Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Bees, kitsch, and some food for thought.

Normally, being the guy up in the condor with the BFL (big fucking light) is fairly uneventful.

Raise platform up, set light(s) at gaffer’s direction, kill time until wrap.

Friday night, however, was different.

One of the lights must have been aimed at a hive somewhere in the New York Street facades because a few minutes after I went up I was surrounded by dozens of  bees, most of whom were successful in getting past the color gel and into the light (which meant they got toasted immediately), but the ones who weren’t able to figure out how to get around the gel became very, very cross and decided that flying full speed at the big thing in the basket was a great idea.

After a number of near-misses I decided to take the coward’s way out and huddled in the bottom of the basket with a blanket over me, sweating profusely as it was a warm night (I’d much rather sweat than get stung) and trying not to scream while we were rolling.

As we worked our way through a very long and complex scene, I huddled under my blanket, listening to the angry bees buzzing around me. After a time, most of them would find their way into the lights and that would be the end of that.

Just when I’d get optimistic about the bees having given up for the night, a fresh batch would fly up and the whole process would start over.

Thankfully, the last scene scheduled for the night was dropped, meaning I got to turn off my lights and enjoy a bee-free descent earlier than I’d anticipated.

Sunday night,  a friend of mine and I went to an on-lot screening of Ghost Town.

After the movie,  we went to eat at the weirdest restaurant in Los Angeles.

No, I’m serious.

It’s a Greek-themed seafood place, staffed by octogenarians  and no matter what one orders, an indiscriminate plate of something completely random which bears no resemblance to what was described on the menu appears.

I ordered kabobs and got what I think was supposed to be a salad, my friend ordered fish and got, well, I’m not sure what it was but it sure as hell wasn’t the red snapper.

This is a small price to pay for the ambiance of badly done Agean scenery murals, statuary draped in Christmas lights, a decrepit piano player and old men arguing about politics while one eats one’s mystery meal.

There’s some metaphor for life itself in there somewhere, I’m just not sure where.  Maybe in the sauce.

Wall mural

Piano player

Strange Greek place in Hollywood

Cell phone neon sign shot

Sorry about the shitty cell phone cam shots. I’d forgotten to bring my camera.

Filed under: Non-Work, Photos, Work, , , , , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Look at the bright side, at least they weren’t killer bees.

  2. k4kafka says:

    Just down the street from Paramount, right?

    Peggy sez: Yep. Between Vine and Larchmont on the south side of the street.

  3. geekhiker says:

    I think strange restaurants are one of the way-undervalued aspects of LA…

  4. JCW says:

    Oh great….

    All day tomorrow I’m filming outdoors at a reservoir during a mild Bay Area heat wave.

    I’ll be yellow jacket candy.

  5. Floyd says:

    Alexander King, one of my favorite writers, was himself an immigrant to this country and describes patronizing such establishments “out of a sheer sympathy with failure.”

    And stop wasting your life — find a copy of his “Mine Enemy Grows Older.” If you are lucky the dust jacket and its horrible blurb will be missing so the big surprise really will surprise you.

    — Floyd

  6. Charli says:

    I once swatted at a couple of yellowjackets and somebody forgot to tell me that when they sting, boils emerge. I had a fly swatter but they managed to sting my hand just the same. We had a nest of mud doppers (black wasp) up near the roof of the house back when I lived in Frisco, TX. Hubby sprayed this wasp spray that shoots like 20 feet. After he hit that hive, you don’t want to know what 100 wasp look like when they’re angry. He shut that sliding door so fast!

  7. Arnold Richter says:

    Do yourself a favor. Go to a military surplus store and get yourself a mosquito net. I got mine at the Supply Sergeant in Burbank. It is tent-shaped and it fits a condor basket almost perfectly. Four #2 grip clips (Home Depot, $.99 each, don’t count on the grips, no offense to any grips) hold it to the railing and you’re set.

    Also, love the blog.

  8. Arnold Richter says:

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget to spread out a furniture pad or something on the floor or the bugs will fly up through the holes in the floor.

  9. sal says:

    So its Hollywood’s fault that the worldwide bee population is falling. Yay, we have somone to blame!

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