Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo


Afternoon sun on giant rolls of bubble wrap at our location.

It never occurred to me that bubble wrap came in giant rolls. There were some jokes about wrapping our lights on the roof of the building by throwing them down on said rolls, but we figured that the warehouse owner would find out who did it.

In other news, I’ve been sick with the seasonal bronchitis I seem to get every fall. I’ve been working, which is good, but I’ve also got this really horrible dry hacking cough which alarms my co-workers and anyone else who is in a 20 foot radius.

Running around in old warehouses and abandoned department stores (photo post coming as soon as I don’t feel like crap) can’t be helping.

I’ve been getting up, going to work, coming home and falling asleep right away, which isn’t helping me get better and is making me a worse blogger than usual.

I think the worst of it is over as of today – I’m still coughing, but I feel better.

Not good, but better. As of right now, I’m off work until Wednesday, and although it’s super busy I think I’ll just take the time off and rest instead of trying to drum up another night in a warehouse downtown.

Filed under: hazardous, locations, Photos, Work

Friday Photo


Base camp, downtown Los Angeles. I’ll be here all night. 

Filed under: camera, Photos, Work

Home, Improved

Since I moved in here, I’ve had the pots and pans stacked haphazardly on the stove, the counter, anywhere I could find space.

About a month after I moved, I tired of the kitchen related chaos and went to the evil Swedish store and bought a pot rack.

Then, I got distracted. I don’t know why. I guess I saw something shiny. Or a martini. Either works.

This weekend I’d finally had enough – I was going to install that rack and hang those pans if it killed me.

Since I’ve got lath and plaster walls, I went to the trusty hardware store and bought some toggle bolts, as all my cookware hanging on the wall might be a bit heavy.

The first two holes went well. I drilled a 3/8 inch hole, popped in the toggles, and all was happy.

Then, on the other side, I pounded in a nail to guide the drill bit and the nail got stuck. Somehow, I never associated this with there being a stud there, I just kept trying to drill the hole.

When I didn’t break through, I figured I’d just push in the toggle bolt anyhow, hoping that somehow the space behind the wall would magically appear, which, of course, it didn’t.

After giving up and sleeping on it, I went to my friendly neighborhood hardware store where the nice man working managed to suppress his snickers long enough to help me figure out how to do this:

Nice Rack

That, my friends, is pots and pans hanging on the wall from a rack. And all I really needed was two long hard screws. And washers.


Filed under: mishaps, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , ,

The set of death

There are several things that make a set slow.

Being small, having only one entrance, having mirrors on all the walls, being on the 5th floor of a building that has only one working elevator, etc…

Usually these problems are reserved for location shoots. When one’s shooting on a stage, one usually has enough room to work and good access so things run smoothly.

Except today.

Today, we worked on the set of death.

The set of death had just about everything that none of us want to see – it was small. Very, very small, and although it had three entrances, as the set of death had been shoehorned in between two larger sets, two entrances were blocked so ingress and egress were difficult even one wasn’t carrying a light on a stand or a ladder.

Because the pipe grid was hung for a larger set, it was a bit too high up thus requiring us to maneuver large ladders into and around what was rapidly becoming the biggest cluster fuck of this calendar year (so far), and of course, since we were seeing most of the set (how could we not? It was the size of a postage stamp) all the lights had to be hung from said grid.

Because the route from staging to the set was more than a little bit like a rat maze, getting equipment in after the gaffer called for it took forever and required one to fight one’s way through the over-enthusiastically placed fake trees outside the set’s windows.

Our boss deserves a medal for today. A lesser man would have blown his stack and threatened to kill us all and eat our skins during every lighting set up, but our boss just stayed calm, tried to be as clear as he could about where he wanted stuff, was cheerful when things changed, and just generally behaved like a little ray of sunshine.

And that, I think, is what made the set of death only moderately annoying and not killing spree inducing.

Our director, who’s normally very efficient, ground to a halt in the set of death and what should have been an 11 hour day turned into a 13 hour extravaganza.

Yay overtime!

I’m on a different show tomorrow, which, of course, is shooting across town near where I used to live, and also of course, has a call time that’s at the height of the rush hour traffic.

I’m off to bed.

Filed under: studio lots, Work

Finally! Right place, right time.

As you may or may not know, it’s currently hotter than the surface of the sun here in Los Angeles – it happens every year, but we’re usually not ready for it.

Okay, I’m usually not ready for it.

Today our show ran two shooting units – one on a nice air conditioned stage, and the other outside all day in one of the hotter and more far-flung parts of the city.

Lady Luck or someone with an equal amount of influence smiled upon me and I spent my day on the stage unit stage that was just kind of hot.

The air conditioners on the stages struggle when it’s over 100F outside and we’re burning lights inside, so it keeps the stage right about 80F.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of scary since one normally needs a sweater inside the stages.

It was still loads better than the location, which we heard through the grapevine topped out at 109F.

Holy shit. I can’t even imagine the horror of working in the blazing heat… oh, wait. I can. I’ve done it before, which is why I’m so overjoyed to have been on the unit that had the cold air and the shelter from the sun.

I’m on stage again tomorrow, when it will also still be hotter than the surface of the sun.

As an added bonus, the temperature in my ‘it’s near the beach so you don’t need air conditioning’ apartment is surprisingly bearable.

Yay me!

Filed under: life in LA, locations, Work

Friday Photo


The filament of a VNSP (very narrow spot) par globe, informally known as a ‘firestarter’ because the narrow, very intense beam of light can, in fact, start fires.

Filed under: Photos, Work, , , , ,

September 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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