On soundstages, as soon as the overhead ‘house’ lights go off, the corners and crannies get really dark. Since tripping and falling is funny but bad, we haul out the worklights.
The preferred worklight is a large bulb in a cage on a metal stand – it’s about 8 feet tall and has a very heavy base. It’s impossible to knock it over, and the cage around the bulb means that we can blackwrap (like tinfoil, only black) the side that’s closest to camera so it doesn’t fuck up the lighting.
The only problem with these lights is most studios haven’t purchased any new ones in 50 years. I’m sure there were adequate lights for all the stages in 1959, but as the lights have broken or disappeared over the years they haven’t been replaced – so now there aren’t enough to go around. This leads to some strongly worded labeling on the stands (“Take this and I’ll come and find you, asshole”), and raids on other show’s stages to procure the coveted worklights.
Last week, all of ours vanished, so of course we suspected the show on the next stage – sure enough, when they went to lunch, we slipped onto their stage and found our worklights. Since they’re nice folks, we only stole a few back, but the first time they’re out on location and forget to ‘hot lock’ their stage (a hot lock means that nobody gets in without permission from the production office), we’re forming a raiding party.
Today, I will get in my car and drive from Hollywood to the lot in West LA. From there, I will board a van, be driven to the set downtown. After work, I’ll get back in the van, be driven back to West LA, were I will get in my car and then drive back east to Hollywood.