Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Wow, things got busy!

There I was, expecting the usual not-so-busy December, and out of nowhere suddenly work is going gangbusters. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just… unexpected.

I’m bouncing back and forth between two shows crewed by awesome folks that I love to work with – a one-hour ensemble drama (let’s call it Been Done Before) and Yet Another Cop Show.

The two have been syncing up nicely. This week, I have four days rigging on Been Done Before, and Friday working the set on Yet Another Cop Show.

Since BDB is rigging, the hours are shorter (normally not over 10 hours), except today which was a bit longer because we had to rig at the world’s smallest loft.  Had we a cat handy, there wouldn’t have been room to swing it. Seeing a largish production trying to cram a crew into the space was probably hilarious, but I’ve very glad I didn’t have to work the set.

After helping the shooting crew move to the loft (the day’s second location), we went back to wrap our first location at the old LA Times building.  We were shooting in the currently unused Chandler-era executive offices on the top floor in a room called the Round Table – which features, unsurprisingly, a big round table. You’ve seen it in about a bazillion movies.

I really do believe that being honest (within reason) is the best way to live one’s life, but I have to tell you all – had there been a way for me to sneak the original Paul Horiuchi painting out of the building, I’d have done it. It’s just hanging on the wall in an empty office, making no one happy instead of inspiring joy and general well-being, which is a painting’s job.

Oh, well.

Once we’d gotten the shooting crew moved and wrapped, it was right in the middle of rush hour, so a co-worker and I went and had some Pho at a place around the corner from the Times building. Hot noodle soup is perfect on a cold night.

By the time we finished eating, the traffic had died down enough for me to venture onto the freeway towards home.

Tomorrow, we’re wrapping the world’s smallest loft, which shouldn’t take very long, and then Friday, it’ll be a split on YACS.

Five days this week! Yay!!!

Filed under: locations, Work, , , , , , ,

Nectar of the gods

Over the weekend I did a favor job for a good friend of mine (who’s gotten me a lot of work, so gets the occasional weekend on a student film out of me. Everyone else who asks me to work on a student film? Go to hell – and I mean that in the nicest possible way) that shot in southern Orange County.

I rarely make it south of the “orange curtain” just because there’s not that much down there that really interests me. Don’t start with the Disneyland. I hate Disneyland. It’s hot, there’s endless lines, totally lame rides and annoying characters from cartoons I never liked much as a kid (now, if they had a Bugs Bunny land, I might feel differently).

Luckily I managed to hitch a ride down there so I didn’t have to worry about spending a bazillion dollars in gas, and the students were all really nice and fun, and we actually got some great helpers so the day wasn’t too bad.. except for the food. The instructor/producer decided not to provide coffee for the crew, which baffles me as Hollywood marches on caffeine since cocaine became something to which one should just say no (or something).

Not that I was expecting stellar food or anything. It’s students – I understand that they can’t afford on-demand cappuccinos or food that’s not something college-aged stoners like.

So, when I decided not to eat the provided lunch of extra-yeasty chain ‘deli’ sandwiches that had been sitting on a table in a warm room for four hours (“it’s okay, we asked for no mayo”) and ventured out, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself smack in the middle of the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.

For me, this means one thing:

Pho.

I love pho. I could eat it three times a day every day, and over the weekend, that’s exactly what I did – except when my curiosity got the better of me and I tried the goat curry, which was also incredibly delicious.

This particular pho place was by far the best I’ve had. It seemed to be popular – at lunch on the first day, I looked up from my bowl and I was the only white person in the joint. I’m calling it a pretty good find considering I just pulled into the first place I found figuring that even if it was bad it would be better than the salmonella on white waiting back at the set. If I’m ever back in southern Orange County, I’ll know where to eat.

After a bowl of pho, some spring rolls (unlike deli sandwiches, these are better when held at room temp) and a glass of super-strong Vietnamese coffee I was ready to go back and deal with the students for the second half of each 14 hour day (plus, the commute back up to LA).

The only bad part is that the weekend of gorging on noodles and beef broth has left me lethargic and bloated up like a puffer fish. I’m trying to care that I didn’t get to the gym today, and I just can’t work up the energy.

Maybe tomorrow.

Filed under: long long drives, Work, , , ,

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