Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A narrow escape from the temple of impulse buying

The last time I worked, I started having problems with my walkie headset – I could hear, but not respond, which might not seem like a problem, but can annoy the hell out of the gaffer if you can’t answer a simple fucking question without climbing down out of the rigging.

I’d put off buying a new one as I haven’t been working, but since things are supposedly picking up (or so I hear) I drove to Burbank and walked into the most dangerous place on the planet.


A vast air-conditioned emporium full to the brim of all kinds of cool stuff that I don’t need but desperately want more than I’ve ever wanted anything before.

A tool pouch with a little light built-in so you can peruse the contents in the dark!

Special gloves just for wrapping wet cable!

Neat-o stretchy cables that attach your wrench to your belt so if you drop said wrench while you’re in the perms, it won’t fall to the floor and hurt someone!

25 different types of clips to hold your gloves!

Tape in all the colors of the rainbow!

Oh, the colors…

Plus, helpful staff!

Me (glassy-eyed): “What’s that?”

Sales clerk: “That’s a dampening widget that sound guys only use on the 5th Monday of a month ending in -ed”

Me (drooling): “It’s so shiiiiiiny….”

Must. Control. Self.

After stepping outside and taking several deep cleansing breaths of the smoggy air, I managed to escape with just my new headset and a pair of the wet cable gloves (soggy gloves suck so it’s a totally justified purchase), but oh, for the shiny stuff I had to leave behind.

Damn you, Filmtools. Damn you to hell.

Filed under: Non-Work, overspending

5 Responses

  1. Thanks for cluing me in to this place, Peg. It’s good to have an alternative to MoleTown, or whatever they call that Mole Richardson expendables/outlet store on La Brea. What I like about MoleTown is the 15% discount when you flash your IA card. Does Filmtools do the same?

    Peggy sez: I don’t know if they do or not.

  2. geekhiker says:

    I often wonder why it is that every career and hobby I pick seems to involve so many cool shiny toys. Samy’s Camera, REI, Fry’s – all so dangerous to my credit card…

  3. CameraKate says:

    So true! FilmTools is my candy store! It takes all of my willpower not to spend all the money I made from my last shoot on new toys for the next one…moving out of LA helped, but they still have a website!

  4. A.J. says:

    Film Tools doesn’t give a discount for a student or IA card like Studio Depot (aka: the Mole expendable store), but I find their prices to be overall cheaper anyway, so I guess it’s a trade off. Also, I found that Location Sound sometimes has better prices and selection when it comes to headsets.

    But I agree… Film Tools (or any expendables store) is a dangerous place. I actually toyed with the idea of getting a pair of the WaterOps gloves when I saw them at Cinelease Expendables (you get a discount if you’re on a show that’s renting from them… or can mention one that is…) so I hope you can do a follow up post and let us all know if they work or not!

    Peggy sez: I’ll let you know as soon as I have a chance to use them!

  5. JCW says:

    Thought about you Friday night. I was on the Moneyball set waiting to cross and was watching a guy wrap what had to be about a hundred yards of heavy cable when suddenly you popped into my mind.

    Can’t think why.

    You also occurred to me when we were sitting in the stands watching the setups, and I noticed that the crew was 98% male – only two women doing the heavy work.

    Is it that way because not too many women want those jobs, or are they being held back by a “boys club” mentality?

    Peggy sez: Depends. Some women are too smart, or intimidated (despite US Military studies indicating that with weight training women can be just as strong as men), to do the job, and some men are unenlightened and won’t hire women.

    It’s kind of crew-by-crew and area-by-area.

    If there were two women on the lighting/rigging crew, then that’s not a Best Boy who won’t hire women.

    Since the Bay Area’s a much smaller work force, I imagine that there are simply fewer women working in the local there.

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