Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

All I needed was two popsicles and a ride home before curfew.

When I was a kid, I never did any babysitting, so I’m not certain that headline joke even makes sense. Be patient – it’s still really smoky here.

So I guess that made yesterday my first babysitting job.

Not for kids, but for the EPK (electronic press kit – you know all those promo bits where the director and cast of the movie sit in a chair in front of a set piece and do sound bites about the movie “Well, working with Joe Blow was just incredible and I know we’re doing something extraordinary here blah blah blah blah” Those are shot on the sets while the movie or TV show is filming) crew that were shooting on the main stage of the TV show I’ve been working on periodically.

Normally, EPK crews are a giant pain in the ass to the shooting crew of any production. Sometimes they show up and want to use our equipment and personnel to light their shot – which is bad if we also happen to need that equipment and personnel to light the movie they’re supposed to be promoting. Most of the time, they bring their own lights but want to use a bunch of ours for set dressing, or they set up right in front of our carts while we’re trying to work – all of us have made at least one accidental appearances in an EPK (I can’t remember which one I got nailed in – all I remember is my sister calling me and telling me that she’d seen me walk through some talking head shot that was airing on some entertainment program, and that I really needed to comb my hair).

Yesterday’s EPK crew, however, brought their own truck with their own equipment and their own guys. They were, however, using our power (it would have been silly for them not to), so two of us had to stay and babysit them because, of course, they didn’t know where anything is on the stage (if they need power pulled out from its hiding place, it’s much easier and faster if they have someone to ask than if they have to search around for it for an hour and then end up calling the best boy and asking him) and we were there to help them and make sure everything got put back in it’s regular spot at the end of the night.

They were all super nice folks (some of whom I remember from the bad old days of low budget music videos) and the day went really well – they had three set ups which were interview areas in different parts of the main set, and although we had a bit of a scramble trying to get them set up in all three at the same time, once we did it was clear sailing and all we had to do was hang out in the gold room and periodically walk around the set to make sure they were okay and answer the occasional random query about where things (various types of cable, the bathrooms, the commissary for lunch) were located. When they were done, they wrapped out their stuff and we wrapped our cable and got the set back to the way it was supposed to be and then called it a day.

I didn’t get a popsicle, though.

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

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