The giant tape ball on the Paramount lamp dock.
March 20, 2015 • 6:00 pm 0
The lights, reflected in our ‘pond’, which was an above ground pool.
Shooting in and around water when we’re burning lights that use as much electricity as a small house needs to be approached with caution.
Back in the old days, we used DC power around water, which is safer, but most modern lights won’t work with DC, so we have to use Shock Blocks – they’re giant GFCIs, much like the small ones you have in your kitchen and bathroom.
The way they work is that if they sense an interruption in the force, they assume there’s mortal danger and shut off the power. Usually, they do this right in the middle of the only take in 300 that’s gone right, or the exact moment the AD says “we only have time for one more before we lose the light”.
It’s also really important that we make sure everyone on set is plugged into the GFCI circuits – if something should happen and the water tank were to rupture, the GFCIs would shut off the power before anyone got electrocuted.
But people get tired of the fucking things tripping and shutting off the power, so they steal a stinger and plug into a wall outlet.
If the lot safety people come by and see that, guess who gets fired?
That’s right, me.
Next time: The simultaneous fun and horribleness of going into the tank.
July 22, 2014 • 9:02 pm 1
There aren’t a whole lot of options available, if one needs to shoot in a jail. For obvious reasons, shooting in a working prison can be.. problematic, so we’re restricted to closed jails, which, in Los Angeles, means either Sybil Brand or Lincoln Heights, depending on if one wants ‘old timey‘ jail or modern jail.
For the past few days, we’ve needed modern jail, so we’ve been at Sybil Brand.
What freaks me out so much about Sybil Brand is the complete lack of anything plastic. Due to what I can only assume was budget, the prison wasn’t updated at all before it closed, so it’s a treasure trove of silly looking stuff that was the cutting edge in 1963:
And now it’s all in limbo, pending a review of how best to spend the taxpayers’ money – renovate or rebuild?
Until then, it’ll stay a shooting location and dog training center:
December 20, 2013 • 12:07 pm 0
Where I live now, there just aren’t that many couches left out by the curb – or the trash collection are more efficient, but either way there’s not much to put on the couch blog anymore.
But every now and then, I see one.
It didn’t show up on the picture (damn iPhone), but that note reads ‘Free’.
No idea if the creepy naked doll is included.
August 9, 2013 • 6:06 pm 0
May 30, 2013 • 4:53 pm 1
This is, by far, my favorite time of year to ride my bicycle. It’s not horribly hot (yet), the threat of rain has mostly passed, and the city has sprung into bloom.
Although it’s a bit too early in the year for the night-blooming jasmine (something I still really miss about Hollywood. There’s not nearly as much of it on the west side), the honeysuckle is flowering, so the city smells pretty good in places (in other places, not so much), and the hibiscus flowers hide the graffiti-covered walls.
Even my neighbor’s unpruned rose bushes are producing some spectacular flowers, waving in the wind like thorny antennae.
My favorite though, are the Jacaranda trees.
Most of the year, these trees are only remarkable for the terrible mess they make, but in the spring they’re transformed into Seussian purple clouds that make a very colorful terrible mess.
Sadly, the Jacaranda bloom for a very short time and it’s just about over, so I’ve been trying to enjoy it while I can.
Also, gas is really expensive (for America) and I’m unemployed, so more biking is better.
May 17, 2013 • 11:18 pm 0
March 29, 2013 • 8:59 pm 4
Back in the old days, to get to the perms one would climb a rope ladder. Then, someone figured out that this was probably unsafe and something about which the dirty toolbelt people might be able to sue.
Enter the wall ladder.
If you’ve ever tried to climb a rope ladder, you will agree that a ladder fixed to a wall is much safer.
But still not that safe.
Enter the cage.
The cage prevents said ladder climber from falling to his or her death (or severe injury) and features a handy platform halfway – not for resting, but to allow more than one person to climb the ladder simultaneously. One person climbs the bottom half, and when that person steps off the lower ladder and onto the platform, the next person starts up.
Mostly for safety, but also because no one wants to see what’s up a co-worker’s shorts. Trust me on this one.
March 5, 2013 • 11:57 pm 3
Last night was my first time going up in the condor in almost a year. Although I’m not normally too terribly afraid of heights, it does take me a bit to adjust to being in a lift after extensive periods of time spent on terra firma.
We were shooting on a Y-shaped studio lot street, so we used three condors. Mine was the lowest, armed out over the intersection, mimicking various streetlights. This had two advantages. It kept me lower, so there was less adjustment panic, and since I was a few feet below the tops of the facades, I was sheltered from the wind (spring has not yet sprung here in Los Angeles, so it’s still a bit brisk at night, especially up in the air).
The other two condors, at opposite ends of the street, were ‘full stick’ (meaning they were at full extension of 80 feet, almost straight up) and at the mercy of the wind and fog.
At least it didn’t rain, but the billowing clouds did make for some entertaining nighttime viewing:
The operators in the other two condors told me that the wind died down after about an hour, so everyone had an easy night.
Most terrifying night in a condor ever was the night I was armed out over the LA river for an elaborate car chase scene – my base was on one of the bridges and my bucket was full stick, so the distance to ground was about 200 feet. Adding to the terror spawned by an overactive imagination was a windy night and a very ‘bendy’ condor arm (some of the arms flex more than others).
At the end of the night I think I might have kissed the ground.