Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo

Bridge beams with LED lights

Looking up at the beams of the 6th Street Bridge in Los Angeles – with metal beams and some of our LED panel lights.


Filed under: locations, Photos, Work


Yesterday: Call time: 6 am. Wrap time: 7:30 pm.

Today: Call time: 6 am. Wrap time: 8:30 pm.

Tomorrow: Call time: 6 am.

Note: All three of these days are rigging days, which are much harder work than being ‘set boy (or girl).

But I’m too tired to go into detail.

I’m off to bed.

Filed under: crack of dawn, Work

The overwhelming joy of the turnaround blues.

This week started out with my only having one day of work – today.

When I arrived at the stage this morning, the first AD looked at me and said “It’s going to be a long one today. We have a lot of work to do.”

Fine with me. If I’m only going to get one day, it might as well be a good one.

Right after lunch, I got a phone call from a friend. “Hey, do you want to come and work tomorrow and Thursday?”

Does a bear shit in the woods?

Of course I wanted to work tomorrow and Thursday.

“Great. It’s a six AM call in southwest Bumfuck.”

Awesome. One day of work is okay. Three days of work is super fantastic, even if I don’t get much sleep and it’s an hour-long drive each way.

Since rules about minimum turnaround* time don’t apply when one is going to a different show the next day, all I could do was hope for an early-ish wrap.

They called it at 7:30 (7 AM call time), and we had to pack our carts, so that put us out at 8 pm (12 hours. Long enough to make some money, not long enough to hurt).

A quick stop on the way home for something to eat for lunch tomorrow and a replacement battery for my car’s door remote and I was good to go.

It’s 9 pm now, and I’ve got to get up at 4 am, so I think I’ll wind this up and hit the hay.

Yay work!

*Turnaround is the time in between when one is dismissed for work at the end of the day and when one must report to work the next day. Generally, it’s considered  bad form to give less than 10 hours, but it’s sometimes done.

Filed under: crack of dawn, locations, Work

No work but lots of busy.

It’s a typically slow January, work-wise, but I’m still trying to get the apartment in order, so my days are filled with the abstract busy work of sorting through some of the bins of loose stuff that came over from the old place – paperwork, old photos, tax returns from years past, etc..

I’m also trying to figure out which artwork’s going to stay as I now don’t have wall space for all of it. Do I keep the admittedly insipid garage sale painting of a Mediterranean sea view that I love even though it doesn’t look right in the new place (and is kind of ugly in general)? Do I keep the framed Belgian lobby cards for 60’s pulp movies  and M. Soyer prints that I could probably get some money for were I to sell them?

In between wondering how one person could generate so much paperwork and staring moodily at various paintings I’ve been horrified at the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.

In the old place, I had that horrible 70’s yellow with gold flecks linoleum in both the kitchen and bathroom. Oh, how I hated that stuff.

Turns out, it was good at hiding dirt. It had to get really grungy before it looked like it needed a mopping.

Now, I have white flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, and I swear, every time I exhale it looks like somebody’s  been mud wrestling on it. Ugh.

I’m going to have to resign myself to either mopping once a day or just living with it. Guess it will depend on how busy work gets.

On the bright side, it’s been sunny and warm here in Southern California, so I’ve been exploring the new neighborhood on the bike, and trying to run as many errands as possible on said bike as gas prices are going up again.

I’m currently averaging about 20 miles per day, which will hopefully burn off all the holiday junk food.

I’m trying to scare up some work for next week, but I’m not counting on it. It is January, after all.

Filed under: Non-Work

Friday Photo

Background slash of light

In the background of just about every night scene in every movie or TV show you’ve ever seen is The Slash.

It’s the thin diagonal line of light that highlights curtains, walls, blinds, trees, shrubbery and slow-moving extras.

The Slash is one of those things that has no base in reality at all, but looks really nice and brightens up the background in an interesting way so everybody does it.

Should you be very bored and have on hand a bottle of some sort of alcohol, I recommend putting on a movie with a lot of night interiors and taking a shot each time The Slash makes an appearance.

