Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

I’ll let someone else do the writing for me today

It’s slow (of course), and while I scan the sky for the predicted light rain tomorrow and listen to the screams of panic coming from the streets, I thought I’d share someone else’s writing with you:

http://www.vulture.com/2012/05/how-long-are-the-days-on-a-movie-set-polone.html

This is post, from a producer, about the hours we sometimes work. He interviews several crew members about the hours and the longest day they’ve had.

It’s funny – I’m so used to the long hours that I forget the rest of the world manages to make a living only working 8 hours a day and finds the concept of a routine 12 hour day to be shocking, inhumane even.

There was a group of people that were trying to pass legislation making it illegal to work more than 14 hours straight, but I think that’s stalled.

So we continue to work 15, 16, 17+ hours and we’re grateful to have any work at all.

And, for the record, the longest “day” I ever worked was 28 hours. I made enough money to pay for a hotel room across the street (because the production wouldn’t) from the downtown location because I was hallucinating and knew I wouldn’t be able to drive home without causing carnage – the bad kind, not the funny kind.

Filed under: hazardous, life in LA, up all night, Work, , ,

Watch me try to stay awake

One of the things that still remains tough to adjust to after all this time is the unpredictable hours that I sometimes have to work.

Under normal circumstances, if I’m so tired that I feel I’m not safe I’ll turn down the call, but since my policy right now is to only turn down work if I’m dead, I’m taking anything at any time I can get, which means if I have to go without sleep I’m just going to have to deal, since the shadow of another potential work stoppage is still hanging over all our heads.

Thursday: 2 pm call time. I got to bed around 2 am and got up around 7 am in order to keep on a day schedule. I figured I’d stay up all day and just go to bed early.

Then, on Friday around noon I got a last minute call to report to work at 2 pm (missed seeing Nezza on her last day here, but a girl’s gotta pay the bills), so right out of the gate I was completely wiped out and the best boy will probably go to his grave being convinced that I’m either perpetually stoned or exceptionally slow on the uptake.

Monday: 7am call time, which adds up to one of those one-day weekends since I totally lost Saturday. I’m sure I did something, but I have no idea what that something was.

I was off today, and I got up early hoping to stay on a day schedule, but no such luck.

Tomorrow: 5 pm call time, so although I got up at 6 am today, I’ll have to try to stay up until at least midnight in the hopes that I’ll sleep until at least 8 am.

8, for me, is the magic number. I can’t seem to sleep much later unless I get home from work at 7 am.

What will probably happen is that I’ll fall asleep at 10, wake up at 6, be unable to get back to sleep and then be up until sunrise Friday morning, which means I’ll have to down enough coffee to kill Juan Valdez and his donkey in order to stay functional.

It’s all going to be fine. I’m just happy to be working, and worse comes to worse I’ll catch a nap in the back seat of my car after work. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that.

On the bright side, I got my refund checks from the unemployment fracas:

Winning feels gooood.

I have big plans for this money. First, I’m going to trowel on enough makeup so that I topple over when I try to stand upright. Then, I’m going to don an obscenely tight dress, make a beeline to the trendiest nightclub in town and sit at the bar while I bat my eyelashes and fan myself with $2,000 in twenties before going home with four or five cheap male models. Or maybe one really expensive one.

Just kidding. I’m going to use it to pay bills and rent. Whatever’s left over goes in the savings account in case the actors decide to strike.

Although when I think about it, if I have four or five cheap male models, do I really need a place to live? Or food?

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

Okay, I promise I’ll stop freaking out. For now.

Today I got a very important piece of mail – the statement from the pension and health plan which tallies my qualifying hours for the previous semester.

As previously mentioned, we have to work at least 300 hours every semester in order to keep our health insurance – we can ‘bank’ hours in excess of 300 (up to 450), so we have an emergency pad just for times like this (although just about everyone I know desperately wants to avoid having to pull hours out of the bank).

Last semester, I worked 760 hours, so even if half of them are retroactively disqualified due to our good friends at Axium, I’m still okay, and since my bank’s full I’ll at least have insurance for the next year, even if the unthinkable happens and I don’t work until June or July (remember SAG? They have contract negotiations coming up in a few months and they’re also tired of getting screwed by The Man).

Thank heavens. Of course, possibly losing 400 pension hours is going to matter a great deal to me when I’m 105 and running out the clock while trying to avoid the jobs which will require me to pull cable 14 hours a day*, but for now it prevents the total meltdown that I was working myself into.

On a happier (if unrelated) note, last night I went to a free screening of the movie Once (which I really liked), and then on the way out of the theater, stopped by the Virgin Megastore which is closing (word on the street is that the landlord jacked up the rent – there seems to be a rash of that happening all over Los Angeles these days), and took advantage of the half-off sale to pick up the new Radiohead CD. I don’t normally buy CDs because of that thing that they do where there are only two good songs and the rest are crap, but Radiohead (if they’re your thing) seem to be consistently good.

I figured I could spare the 8 bucks because I haven’t driven the car in almost a week, which means that I’ve not spent 50 bucks on a tank of gas.

*Actually, since I didn’t get into the union until I was almost 30, the chances that I’ll be able to work enough to qualify for full retirement are slim to none.

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

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