Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

I’m feeling the burn now

I can lift all the puny weights at the gym that I like, but nothing gets one in shape to wrap cable like wrapping cable. I’ve done a lot of standing on set for the past, well, year, which is a very good thing, but yesterday I went in for a one day gig on a different show and we wrapped all the cable from the perms of the stage since that show’s over (for now).

The standard method is to send out all the cable that’s hanging down into the set and have the guys on the ground wrap it as it’s coming down, and then wrap everything that’s upstairs and then lower the coiled cable down to the floor with a winch. Except that this particular stage is far too modern for such an old-fashioned thing as a winch. We had to load the cable in carts and then take it down to the floor in the elevator, which actually takes much, much longer than the winch method.

Before we could load up the elevator, though, we had to wrap an entire season’s worth of cable – most of which was the extra heavily insulated stuff that we call ‘horse cock’. By lunch, my arms felt like rubber and I ached all over – not to mention the allergy attack since the perms of most stages are incredibly dusty. I’m told that they used to vacuum them back in the old days, but that’s a courtesy that vanished well before my time.

The gaffer (an extra wonderful guy) bought us lunch, which was very nice of him and I always love a free meal, but I had to be very careful what I ate – heavy meal plus the fact that it’s 30 degrees hotter in perms than on ground, plus heavy work while bent over at the waist equals an awful mess that I certainly wouldn’t want to clean up. I had a chicken breast and a fruit salad, which of course I ‘burned’ because of the heavy work so I was really hungry two hours after lunch, but that really is the lesser of two evils.

After lunch, we wrapped the rest of the stuff as quickly as we could, shuttled it down to the floor, counted it, sorted it and then sat and waited for the rental house guys to show up and take it away. I’d felt good while we were working, but of course, as soon as I sat down, I stiffened up and by the time I got home I had a date with a bathtub full of Epsom salts.

I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t hurt this morning at all.

Tomorrow, I’m back to standing on set all day.

Filed under: studio lots, Work

3 Responses

  1. I had a wrap day like that at the end of a pilot near Xmas — up high all day long, wrapping and dropping the cable all the way back to the waterfall. We dropped it with poly line over the rail rather than using a winch, and by the time the catwalks were clear, I knew the next day was going to hurt.

    And it did — a lot. It took me a week to recover from that one day. But it’s always good to re-boot one’s perspective by being reminded what a real work day is.

  2. geekhiker says:

    Now all you have to do is open a gym that offers a class in “cable-wrapping”, get all the celebs there because it’s the new, hip form of exercise, then sit back and watch the dough roll in…

    Glad to hear you’re back at work and, minus the epsom salt bath, feeling pretty healthy!

  3. JCW says:

    Whenever I’ve sat around on a 14 hour day wait, wait, waiting to work, I’ve thought of you.

    On the one hand, for the most part I’ve got a cushy gig. On the other, as I watch the grips, PAs, makeup folks running around busy all day, I’m jealous.

    One thing to be said about a busy day – it seems to go by quickly. My days on set tend to drag on like a viewing of Punch Drunk Love.

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