Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Wait, what happened?

I was lucky enough to get a day of work last week, and figured I’d have the check in the mail and all would be good, and then today I got a call that I can honestly say I’ve never gotten before in all my time working in the film industry.

“They” lost my start paperwork.

When one starts working on a new show, one must fill out a packet of start paperwork. It’s always the same thing. Deal memo, some sort of confidentiality agreement, which name one would like for one’s credit*, any applicable equipment rental (if one has specialized equipment for which production must pay – like a dimmer board, certain tools for installing fixtures, etc…), and the promise that one won’t sexually harass one’s coworkers. Much.

The best boy didn’t specify who lost it, but I’m assuming it was somewhere in one of the maze-like offices on the lot where, apparently, paperwork goes to die along with dreams.

So, I need to redo the impressive pile of paperwork that I originally worked my way through last week.

Paperwork

That’s one seriously tree-killing pile of redundancy, but the upside is that I’ve gotten another day of work out of it (Boss: “You’re driving up here anyways, you might as well work.”).

Hooray!

*Despite my constant efforts to get a joke name (I.P. Freely, Heywood Jablowme, Michael Bay, Prince Albert of Cannes) as my credit, it’s never happened. They always just use my real name.

Is it too much to ask that my IMDB read “sometimes credited as…”

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

A not so much follow spot

A follow spot is, as one might imagine, a spotlight used to follow an actor. You’ve all seen the results on dancing shows, ice rink spectaculars and “talent” competitions.

There are many different varieties of follow spot – of course, the one that’s the easiest to operate is the most horrible to move around.  The  Strong Super Trouper  weighs approximately the same as an obese elephant and is long enough that it’s impossible to get up a stairwell with any sort of turn.

But it’s amazingly easy to work and moves very smoothly. When properly balanced it’s a breeze to follow the movements of even the most erratic actor or dancer.

But sometimes it’s just not practical – like yesterday. The riggers wouldn’t have been able to get the Super Trouper up the stairs to the platform where I would be working.

So they went with a smaller unit which was lighter – which is a great thing if you’re the one carrying it, but it’s a bad thing for the operator.

Lighter means not as smooth and not balanced as well.

I was fine when the actor was standing but as soon as any erratic movement started it was really difficult to maintain a smooth pan or tilt. The light kept either sticking and making the pan look jerky and, well, bad.

My boss and the DP both seemed very happy, though, and that’s all that counts.

They didn’t need the follow spot for the last scene, so I came down from my perch and helped work the set and then wrap to the truck.

It was a fun day with extra nice folks and as an added bonus, the location was so close to my apartment that I was able to walk to and from work – which was extra awesome at wrap because the traffic was terrible.

 

Filed under: locations, Work, , , ,

Friday Photo



It’s that time again – when Los Angeles will close streets for the use of cyclists, pedestrians, roller bladers, etc..

This year, it’s going out to the ocean, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Filed under: Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, , ,

Whew!

After finally getting my garden weeded (now, of course I need to replace the rotten wood on the raised beds, but money’s now tight around here), I decided to go swim.

Doesn’t further the career, but it really makes me happy.

The pool where I have masters swim shares with several aqua aerobics groups, and aside from wanting the water way too hot, the aqua ladies all seem very nice.

Today’s swim was from 6 to 7 am, and instead of going home and watching the news rehash the same crap they’ve been airing forever, I turned to my lane-mate and suggested we try the aqua Zumba(tm) class that was starting just as we finished up.

After all, we were already wet.

“Oh, come on. She’s playing Pitbull. How hard can it be?”

So we slid over a few lanes and joined the fun. The instructor saw us, bared her perfect little teeth and said “oh, we have some… swimmers!”

Then, she started the workout. It didn’t just kick my ass, it kicked my whole body. I don’t understand how an aqua workout could possibly be that difficult.

Halfway through my lane-mate turned to me and growled “I’m going to kill you.”

“Make it soon, please.”

Since we were both afraid to get out and face the ire of the vicious sharp-toothed instructor (actually, she was very nice), we sandbagged through the rest of the workout and then limped to the showers.

I then went home and took a very gratifying early morning nap.

Without turning on the news.

 

 

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , , , , ,

Weed faster!

Pilot season is officially at an end here in Los Angeles, so work’s getting a bit thin again.

I’ve been working on weeding the garden, but clearly I haven’t been weeding quickly enough as an irate garden master confronted me this morning.

I was surveying the broken stalks of my fava beans and wondering if I’d be allowed to set up some sort of squirrel catapult (google it yourselves – I gave up trying to find a video that didn’t have an excessively loud and annoying soundtrack), when the garden master snuck up behind me.

He’s from Russia, so his English isn’t the best but the gist that I got was that I need to get the weeds out of my plot because they ‘make seed’ and it’s ‘no more just this plot’.

I showed him that I’d been working at it and he shrugged and said ‘faster’.

Awesome. So now I’m on notice at the garden and am too broke to pay for help like the lady in the plot next to me has (no, really. She hired a gardener for her garden plot. At first I didn’t get it but now I totally understand).

Guess I know what I’m doing for the next few days.

Also, any tips about how to get rid of squirrels that doesn’t involve poison or a standing army?

 

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , , ,

Saved by the call!

This afternoon, as I was cleaning the bathroom and wondering if I could somehow turn the power of PMS into a paycheck, a friend called and asked if I wanted to do a little data entry.

“It’ll be three or four hours of work and he’ll pay you $20.”

That’s a bit low for data entry, but it’s great if I want to distract myself from worrying about the fact that the “slow” season is approaching and what I’ve got in my savings account wouldn’t buy dinner at one of LA’s finer celebrity-infested restaurants.

“Great! I’ll have him email you!”

I suppose I should mention that, back in the days when the interwebz was still on dial-up and named AOL, I hurt my back (fell off a lift gate) and had to take a temp job which involved operating a ten-key. I sat at that fucking thing for eight of the most miserable months of my life. I’ve never been happier than the day I was well enough to quit and run back to the circus.

I’m still pretty fast on said ten-key, especially when I’m being paid a flat rate.

I figured I could finish the job in a couple of hours and then go for a bike ride to celebrate being underpaid to do menial labor (oh… Wait).

Imagine my surprise when I got a Google document which involved cutting and pasting URLs from websites. About 20,000 URLs, which I would have had to find myself (example: “Type the word Sears in field one and then paste the URL for Sears into field two”).

Holy shit. Even with one of those decommissioned space agency supercomputers (which I hear one can buy on Craig’s List), 1,000 trained monkeys and a shitload of cocaine, I doubted this was doable in less than a week.

When I called to  try to explain that this was way more complicated than four hours and $20, the response I got was “well, I wanted it by tomorrow morning, but do you need all day?”

Luckily, just at that moment, I got a call to work. Tomorrow.

Sweet.

So, even though I’ll only get 8 hours, the cut-and-paste nightmare will fall in someone else’s lap.

Life is good.

Filed under: Non-Work, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

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