I’m sure there was a really good reason the producers of this movie opted to shoot in a private home instead of building a set on a stage.
I just can’t think of it. The house is in the flight path of both LAX and Santa Monica Airport, so there’s a constant stream of jets and single engine planes flying over. The damage list is already alarmingly high (film crews don’t mean to destroy your house, it just kind of happens) in both the ‘hero’ house and the house next door where we’re staging equipment. We’re also racking up overtime because of crowding and noise.
The problem with even the largest house is that the walls won’t come out, so traffic jams happen when the DP decides to, say, place the camera in the only door leading into a small bathroom or at the base of the only staircase.
On a stage, the walls of a set can wild (come out easily) for faster access and there’s always a way around whatever equipment’s causing the traffic jam.
The other problem in our current location is our own self-generated noise. Since this particular home is built in the loft style with very high ceilings and a lot of tile, there’s no noise dampening at all. Even whispered conversations are magnified, and because the important people have taken to sitting in the set and talking (and laughing, and singing show tunes) while we’re trying to work, it’s almost impossible to hear anything, even with the walkie turned up all the way.
The ADs can’t do anything about it because it’s the executive producers doing the laughing and singing, so we all just have to suck it up and try to do our best.
The other problem we’re having is equipment. This particular rental house (and the producer usually chooses the lowest bidder) apparently sent all their good gear to the subsidy states, because we’re being sent out some spectacularly old equipment.
The problem with old equipment is that it almost never works properly, since it’s not been maintained. It’s just been sitting in some warehouse, waiting for either the scrapper or a show that doesn’t have a choice about taking it.
Yes, that’s a light that’s so old it was manufactured in West Germany. I think stirrup leggings were still in fashion when West Germany ceased to exist.
Why has this thing not been scrapped? Oh, right. Because they can send it to us, and not have to bother shipping any of the good equipment back from Louisiana.
Except that this light, along with about 40% of our other lights, didn’t work.
The rental house has been out every single day to exchange bad lamps, ballasts, stands, etc…
But the new stuff they bring out isn’t any better than the busted up garbage we’re sending back. Normally, after a few fuck ups, the rental house gets embarrassed and starts sending out the nice new shiny stuff that they normally only send out on commercials (commercials pay the best, so they get the best stuff).
But since I’ve not seen anything shiny or new, I’m guessing this isn’t going to get any better.