Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

French Hours

Usually, lunch is an official break for the entire cast and crew, called six (or so) hours from call, but sometimes, a production will decide not to call official lunch. Usually this happens on a day when there’s a lot of work to do that requires either daylight or dark and sitting down to break would hamper the schedule.

When this happens, the caterer stays open for a set period of time and people break off as they can and grab some food. For some reason, this has come to be called French hours, although I’m fairly certain French productions do, in fact, take lunch breaks.

Yesterday, we had an enormous set-up which required daylight, so the important people made the decision to call French hours.

French hours are fine with me.  Although it’s a bit draining to not get that down time in the middle of the day, we do make money on the penalties we’re paid to give up the break.

Yesterday, the caterer was open for a three-hour period, which happened to coincide with us running around trying to get set up for the shot where we see the entire world.

So, we missed the caterer window and production agreed to go out and buy us some food.

The PA who came to our truck with a pad and pen to take orders told us we’d be getting food from a nearby faux-Mexican place.

“I can’t eat anything from there”, I said. “I have to go up in a condor later and let’s just say that eating a giant burrito will have some consequences for me”
“Well,” said the PA “how about Tender Greens? They’re right next door”.

That was  just excellent.

So, my co-workers had questionable burritos and I got a nice tasty sandwich and a salad. Win!


Filed under: locations, Photos, Work, , , ,

Friday Photo

Earlier this week, I worked 40 hours in three days, with a five hour turnaround (one show to another, so there’s no minimum) between day two and day three.

Although I knew it was going to hurt, I wasn’t prepared to still be exhausted two days later.  Guess I’m getting old.

So, since I still can’t think and am planning on doing a lot of napping today, here’s a photo:

We know all your secrets

From a reality show about cooking (hence the restaurant setting). Careful what you say!

Filed under: camera, cranky, Photos, up all night, Work, ,

Friday Photo

Heavy diffusion

One of the more challenging challenges of lighting involves older actresses.

Since, in Hollywood world, men are allowed to age but women must forever look 19, even when they’ve officially qualified as a dowager for a few decades and makeup can only do so much, so we in the lighting department have to pick up whatever slack we can.

It’s not as difficult as one might imagine.

A large light through multiple layers of heavy diffusion will, in effect, remove wrinkles.

The light has to be large as a small light through multiple layers of heavy diffusion results in no light at all, which also makes wrinkles difficult to see, but not in the way we want it to.

So today’s photo is a BFL (big fucking light – 9 light variety) shining through two layers of very heavy diffusion in order to make our 40-something actress look dewy and gorgeous.

Not pictured are the other two BFLs (10k variety) doing the exact same thing from two other angles, also through heavy diffusion.

It’s a lot of work for us, but boy does it make said actress look gorgeous.

So the next time you’re tempted to feel bad about yourself because you don’t look as amazing as 40-something actress, remember that you don’t have a lighting crew following you around all day :)

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

Friday Photo

All stands come in two versions – regular and low. Regular stands, at the lowest point, are about four (ish, I’ve never measured) feet high.  Should one desire to have the light lower than that, one must use the ‘low’ version of the stand, which is pictured here.

This is a ‘low crank’, which is used for large, heavy lights – the crank makes it easier to raise and lower them.

Low cranks are also used for large lamps that aren’t all that heavy, but are a pain in the ass to carry around – since the low crank has wheels, one can just drag the giant lamp around instead of straining one’s back and the credibility of the set lighting department.

Filed under: movies, Photos, studio lots, Work, , , , , ,

June 2012

Flickr Photos



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