Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Communication breakdown

I was booked to work on an insert unit, so I reported to the studio lot in West LA at noon for van ride to our location in downtown  Los Angeles.

When we got to the lot, one seemed to know what was going on, so we inventoried our five ton truck and added some cable, because we didn’t know  where the generator was going to land.

Milled about, finally took matters into our own hands and got a driver to take us and said truck to location.

Got there about 1pm. Besides a very confused location rep, no one was there.  Discovered upon arriving that the producer had canceled the generator without telling us.

Which was fine, since the gaffer and DP were planning on lighting the smallish bar with kino flos, which plug into the wall and the place had power, so no worries.

So we did as much of a pre-rig as we could, since we had no director and no DP. They’d been given a much later call, which we also weren’t told.

Sat around and shot the shit with the medic and the driver. Extras started to show up, also confused.

Finally, the DP showed up – at 3 pm.

Tweaked the lighting a bit more, added a few kinos.  Ate a sandwich. Joked about decamping to the strip club around the corner.

Finally, the first Assistant Director, camera operator (with camera package) and director showed up. At 4 pm.

After some discussion with the DP, we adjusted the lighting again, rolled on two shots (one wide shot of a stunt, one tighter version), then they called wrap.

We put our stuff back in the truck, and headed back across town to the lot. Got there around 8 pm, and were surprised when we were told we needed to do some promo shots, which required us to use one BFL (Big Fucking Light).

On the same stage that the main unit were shooting on. So we rigged in between rolls, finally got actors, and then tried to shoot while the other unit was working. Except that we were rolling sound, so we had to stop the main unit from working while we shot.

Finally, they gave up and told us we’d have to wait until the main unit wrapped to shoot our stuff.

Went to crafty, ate some Thai food.

Got called back to roll on the first segment.

Sat around and shot the shit with the writer of the episode.

Rolled on the second segment.

Sat around in the gold room and discussed how much our bank accounts love disorganization.

Rolled on our last shot, wrapped our BFL and went home.

What we thought was going to be a five or six-hour day turned into  11 hours. Sweet.

Filed under: Work

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