Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Just as I knew it would happen, as soon as it got really, really hot (and humid, sadly), I got an outside job. Running cable. In the San Fernando Valley (which, if you’re not familiar with Los Angeles, is hotter than the surface of the sun).

We started out early in the morning (I went to bed when it was still light and got up to go to work when it was still dark), wrapping the last night’s set in one of the city’s tonier hillside areas.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s a direct correlation between how rich people are and how hateful they are to film crews. In poor neighborhoods, they just sigh and wait us out.  Anyone who makes enough money to have an expensive car and a gardener is outright hostile.

In this particular neighborhood, they weren’t actually trying to hit us with their cars, but they weren’t making any sort of effort to avoid us, either.

In between dodging the luxury SUVs, we finished our wrap in the really startling mid-July downpour.

None of us had rain gear, but that really didn’t matter because we were already so sweaty that a little more water made no difference at all. It actually felt nice and kind of refreshing.  Had I been working with guys that I knew a little better, I’d have stood there in my undershirt and shouted about  being king of the hill. Or something.

I also slipped on someone’s trendy oddly spaced flagstones and lumpy grass landscaping and turned an ankle, but lucky for me it didn’t swell so I was able to walk it off.  Going home early means the crew works for the rest of the day on reduced manpower, which means that the work takes longer to complete.

After our impromptu shower,  we hopped in a van and went to rig cable in an even hotter part of the city – where the temperature was over 100 degrees F. I drank gallons of water and electrolyte drinks and never had to pee, but I didn’t pass out so I guess it was a win.

I never want to complain, though, because everyone else on the crew is just as hot and sweaty as I am, and bitching about it’s not going to solve anything. At least I remembered to keep reapplying my sunblock. Normally I forget about it, sweat it off and then get burned to a crisp.

After we finished running a truckload of cable, we went to a third location in the basement of an apartment building (not the new gentrified fancy apartments.  An old style tenement) where we ran even more cable and started hanging lamps inside, until we ran out of time, as production decreed that we were not to go over a 12 hour day. Shame they stopped us. It was just starting to cool off enough to be comfortable.

I went home, took a cold shower (mainly because I didn’t want to wait for the bathtub to fill), and then felt almost human again.

This morning, I woke up incredibly stiff and could barely get out of bed.  It’s better now but I’m still gimping around.

I’m not sure if I should blame the heat or the cable. Or both.

Also, I don’t know what’s going on with comments. Right now, they’re all showing as ‘pending’ even though I’ve tried to approve them. Some sort of WordPress skullfuckery, I guess.

Filed under: crack of dawn, hazardous, locations, Work

2 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    Los Angeles in the dead of summer can be miserable for a VISITOR… I can’t imagine what it must be like to actually WORK in that heat! Keep hydrated! :-)

  2. geekhiker says:

    I remember that stiffness well from growing up in the heat of a Sacramento summer. The only advice I can give is to make sure you’re completely re-hydrating at the end of the day. Also, make sure to get enough salt. Muscle cramping can result as a result of lack of salt in your system from sweating.

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