Sometimes, in the zeal to make the notoriously dangerous (no snark intended. Movie folks don’t have the safest jobs in the world) film industry safer, regulations get implemented that are mostly silly but every so often veer into the realm of the certifiably insane.
Currently, all sets with a roof (removable or not), must be equipped with heat detectors. Now, on the surface this may seem reasonable – the set’s roof prevents the fire sprinklers in the perms (which are activated by heat or sometimes by being backed into by a truck, but that’s a different story) from doing their job, so on paper, the detectors make sense. However, since most active movie sets use lights which generate heat, said detectors have added a whole new set of Things We Have To Do Before We Can Go Home.
Because, you see, it’s not enough to place heat detectors in a set which will be lit by large lights that generate lots of heat. We have to mark the location of the heat detectors with bright orange flags. These flags are about 12 inches (30 cm) long and two inches (5 cm) wide and are affixed to the heat detectors with Velcro ™, so that we, the fire department, and anyone who happens to wander into the set can spot said detectors.
The problem with this is that when we shoot, the flags have to be taken down.
So, first thing in the morning, we send a guy through the set in a manlift to pull down all the flags.
Then, at the end of the day when we’re on double time, we send the guy back around to put the flags back up, even if we’re shooting the same set the next day.
The next morning, we’ll walk into the set and send a guy around in a manlift to remove the flags.
It’s like some satanic Möbius strip. Or something.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to drive around a set hanging flags while I’m on double time, as is everyone else, but with complaints from the higher-ups about labor costs being out-of-control, this can’t be helping.
Also, the pollen counts here in Los Angeles are the highest they’ve been in years – although my nose isn’t that bad, my ears are blocked so badly that I can hardly hear. How do I know it’s allergies? Because it’s worse when I’m outside and at the end of the day when the medication’s worn off.
Oh, and Happy Pi Day.