Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo

Matching Bungees

Matching bungees at Warner Brothers.

Years ago, bungees were standard equipment on lighting and grip trucks, but most lots and shows have now banned them.

Specifically, they’ve banned the heavy black industrial rubber bungees (that I can’t find a photo of) due to accidents. What would happen was that one would buy the bungee (and the rental houses would only sell them, so since we paid for them, we figured we’d keep using them to get our money’s worth), then it would sit in the sun on a cart (or in an alternately boiling hot/freezing cold truck) for a long time and get dry rot and then when the bungee got stretched it would snap and … kapow. I’ve got bungee-related bone chips in one of my elbows, and one would be hard-pressed to find any crew person without a bungee horror story to tell.  One poor guy even lost an eye, which is what ultimately led to the near unilateral ban on the things.

I actually kind of like the stretchy bungees that are shown in the photo – they’re great for small lightweight stuff and they don’t look as beefy as the black ones so there’s no false sense of security about how much they can hold (“hey, give me two or three bungees” “but that’s a 10K!” pause “Ah, okay. Give me four”).

Most of the time we use things called rope ratchets on our carts instead, and full-sized ratchet straps to secure the carts to the side of the truck when it rolls.

If you’re thinking about using ratchet straps for the first time, please learn how to thread them properly before you fuck them up and make me want to kill you while I try desperately to open them up after they’ve jammed while my co-workers shout insults as they wait for me to get the thing open so we can load the last cart and go home.

Filed under: Work

2 Responses

  1. A.J. says:

    A photo of the black rubber bungees can be found here:

    I prefer the ones you have pictured though. They’re easier to stretch and come in many fashionable colors.

    Peggy sez: Yup, that’s a big bunch of banned bungees. Thanks for the link to the photo!

  2. I’ve had one snap back and hit me on my cheek juuuust shy of my eye, so I know the danger. Not fun. It was one of the ones in your picture too.

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