Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

I’m officially unemployed.

Our wrap ended today, and now I’m out in the wild looking for work – along with the people from all the other shows that have either been cancelled or gone down for the season.

Also, I had to put the cat to sleep Monday after work.

I can’t write about it right now. It’s too painful.

I will say that having the vet’s office play Christmas carols while I cradled my dying pet was super shitty. I predict I’m going to keep the earbuds in until next year.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Peter, meet Paul. He’ll be paying you. Maybe.

At the start of this show, we were told that we’d have no swing sets. Ever. For any reason. So, of course, for our last episode, we have four really big swing sets. Since our stage is 200 feet long by 100 feet wide, and it’s 44.5 feet from the floor to the perms, we’ve had some problems with power. Not that we haven’t got power available, it’s just the cable – or lack thereof.

The head of the waterfall (the cable that comes up from the dimmer packs on the floor to the perms) is at one end of the stage, and our swing sets are at the other.

So that’s  40ish feet up the perms, and then 5ish feet to the ‘head’ of the waterfall, and then 2 pieces of 100 foot cable to get to the new set that’s on the other side of the stage long-ways, and then another 30ish feet of cable down to the pipe grid where the lights are.

The thing about powering lights is that you can’t ever have a cable connection in the air – you can have one on the deck of the perms or at the light itself, but nothing in between.

Why? Because if something is going to go wrong, it’s going to happen at the connector and if that connector is 10 feet above the lights we can’t get to it without really making a spectacle of ourselves, and no one wants that. So, if I can’t get to the grid with what I have leftover, I have to add cable.

We don’t have any more cable, and because of the budget crackdown, we can’t order more.

Even if we could, getting cable up to the perms is an ordeal – we have to rent the winch from the lamp dock, have the grips go out into the ozone (as in off the walkways) to hang the pulley from the pick point (which is right over one of our sets), and then spend an hour or so hauling cable up to the perms. Don’t tell me we can haul it up by hand. That shit is heavy. Imagine hauling 70 lbs up a line to the roof of a two-story building. Now do it 30 more times and then work for another 12 hours.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

So we figure out where we can steal power from the standing sets, and now we’re on the hunt for stingers because we’re out of those as well.

Only to have the DP stand in the set that’s in the shitty far away corner of the stage  and demand two more lights.  At the top of the list of things one simply can’t do is to tell the DP that he or she can’t have a light rightfuckingnow.  Even nice DPs don’t react well to the word ‘no’.

We all looked around in a panic and then figured out that the set we need the lights in won’t shoot until Friday, so we can steal power at the end of the day on Thursday.

Two more wake-ups and then we wrap. At least gravity will be working in our favour when we drop the stuff to the floor.

Filed under: rants, studio lots, Work, , , , ,

Easing into the real world

Over the past two(ish) months, I’ve become accustomed to the lighter schedule of the multi-camera show.

Monday, we come in around 2 pm, and work until about 8. We hang lights – enough to ‘rough in’ the look so when they do the rehearsal with the cast the next morning, they have a good idea what the sets look like and what we need to change or add.

Ditto Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our long days are Thursday (block and pre-shoot) and Friday (audience), but neither of those days usually go over 12 hours.

Friday, the director does a ‘block and refresh’ with the cast before lunch, and then the audience load in and we shoot the live show.

Most directors finish with the refresh well before lunch, leaving us with a two-hour lunch.

This is a good thing and a bad thing.

I can go to the bank or the gym or just nap for those two hours, but I’m also on the Sony lot which means there’s a deeply discounted electronics store within walking distance, and I really don’t need to blow a paycheck on three TVs and a sound system.

But next week is our last week, and we’ve got three new sets plus an extra shoot day (to re-do the opening sequence), so we’re going to have more hours than usual.

We’ll have a nice check right when we’re unemployed, but the fact that we’re all dreading working a 60 hour week is some indication as to how spoiled we’ve gotten and what a shock it’s going to be to return to the real world of production, where every day will be 12 hours. Or more.

I have to say I really thought I was going to hate being stuck on a multi camera, but it’s been fun – largely because of the wonderful folks I’m working with, who I’ll miss when we’re done (but will see out in single camera world on a semi-regular basis).

I’ve also discovered that copious amounts of free time on a regular basis make me get less stuff done, not more.

Although I have binge-watched several Netflix series on the one new TV I bought (just one, although the salesperson really tried to get me into two).

My new hobby is watching movies from the 70s and 80s and pausing to really get a good look at the backgrounds.

I can really see the tape and spit holding the sets together.  It’s hilarious.

 

 

Filed under: overspending, studio lots, Work, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The end is nigh

We have two weeks left until this show wraps.

At this point, we’ve used our lighting budget and aren’t allowed to rent any more equipment, no matter what.

Which would be fine if we had, as originally promised, no swing sets*.

But big ideas happen in the writer’s room and things change, so we now have to light a new set each week. But – we can’t get any new stuff, so we have to steal from whatever permanent set isn’t working to complete the rig.

Which is also fine, except that this week’s swing set will also play next week, so we didn’t de-rig it.

We’re fine if the set we stripped doesn’t play, but no one knows yet.

In other news, the cat is still alive.

$300 in blood tests and the vet has determined that she’s old (no, really?), anaemic, and may have an ulcer.

So I have to grind up a quarter tablet of Pepcid AC and put it in her food, and give her high-iron paste and it seems to be working.

She’s perkier and much more like her old self, which is awesome.

The downside is that iron paste is tenacious. Five minutes of exposure to sunlight and it hardens into something that I’m pretty sure would repel bullets, so of course the cat hates it and it’s a struggle to get it down her gullet.

The paste ends up all over the walls, the floor, her face, her fur, my hair, etc… I have a bit of eyebrow that’s shellacked now, and it’s just going to have to grow out.

I can’t mix it into the food as she’ll smell it eat around the bit of food that’s got the paste.

Ugh.

Any suggestions?  I’m covered in goop here.

 

*A swing set is any set that’s temporary – usually for one episode.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , , , ,

November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Flickr Photos

Archives

Categories

Random Quote

"If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 872 other followers

Twitter Updates

Blogroll

Not blogs, but cool

%d bloggers like this: