Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

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Something strange has happened in my neighborhood.

All of the electronic billboards have gone black. Every single one of them.

No explanation has been given.

I’m scared.

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

When will I ever learn?

It started out innocently enough.

We were rigging a location in one of Los Angeles’  more upscale neighborhoods. I’ve believe I’ve mentioned before that the more expensive the area, the more the residents hate film crews.

Since this was to be a night shoot, we had three condors to rig with BFLs (Big Fucking Lights).

Said condors were parked on the street – the bases didn’t block anyone’s ingress, but when we had the arms lowered to load them up, the basket of one of them was right in the middle of a driveway.

We figured that since it was the middle of the day, it wouldn’t be a problem as long as we worked quickly.

Oh, so wrong.

Just after we got the arm down, a woman came charging out at us like an angry hornet, yelling at us to get that damn thing off the street.

At first we thought she was trying to get her car out of the driveway, and we explained to her that we’d raise the arm back up for her to back out, but it turns out she was getting upset about the condor base parked in front of her house (and probably the whole shoot in general).

I can’t blame her. I hate it when a fucking film crew invades my neighborhood. Bastards. Who do they think they are?

The main problem was that she wanted us to move the base of the condor, which we’d put there because our boss the Rigging Gaffer told us to do so. The Rigging Gaffer was presumably informed of condor placement by the Gaffer, who was asked to have ‘some sort of big light’ in that place by the Director of Photography.

Me? I’m just following orders. I can’t move the condor to the next house over. I’ll get yelled at and likely beaten (or something) if I start to think for myself.

In any case, crew people are not encouraged to try to problem solve when it doesn’t involve inanimate objects, so any angry homeowners must be sent to the locations people, who are all much better  at dealing with umbrage than are rigging crews.

After being told that we were looking for the locations manager, she rolled her eyes, told us that wasn’t good enough and added “Get that thing out of here or I’ll have it towed!”

I couldn’t help myself.  She stood there, glowering at me while holding her auto club card and her cell phone, poised to dial, and I responded with “I’d like to see that.”

She turned purple and accused me of mocking her, but I was serious.

I would love to see Billy Joe from BJ’s towing show up, whistling a happy tune, expecting to hitch up some Honda and finding an elevated work platform with an 80 foot boom arm. Hell, besides ‘a shitload’ I don’t even know how much those things weigh. When the rental company pick them up and drop them off, they come in a 48 foot flatbed trailer with a full-sized tractor.

Somebody please video that and upload it to YouTube. I need a good laugh.

Eventually, it all got smoothed over, after the locations guy told her I wouldn’t be back the next day (I’m on a different show and was only on a one day call). She’ll look out at the shooting crew, not see me and feel a flush of beige triumph that she got that awful toolbelt person fired.

Joke’s on her, though. She’ll still have a condor parked in front of her house.

Filed under: locations, Work, , , , ,

I’m feeling somewhat better now

I’ve had post-salmonella syndrome for the past week – not sick anymore, but not hungry at all and no energy to do anything. I worked two days, but luckily they were short days – one insert day and one day changing fluorescent tubes in an office building.

Today was the first day that I’ve actually had any energy (although I still kind of feel like there’s a rock in my stomach), so I had to cram everything into one day since I’m working tomorrow. I worked in the garden, got the car smogged, went to the gym and the grocery store, paid bills, and cleaned the kitchen.  Sort of.   Right now it looks like a messy kitchen and not  a science experiment gone horribly wrong, which I guess is an improvement.

Also, it took me forever to get home because there was a shooting on the next street over. Note: not the movie kind of shooting. The gun kind of shooting.
The entire  neighborhood was festooned with police tape and it took me what seemed like half an hour to convince the LAPD that I was a resident and should be let into my house.

As I was unloading the groceries, my neighbor rushed up to me and breathlessly announced that a guy had shot all his kids, but further questioning revealed an unreliable source, so I guess I’ll have to watch the news if I want to find out what really happened.

I’m exhausted now.

Were in not almost bedtime, I’d take a nap.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, , , , ,

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