Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Night Two

Of course, when we showed up at work the first thing we did was split the crew – some stayed down at the beachside set to work the day exterior, and the rest of us went back up the hill to re-rig the set up from the night before.

It wasn’t as bad, since we were rigging the turn around from the first night – the original shot had been looking down the hill, so we saw (and had to light) much more than we did when the camera was aimed up the hill.

Still, we barely got finished in time, and once the shooting crew landed, everything got changed around, but this time we had more people and I was more emotionally prepared for the hard, long day, even though I started out sore and in pain from the night before.

After they finished the night exterior, the set guys went down to the beach to work the night exterior on the beach, and we stayed up top to wrap.

One of the things that is, in reality, much less wonderful that one might imagine is working on the beach.

No matter if it’s day or night, working on the beach is difficult. Sand gets everywhere, carts are useless, and the big inflatable wheels that are supposed to make lighting stands roll don’t really work as well as they’re supposed to.

Did I mention sand gets everywhere?

So I was very happy to just be wrapping – we got there, got the stuff from up the hill loaded into the truck and then wrapped cable (covered in sand, of course).

The wrap went quickly as we had the entire crew working, then we had to wait for the rental company to show up. Lucky for us, they got there half an hour early, and we were on our way home before the sun came up.

I came home, slept for a couple of hours, then got up and did something. I know I did something, I just don’t remember what.

Today, my legs are incredibly painful and my left shoulder’s stiff. I know the legs are stiff from the hill, but I’ve got no idea what’s up with the shoulder. Hopefully it’ll sort itself out in time for me to go swim.

Filed under: locations, long long drives, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. I did a lot of beach work back in the 80’s and 90’s on TV commercials. Beer commercials just love the beach, so we usually had three BFLs out there on the sand at any given time. The big three-wheeled Desert Dollies we used were a total pain in the ass — heavy, bulky, and next to useless without six guys pushing hard and one more trying to steer as it plowed through the deep sand. Then somebody told me about Clicketty Clacks — a two piece steel tank-tread rig for the front and rear of a Molevator or Cinevator. CCs were very heavy and a pain to rig, but once the stand, lamp, and ballast were securely mounted, the whole thing could be moved across the sand by three people — two pushing and one pulling/steering — or better yet, easily towed by ATV’s or pickup trucks.

    I’ve used those big poofy-tired Desert Dollies on sand, but nothing worked as well as Clicketty Clacks. We rented ours from Sequoia, but I don’t think that rental house is around any more. Somebody must have inherited them, though.

    Sounds like a miserable job. There are few things I hate more than disassembling a big rig only to be told to put it back together again the next day. And all those hills?

    Ouch, babe… I feel your pain.

  2. Russel says:

    I’m producing a film in my area soon and your blog is giving me good insight into how to think about the grip department. Please keep up the good writing, your insight is really invaluable.

    Best,

  3. JB says:

    Really good blog. My least favorite night exterior beach was so many bees being attracted by the light, and one of my swing grips up by the condors got a bee stuck in his ear. We had to take him to the emergency room – not life-threatening, but he said it was the most horrible feeling he’d ever had.

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