Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Insurance day

Friday was all about  being in the right place at the right time.

I was rigging on some re-shoots of a movie that shot back east (as most of them do now), and happened to be standing there when the best boy got a call asking  if anyone knew of any lamp operators that were available.

Some people prefer just to rig for various reasons – shorter hours, less chaos, etc.. and some folks on rigging crews do not like to work set, but some of us are perfectly happy doing both.

So as I was standing there, gathering supplies I needed to run DMX in the perms, my name got thrown in the hat for a lamp operator on a movie that – wait for it – is actually shooting in Los Angeles.

Jaw, meet floor.

There are several totally awesome things about this particular movie –  it’s crewed by a great group of folks that I really like to work with, and it’s running through the middle of December. And the main location is really close to the apartment so the morning commute is a breeze. Also, kickass caterer.

I’m not dayplaying, I’m actually full-time, and I can’t remember the last time that’s happened.

Today was my first day, and as usual, was spent getting acquainted with the set, where the power is, how the gaffer likes things done, etc..

About three hours into the day, the ADs announced that our main actor would not be in due to illness. Actual illness, mind you, not coked-out former starlet “illness”.

When things like this happen, the production company calls the insurance company*, informs them that they won’t be able to shoot that day and the insurance company has to cover the costs.

Production companies hate insurance days and try to never, ever use them, but sometimes your actor gets sick or your set burns down or no one can find the director because he went to Tijuana over the weekend with two of the extras and there’s nothing to be done about it other than to throw in the towel.

So, we spent some time cleaning up and organizing our carts, and then left. I went to a nearby restaurant and celebrated the full-time gig with a glass of wine and a fantastic lunch (chickpea and rosemary soup with a nice glass of wine. And bread), then came home, changed and went for a run.

Followed, finally, by a swim.

As of right now, we’re working tomorrow and I’m so happy about it.

*Every production has insurance. One can’t get permits or rent equipment without it.

Filed under: locations, movies, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    Congrats! These are the kinds of posts that I love finding on your blog. :-)

  2. AWESOME! When I got halfway through the post, I just had to read the whole thing to my wife. I told her I haven’t read a post like this on your blog for like three years. From one industry person to another, I am SO happy for you! Congratulations on your full time work!

  3. geekhiker says:

    Full time through December? I’d been feeling a bit down all day, but reading such awesome news on your blog made me smile. Virtual high-five.

  4. This is fascinating. I like hearing about behind-the-scenes stuff like this.

  5. Peggy Archer says:

    Thanks, everybody. I’m extremely happy about this!

  6. hiro says:

    That’s awesome!

  7. Bob Z. says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and skills. I am not in the industry, but am interested in the behind the scene’s stuff. Congratulations in finding full time work through
    December.
    Bob Z.

  8. Glad to hear the good news, Peg. It’s about time you caught a decent wave — now enjoy the ride all the way to Christmas.

  9. lighttech says:

    “gasp” they are actually filming in LA–hollywood –can’t be

    please tell crew mates to drop lamps allot and burn cables and other semi destructive things

    I need work!!! LOL

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