Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Friday Photo

Three-Fers, cropped

Sometimes, when one is doing cable runs, one wants the ability to branch out and make a single cable into multiple cables – much like a power strip that you use in your house, only with a lot more power.

Enter the three-fer.

It allows us to plug three things into one cable. It’s usually used at a distribution box to allow the connection of an HMI ballast and some smaller cable (banded, as opposed to the heavy cable).

One has to be careful, though, as the three-fers aren’t rated for as much electricity as the cable and if overloaded can cause a fire.

Exactly like a power strip in your house, only with a lot more fire.

One of my greatest regrets in life was not having a video camera on The Night The Cable Caught Fire. It was *cough cough* years ago and the reactions of production (screaming, running around, tearing out of hair) compared to the reactions of the electricians (calmly walking to the shutoff and killing the power, then telling anyone who was in earshot about the *really* big fire they saw on another set) was priceless.

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

Some unpleasant surprises

All studio lots have stray cat populations which are tolerated as cats are generally preferable to the rats that flourish with the aid of Los Angeles’ mild climate and discarded remnants of second meals*.

The studios have kitty population control programs, but since it’s just not possible to catch and sterilize them all, there are always at least 20 cats (give or take a litter or three) on each lot.

Normally, this isn’t a problem except when one of said kitties decides that a corner of our set is a dandy place to heed the call of nature. The big stage doors can be locked, of course, but it’s just not possible to seal off every entrance available to a six pound cat.

The nice thing about yesterday’s set was that all the wall outlets were wired. Many times on sets although there are electrical outlets built into the set walls (for realism), they aren’t connected to anything so they can’t be used, which is a pain in a set that, say, only has one entrance which is on camera and we have to try to cable over the wall when there are 30 people standing in the way. This, needless to say, is frustrating, so we’re always glad when we can plug a lamp into a working wall outlet.

The bad thing about yesterday’s set was that the wall outlets were wired, so as I was bending over to plug a lamp into an outlet (which, of course, was installed near the floor), my face came dangerously close to what I can only assume was recycled rat with a side of kibble. Of course, since all the important people were on set I couldn’t give into my initial urge, which was to jump backwards and scream “eeeeeeewwwww!”

Since I live with a cat and dump a litterbox on a weekly basis, you’d think I’d be used to the sight of cat shit, but seeing it in a corner of a set was, well, surprising – as was the puddle of urine I found on the upper floor of the set.

Damn cats.

I suppose I should have told one of the set dressers, but we got busy and I forgot.

They’ll find it soon enough.

*film crews must be fed every six hours. First meal (lunch, no matter what time of day) comes six hours after call, second meal comes six hours after the end of lunch. All of us pray we never see third meal, but we sometimes do.

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

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