Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo

When I work on production, I wear a headset so my walkie conversations stay within my own department – no one likes an open mic on set. The production office usually has those fast food window headsets that fall off all the time, they don’t work all that well, so most of us spring for the surveillance style headsets.

Headsets connect the ear to the walkie with little cables that are always too long, so there’s usually a loop somewhere that gets caught on stuff.

This happens sometimes, and usually it’s just a yank as one tries to walk away from whatever has one caught, and then a matter of untangling and then everything’s back to normal.

Except the other day, when right after I got caught I couldn’t figure out why my headset no longer worked.

Then, I looked down and saw this:

Rest in peace, headset.

Ripped right out of the plug. What a terrible way to go.

Farewell, headset. I’ll have to replace you the next time I’m in Burbank.

Filed under: mishaps, Photos, Work


Last night was the last official shooting day for our show before we go on hiatus until fall.

Even though the first thing I did this morning was apply for unemployment, I’ll probably pick up the phone and try to scare up some work next week (or any week. Since I’m no longer at below market rent, I can’t really afford to just coast along on unemployment like I used to).

Tomorrow, I’m going to try to upgrade the operating system on my desktop (Me: “Please load. Pretty please!” Ubuntu: “Fuck you”), and take a nap before the wrap party (held at a venue that’s walking distance from my old place, of course).

Remind me to stay away from the pastel colored drinks I know they’ll be serving. Those things are horrible the next morning.

Filed under: Work

Slowing down, for now.

Our TV show is going on hiatus in a week,  which means it’s time for me to start calling around to see if anyone is hiring for anything  else.

As much as I like leisure time, there’s still a little work out there before it goes completely dead, and I want to get as much of it as I can.

Soon enough, there will be no work at all, and that’s when I take advantage of my new beach-adjacent location and get in some swim time!

I’m off work today, which given the traffic snarl due to the President’s visit, is not a bad thing.

It means I don’t have to worry about sitting in traffic wishing I had hood mounted machine guns.

Hopefully I’ll get a few days next week before the official end.

Filed under: Work

Friday Shin Splints

I can always tell when I need to buy a new pair of work shoes.

Although I only worked two days this week, they were two decent days.

Yesterday, we worked 13.5 hours –  I spent most of the day walking around and around and around the stage fetching various lighting implements and checking to see if crafty had put out anything good.

Then, after a 9 hour turnaround (ouch), I worked 10. 5 hours today, where I walked around and around and around a parking lot fetching various lighting implements and checking to see if crafty had put out anything good.

At the end of the day today, my shins were a week’s worth of splinty.

Two days and a short turnaround should not have jacked up my legs the way it did, so I suspected the most probable culprit – my shoes. Sure enough, when I looked at the bottom of said shoes while I was trying to figure out what exactly was fucking wrong, the tread was about 90 percent gone.

At least it’s an easy answer.

Right now, my legs are smeared with horrible-smelling liniment and tomorrow I’ll go spend my paycheck on a new pair of shoes. For which,  my shins will thank me.

Eventually. Once they stop hurting.

Filed under: Work

Weekend report

This past Sunday, Los Angeles hosted our second CicLAvia.  A nice, fairly flat route through downtown  (the fun part, not the scary part) closed to cars and open to cyclists, joggers, skaters, etc..

CicLAvia April 2011

This event was much more crowded than the last one (in October of last year) – so crowded that although I really wanted to have a picnic in the middle of an otherwise busy downtown intersection, there was so much bike traffic that I didn’t feel it would have been safe. I guess that’s more of a good thing than a bad thing.

CicLAvia April 2011

In addition to damn near every food truck in the city, this year there were swag booths, so of course at the halfway point I swaggered over to the SoyJoy booth and tried one, as I’d left my sandwich at home and was pretty hungry after having ridden my bike from the Westside (no, you may not call me crazy. It’s not that far).

Wow. What an experience.  I imagine a SoyJoy bar is what sawdust, rotten fruit,  sugar and pure evil baked into the texture of shoe leather would taste like. It took everything I had not to spit it out in front of the nice folks running the booth.

I don’t even remember which flavor I ate, but after perusing the ingredients list and watching other people’s reactions I suspect they’re all equally horrible.

In a valiant effort to get the taste out of my mouth, I stopped at Cole’s and had a sandwich and a martini (hey, it’s 5 pm somewhere, right?).

Although they were initially resistant to the event, the local businesses have figured out that 150,000 cyclists on a warm day is a blessing from the ‘captive audience’ gods – the streets in front of some of the eateries sprouted bike racks, and in Little Tokyo there was even a bike valet.

CicLAvia April 2011

CicLAvia April 2011

A good time was had by all. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend attending the next event.

Today was spent doing laundry, tomorrow I’ll work in the garden, and then there’s a wild rumor that I’ll have work for the rest of the week and possibly into the weekend.

Yay, work!

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, mishaps, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos

Friday Photo

Temporary lawn

Since one purchases sod in rolls, it’s very easy to put a temporary lawn on a stage floor. Just roll out the sod, shoot, then roll up and take it away.


Filed under: Photos, studio lots, Work

Loud Dusty Noise

Once upon a time, when the world was new and our corporate overlords pretended to care about the health of the dirty toolbelt people, there was such a thing as a ‘build day’.

A build day was when the stage upon whatever it was to be shot got turned into a mill – the carpenters came in, cut wood (but not the cheese – at least not until after lunch), sawed, sanded, nailed, painted, etc…

Then, as if by magic, sets would appear. Once this step was complete, the rigging electrics and grips would come in and run cable, hang greenbeds, ‘rough in’ lighting, and so on. Then more painting, drapery, furniture, etc…

After all this was complete, the beautiful and important people would come in and do the real work.

This is now a thing of the past. In the wave of rampant stupidity that’s currently masquerading as cost cutting in Hollywood, this production decided to save money by having us and the grips rig during the build.

This, in case you’re unfamiliar with carpentry in general, means that we were trying to work over the cacophony of saws, grinders, welders, sprayers, and four loud radios (each, of course, tuned to a different station).

The noise made it impossible to hear someone 10 feet away, much less the boss standing on the stage floor, 48 feet below the perms, to give us any sort of direction, changes, or warnings (such as “stop dropping that cable in – the producer’s standing in the set”), since rigging crews don’t normally carry walkies and just yell at each other.

The noise was only one of the problems. In addition to the dust and probably toxic fumes,  this particular stage has air conditioning vents and fire sprinkler pipes that are placed very, very low over the walks – about 4.5 feet, so one has to duck to go underneath them, which is fine until one has a  60 lb. coil of cable on one’s shoulder.

Since I’m trying to keep my back from exploding, I bent my knees and did the ‘duck walk’ all day.

That, plus the trips up and down the stairs to the perms have left my legs aching.

But I was working with really wonderful people who I like a lot, so it was several  really good, albeit long, days.

Tomorrow, I’m back standing on set while eating crafty. I’ll feel like a vacation.

Filed under: crack of dawn, hazardous, studio lots, toxic waste, Work

April 2011

Flickr Photos



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