Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Fun with crustaceans

Friday’s work involved a  scene with crabs. Not the kind you get from a cheap date, but the kind that scuttle across the beach when you try to catch them.

The scene as written  involved an actor lifting some debris and having the revealed crabs scuttle away thus making some sort of plot point or something.

I’m sure it seemed like a good idea in the production meeting, but the problem is that this particular type of crab, when they’re frightened, freeze and play dead until the predator or actor moves away.

As you can probably imagine, being dumped into a set and having a bright light shined on them scares the bejesus out of crabs. So when the debris was lifted and my co-worker hit them (not literally) with the light, they froze and just sat there despite all best efforts to get them to do something. Anything.  They were so scared that when they were dumped back into their bin, they still refused to move. Or, they could have actually been dead. The crab wrangler wasn’t 100% certain.

After many, many failed attempts to get the terrified (or dead- remember we couldn’t really tell) crabs to scurry, the director gave up and decided he was okay with them just sitting there.  Which was fine (except for the maybe dead part. That’s terrible and I care deeply. I swear) because the crabs’ recalcitrance turned a 9 hour day into a 12 hour day. Go crabs!

The overtime was a good thing, because this was the last scheduled day of the season for our unit (there may a few more days, but they aren’t scheduled), so at least we’ll go out with a decent check.

Over the weekend, I went and saw some more wild flowers – those of you who recommended the side of the highway were spot-on. The flowers there were much better than in the super crowded poppy reserve.

Poppies and Goldfields

Field of poppies

Roadside poppies
Yesterday,  I went to the doctor to have a chat about my foot – I’m going to the podiatrist on Friday (unless, of course, I have to work) and see if he’s going to recommend surgery.

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

7 Responses

  1. JCW says:


    6 tablespoons mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons Creole mustard
    1 tablespoon horseradish cream
    2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
    1/4 cup minced celery
    1/4 cup minced onion
    Tabasco sauce, to taste
    1 pound fresh crabmeat
    1 cup coarsely crumbled cornbread

    Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in middle. Place mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish cream, Old Bay, celery, and onion in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Season with salt and Tabasco sauce, add crab, and mix until well incorporated.

    Place crab mixture in a 3-cup ovenproof dish and top with crumbled cornbread. Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with toasts or celery sticks.

    …Just a thought for next time…

  2. Meg says:

    and since the crabs were already “cooked” from being under the hot lights, that saves a step!

  3. ironrailsironweights says:

    First watermelons, now crabs, what’s next?


  4. nathan says:

    I was on a commercial years ago where we discovered that chickens do much the same thing. When the barn door crashes open and Paul Revere rides his horse out leaping over the camera on the deck, the chickens DO NOT scatter and make exciting foreground action. They duck and cover.

    The lesson is that you don’t need to waste time finding live chickens…frozen ones will do just as well.

    P.S. Hope all goes well with the foot.

  5. Caryn says:

    Gorgeous poppies. I used to live in SoCal and I miss the poppies and the palm trees. Not to mention I haven’t seen a Foxtail in decades.

  6. geekhiker says:

    Nice pictures of the poppies. I don’t think I’ll make it out there this year, so I appreciate the shots!

    As for the crabs, I feel for them. I always felt a little scared around actors too… ;)

  7. Michael Bell says:

    Maybe they would have moved if they’d attached a couple of squibs to them.

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