terribly late night, but sometimes the powers that be forget exactly how long it takes to stuff all that gear back into the truck and they do something like shoot until 9:30 and expect us to cram a two-hour wrap into 20 minutes (remember, that’s driving away at 10 pm, not cramming the last cart onto the truck at 10 pm).

Last night, we were graciously given almost hour to wrap our scattered gear (much of which was on a rooftop and had to be lowered down, which only happens quickly if we don’t care if the stuff breaks) back onto the trucks.

Too bad it took us 90 minutes to wrap.

If we’d been able to get our 48-footer down next to the location itself, we probably would have made it in the allotted time, but since the trucks were in a parking lot a few hundred yards away from the location (connected by a steep winding driveway), we had to wrap the gear, load the carts, push the carts onto a smaller stakebed, drive up the hill and then load the stuff into the big truck. Lather, rinse, repeat as the clock runs out.

Which meant that the trucks couldn’t roll that night – our driver told me that if they were caught on the city streets after our out time not only would the production company be fined, but the drivers would be ticketed as well.

So instead of making the move to the next location at night when there’s less traffic, the drivers were going to have to report to work a few hours early and drive the trucks to the next location early in the morning instead.

Luckily, it’s a long weekend this weekend in celebration of Labor Day, which celebrates the formation of unions* so the workers don’t get screwed by management anym… oh, wait.

Enjoy the extra day off anyways if you’re in the US. If you’re not – enjoy that day off in May that we don’t get here.

*Not so much, actually. Labor Day was never anything other than a day off for the downtrodden worker organized by the unions in the 19th century, but I’m more than willing to exaggerate if it helps me work a joke.

Filed under: Work, , , ,

One Response

  1. Charli says:

    I worked Labor Day for almost 10 years because of the hotel industry. I look forward to Labor Day and Memorial Day for the first time in a long time.

    We had two black outs last night, talk about DARK. Had to get my cell phone to fine my flash light (book reading light) and come to discover I don’t have any more AAA batteries for the thing. Good thing the lights came back on.

    So now I know what a darkest night is, I think. Horrid.

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