Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Out, damned sandwich! Out, I say!

I’m feeling much calmer now – thanks to everyone for the kind words after my little “on-air” panic moment.

Last night I went to my last FilmIndependent screening (my membership expired the 31st and I can’t afford to renew until I start working again. Needless to say, the office has not been receptive to my request for a charity extension). The movie was In Bruges and it showed at the new(ish) Landmark movie theaters, which used to be the outdoor section of a shopping mall (no, it did – when they renovated they decided to put in a better movie theater instead of more pointless retail. The theater’s much better than the old one, but I still like the Arclight better. The seats are more comfortable and the actual theaters are bigger. Plus, you can’t beat reserved seating in a nearly child-free facility).

Since I’d spent the entire day running errands and hadn’t eaten, when I got to the theater I figured I’d sashay up to the bar (so to speak) and grab a snack – this is when sticker shock kicked in.

Seriously – four bucks for a pretzel? Seven for a slice of lukewarm pizza?

I decided to beat the system and ran into the adjacent bookstore/overpriced (but not as overpriced as the theater) coffee bar, grabbed a sandwich and then proceeded to scarf it down before entering the theater – just in case the ushers confiscated the forbidden ‘outside food item’.

Problem solved, right?

Not so much with my current run of luck.

About halfway through the movie, my stomach began to plot revenge, and by the end credits, I felt it was a good idea to exit the theater very quickly and move in the direction of the nearest ladies room, where I sat on the floor of a stall for about 20 minutes, desperately hoping that I’d throw up, feel better, and could go back into the theater for the director Q & A.


After deciding that the whole episode was a false alarm (but not feeling well enough to go back inside the theater), I went to the car and started up the ramp to get out of the parking garage, where I made it almost all the way out to the street before had to stop the car and hang my head out the opened driver’s side door for a moment (or three).

Still nothing.

On the way home, high on Salmonella (or something), I stopped and took a bunch of pictures of an abandoned diner. This place has been closed for at least 10 years, yet for some reason the sign’s still on. I worked on a movie that shot here for weeks, and all day today I’ve been trying to remember the title, but I can’t. I’m going to blame the memory lapse on the sandwich. It never did come up and I’m just now feeling better.

Sign close up


missing letter

I would also like to take this time to apologize for the hackneyed Shakespeare riff in today’s title. The sandwich made me do it.
I swear.

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

Just like running on the beach

There’s a weird thing that happens whenever I’m the board operator on a show and it’s going to be a ‘light’ board day – which means that when we’re in a setup that’s not using the dimmer board, I’m expected to jump in with the set guys and help out. I don’t mind doing this, but as soon as I decide we’re not going to use the board and I should go work on set the gaffer will call for something on the board – not as I’m thinking about it, either. As soon as I’m far enough away from the board that it’s going to take a minute to get back there and the gaffer’s going to notice the delay, that’s when it happens.

So I spent the first half of the day being a victim of bad timing and having to scramble back to the board without having anyone see me running (running on a set is a very bad thing – it makes you look like you’re not in control), and then when I got to where I was supposed to be, having to disguise my wheezing from the gaffer over the walkie.

Then, we moved to a night exterior on a construction site. Most of our equipment is loaded on carts so we can roll it around fairly quickly, but those carts don’t work very well on unpacked dirt at construction sites – we’d unloaded some of our carts off the stakebed (since it was only one scene, we didn’t move our 40 footer, we just loaded everything into a smaller truck) into the street, only to have our boss tell us that the carts and truck needed to move to the other side of the set – across about 100 yards of loosely packed, uneven, rock-strewn dirt. Somehow the carts didn’t make it back onto the truck before it moved, so we ended up having to push them.

Remember those old Tom and Jerry cartoons where the cat would run after the mouse and then run off the edge of a table to find himself in thin air with his feet going like crazy while not going anywhere? That was us trying to push head carts across the construction site. We managed to do it (with two people per cart and a lot of straining), but my legs are still sore today. At the end of the day on the way back to crew parking, one of my co-workers compared walking on the dirt all night to running on the beach, and that’s about how it felt, were we running on the beach while pushing a steel cart loaded with 300 lbs. of equipment.

Call time: 10 am.

Wrap time: 11:45 pm.

Also, in today’s episode of Things I Really Wish I Hadn’t Eaten: The soggy meatball sandwich doused in some kind of unholy gravy-like liquid that was set out as second meal at 10 pm. Blech.

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

February 2020
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