On second thought, maybe not. You might not make it to the end of the movie.


Filed under: movies, Photos, Work, , , , , ,


One of the things about the new neighborhood is the preponderance of white people.

I’m not used to the pale masses. I’ve spent the past couple of decades in a very ethnically diverse neighborhood,  so I’ve come to think of Los Angeles as not a very white place, which isn’t a bad thing.  “Not very white” meant dusty markets with interesting stuff on the shelves, good Thai food, seemingly random street festivals, and the neighbor’s barbacoa fests to which the entire city was invited.

But now?  Whitey’s everywhere in droves, and they really do all look similar. Same haircut, same clothing brands, same nasal laugh. It’s making me kind of nervous – had I a stock portfolio, I’d feel a strong urge to keep my hand on it at all times.

I suppose I’ll get used to the beige horde, but right now it’s just fucking weird.

Also, what the hell is up with the frozen yogurt? There are two ‘fro-yo’ places within a block of my apartment and it seems like every time I turn my head I see another.  That, and art supply stores.

I feel like I should carry a small notebook and keep notes about what it is that white people really like.

Oh, wait. It’s already been done. Nevermind.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work

Friday Photo

blank tape


Since it’s fairly important to be able to tell which cable is which when they’re rigged and we can’t see both ends at the same time, we use the old-fashioned method of marking them – white tape and a sharpie.

Generally, cables that only carry one channel (such as the Bates cables pictured) will be assigned a number, and anything that carries more than one channel (such as Socapex) will be assigned a letter (and the channels will be individually numbered on the breakout – Socapex cable ‘A’ will be assigned the channel numbers 1 through 6, and so on).

Since this was the first rig day of this particular show, all I did was tape cable ends (remembering to leave tabs on the tape) all morning, and then after lunch I lifted a whole lot of cable, since this particular stage doesn’t have a way to bring the loaded cable carts directly onto the catwalks – it’s got an elevator to the dimmer room, but then there are three fucking stairs to the perms so everything’s got to be picked up and set down again.

Three stairs. Bastards. You think they’d have at least built a ramp.

What gets you is the twisting – you pick up the cable and then to pass it to the guy manning the other cart, you have to twist your upper body.

Tonight, I’m sore in the glutes, but glad for the day of work. Hope all of you have a good weekend.


Filed under: Uncategorized

On the wrong side of town.

Just as I knew it would happen, my first day of work after moving to the west side of the city is at a stage which is a five-minute bike ride from the old apartment.

Of course. How could it be any other way?

What’s really going to get me is traffic flow. From the old place, I was going against the rush hour flow just about anywhere in the city (except downtown, of course).

Tomorrow, I’m going to be going with the traffic snarl for the entire ride, so I’m geared up to sit in the car for what will seem like forever.

Guess I’ll have to leave really early and hope for the best. Also, maybe no giant cup of coffee on the drive.

Or maybe I will have the coffee and just hope for the best.

At least I’ve got a day of work.

Filed under: crack of dawn, life in LA, long long drives, Work

Temporarily drama-free.

Today, after some runaround, I turned in my keys, got my check and have officially vacated the old apartment.

I’m sad, but not sad. I miss the place that I called home for *cough cough* years, but I’m glad that I’m done with the psycho show that was the old building’s owner/management team.

For the new year, I wish them nothing but pain and suffering.

On the bright side, the pile of boxes is slowly diminishing (I can see actual floor now) and the cat has come out from under the bed because it’s much easier to nag the meatbag if you’re in the same room.

Also, I’ve found the best bike route to the nearby Trader Joe’s, and there’s a kickass Moroccan place within walking distance. Sweet.

My main complaint so far is that there’s no range hood and the new place is small so the entire apartment smells like whatever I’ve decided to cook for hours afterward.

Oh, well, If that’s the worst of my problems, I guess I’m doing okay.

Since my rent’s gone up, I have to get on the phone and see if I can get some work for either the end of this week or the beginning of next week since I won’t have any days on the TV show until the end of next week.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , ,

January 2011

Flickr Photos



Random Quote

"If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

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