Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Hot and dusty

It’s still 100 degrees in Los Angeles.

I’ve already worked three days this week, and two of those days, of course, have been day exterior.

Today, we were in a canyon park near the beach, so we got a little bit of wind  in the morning and we were mostly in the shade so it wasn’t too bad except for the dust and the poison oak.

The studio safety people had come through and placed pink flags wherever there was poison oak so that we could avoid it.

Of course, the flags were in the shot, so they were pulled up first thing, leaving us all to try to remember where, exactly, we needed to avoid.

At one point, video village got set up right in the middle of the area where we’re fairly certain was full of the stuff, but no one was sure, so we just have to wait to see if any of the important people get a rash.

As the vans drove by on the dirt roads, we all got coated in dust, and then as the day wore on and it got hotter and we started to sweat, the dust turned to a thin layer of salty mud.

At one point I wiped my face on a paper towel and was only mildly surprised at how much dirt came off.

Also, of course, we ran out of light because everyone forgets about the sun and canyons.

The weather forecast gives sunset as, say, 7 pm. But in a canyon, the walls are higher than the horizon, so one loses the light earlier. Our boss pointed that out on the scout, but no one listened and we had to light the last few shots.

Where did we need to place the lights? Right in the poison oak patch. Of course.

We parked at the beach so after work a co-worker and I jumped in the ocean just as the sun was going down, but the water is still gross and really warm, so it washed off some of the sweat mud, but wasn’t as refreshing as I’d like. The beach shower was colder.

Where am I working tomorrow? Why, outside, of course. In the valley.

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

Half a weekend goes well with panic attacks.

My main problem Friday night wasn’t the copious amount of poison oak all over our location, but the dust and pollen in the air. For some reason I always forget that if the location’s on a dirt road the approaching vehicles will make the inevitable dust storm worse. I then vow to never again leave my house without dust masks in my work bag. Then, after working all night I’m tired and I forget the whole thing.

Since the all-nigher and related allergy attack shot Saturday all to hell anyway I stayed on the sofa struggling to breathe and then on Sunday I went to see American Gangster (which I highly recommend even though this trend of three hour long movies is beginning to wear thin).

Monday was the day the panic started to set in. I haven’t got enough money saved to make it through a long strike. I’m going on vacation (for which I can’t get a refund were I to cancel so I might as well go) at a terrible time, and if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m pretty sure I’m going to starve to death on the street, wallowing in a puddle of my own filth.

The incessant strike-related nattering of the local televised news-bots isn’t helping one little bit, either. Trust me guys, it’s a big world out there and there’s got to be something else you can air besides that one fucking clip of the picket line in front of Paramount. Didn’t someone cure some disease somewhere? Can’t you go look and double check?

When I really start to sit and worry, I can work myself up into quite a state, so in an effort to prevent that I spent Monday trying to find a home for one of the neighborhood’s random stray dogs (for some reason, people like to dump strays in my neighborhood. I don’t know why). This one looks like a purebred Chihuahua, but can’t be. Chihuahuas yap and make me want to drop-kick them and this one’s quiet and really nice, so I’m going to conclude that she’s some other flavor of ankle biter that shakes a lot and is difficult to housebreak.

So, after walking about ten miles in a vain attempt to wear out said ankle-biter (who seems to have a hell of a lot more energy than I do) so she’d appear less hyper than she really is when I dropped her off at a friend’s house (where she’ll stay until I either find her original owner or a new one), I was too tired to worry much, but today I’m rested and since a lot of other people are out of work (or will be soon) the phone calls are flying and everyone’s collectively working themselves up into a lather.

Although going three months at a time without work isn’t unheard of (for me at least), since I don’t have the savings pad that I’d really like to, if the strike outlasts my unemployment I’m going to end up sitting in a cubicle somewhere, rocking back and forth and muttering incoherently about my stapler.

And no one wants to read about that.

Filed under: life in LA, movies, Non-Work, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fan, meet Shit. Shit, meet Fan.

Well, it’s official. The writers are going to strike.

Since today’s work was on a stage with internet access, everyone who had a computer kept checking every 90 seconds to see what was going on, and we got the word via the LA Times website around 8 pm.

This show will finish it’s current episode (which runs through Friday), and after that who knows what will happen? It depends on if they have a script that they can shoot without re-writing it (which is absurd – stuff gets rewritten on the fly all the time).

By 8:05, a couple of people were starting to really freak out, but I’m just going to try to scrounge enough work to get me through the next couple of weeks and then hope for the best.

I suppose the next few weeks would be a great time for me to get the bunion surgery that I need (and the accompanying 10 – 12 weeks of disability), or I could go get a regular construction job, or go pull cable on one of the event crews.

I guess that’s where those of us that are below the line have an advantage (and it’s probably the only advantage we have) is that the skills we have translate into being able to go and get a job somewhere else if we absolutely have to.

Who am I kidding? Although I like to think I’d be able to march up to a construction site and get a decent paying job that uses a similar set of skills to mine, the reality is that I’ll probably end up back on the low budget non-union movies.

Who, when you think about it, are going to be the clear winner in this mess. They’re going to get the crews (and the writers) they normally can’t afford, and none of us can leave and go work a ‘real’ show because there won’t be any.

Gods, I hope this gets settled quickly, although the pessimist in me is pretty certain it won’t.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Flickr Photos

Archives

Categories

Random Quote

"If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 998 other followers

Twitter Updates

Blogroll

Not blogs, but cool

%d bloggers like this: