Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The abominable dusty everything.

Today’s set was a big tent in one of LA’s nature areas – and by ‘nature area’ I mean a big dirt lot adjacent to a man-made lake in the Valley.

The dirt floor of the tent was covered with a layer of sawdust, which must have seemed like a great idea at the time – until the couple of hundred extras and circus performers started tromping around and then it hit.

The dust cloud.

After a couple of hours, it was like a foggy morning in San Francisco in there, and the camera assistants were going through what I imagine was a week’s worth of canned air by blowing off the cameras every few minutes in an attempt to keep them dust free enough to work.

Everything was coated with dust – even though I was wearing one of those paper masks, I still tasted dust and felt grit between my teeth. Although it was hot, I probably didn’t drink enough water because that would have meant taking the mask away from my face, which would have meant ingesting extra dirt.

After lunch, there was some attempt to control the dust by sending two guys around to spray the floor with water from those 2 gallon portable garden misters, but that did nothing to help.

Even after having had the world’s longest shower, I still taste it. I think my lungs are now coated with dust.

At least I had a mask, though. Our actress not only had to navigate the dirt floor in spike heels, but wasn’t able to wear a dust mask because of her makeup. By the end of the day she was really starting to cough.

And in case you were wondering, 100+ extras can really do some damage to the portable toilets. I went in there to pee and wash my hands before driving home and every single stall looked like a natural disaster.

I’m going to brush my teeth for the fourth time and go to bed.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    If only you could brush away the horrible memories!


  2. Nathan says:

    I don’t mean to diminish the awfulness of your day in the dust, but just spend a day shooting in a live poultry shop. Yeah, the dust is all dry chicken shit.

    No fun at all.

  3. ironrailsironweights says:

    Is there such a thing as a porta-potty that is not a natural disaster?


  4. Charli says:

    They were filming “Private Practice” here in Santa Monica and their toilets were on a flatbed and they looked nice.

  5. Given enough time, and enough extras, any portapotty rig will turn into a Third World hellhole. I’ve been on jobs where the portapotties got so rank that I had to wander in seach of a bush to pee behind. That’s one advantage to being a guy — Lord knows what the female crew and extras did.

    This makes a film crew real popular with the neighbors…

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