Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A bird in the hand

Pigeons love old sound stages.

I don’t know why, but there’s almost always one or two lurking up in the perms, crapping on our cable and doing whatever it is pigeons do when they’re not crapping on everything.

Sometimes they get trapped on the stage when we’re shooting and fly around, bumping into things and crapping on everything until they either find their way out or we call cut and open the doors.

Today, right in the middle of a very long, very complex scene requiring concentration from the actors on the dead-silent stage (this show has a really serious AD staff) – the song of the flying rat.

And they kept singing (or cooing, or telling each other where to crap next) during every single sound take.

We tried everything. A laser pointer, a light aimed at them, luring them towards the small door with a trail of bread crumbs, throwing things at them, you name it.

They’d be quiet for a few minutes and then as soon as the stage got nice and quiet  would resume their conversation.

Eventually, the exasperated sound guy decided that it wasn’t worth the headache and they should just ADR the whole thing, and we moved on.

As soon as we opened the big doors of the stage for lunch, both birds flew out.

Filed under: studio lots, toxic waste, Work, , , , , , ,

A delicate balancing act

There’s an art to work calls (texts these days, but the same rules apply).

One needs to contact various best boys often enough to maintain contact, but no so often that one becomes a nuisance.

This contact/nuisance threshold varies with each individual best boy. Some folks get annoyed if they’re contacted more than once a month, some folks forget you exist if they’re contacted once a week.

I’ve yet to figure it out beyond just remembering it, mostly.

I try to open with some variant on ‘hows the family’ so if I fuck up I’ll get something along the lines of ‘same as they were Tuesday, why?’ instead of accusations of stalking followed by not getting hired.

The worst thing one can do is appear desperate (unless it’s a close friend, and then beg away). Desperate means that one isn’t getting hired by anyone, and that’s pretty universally seen as a personal failing, even when it’s not.

And we all thought we’d left high school.

Not appearing desperate, though, is sometimes difficult, especially in years like this when it’s been slow for over 6 months and that 400 hour requirement for health insurance is dangling over everyone’s head like some kind of Greek sword.

So, I send out “Hey, hope you’re doing well! I’m available if you need me, but really, how are the kids” texts, hoping that I’ll get the 300 hours that I need before October.

It’s just starting to get busy, so I’m still very optimistic.

In other news, the cat is still alive. She’ll turn 17 in November. Lately, it’s been a battle to get her to eat enough to keep weight. I’ve now resorted to egg-shaped bribery, but I’m not proud, so it’s all good.

Angry kitty

Enjoy the fuzziness while you can, kitty.  Soon, there will be a trip to the groomers followed by, well, more anger.

Like that’s a change.

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

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