Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Looks can be deceiving

Sometimes you can look at a set and figure out right away if it’s going to be easy to light or not. Generally, the smaller the set, the worse things go for everyone. Like cramming 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound sack.

Today’s main set was large,  lots of room, multiple doorways, all the windows opened (sometimes on sets they don’t), etc.. It should have been a breeze.

Except that it wasn’t.

We thrashed around for two hours trying to light it.

For some reason, this particular set was built without any ‘wild’ walls, and a hard ceiling that doesn’t move.

Wild walls are designed to be easily removed from the set, so that one can get certain camera angles or lighting, and a set really needs to have the ceiling raise up (or come off in small bits) so that when we need to have a light, say, in the middle of a room we can just drop power down from the grid and not have to worry about camouflaging cable that’s run right through the middle of the shot.

Of course, since we couldn’t run power up to the grid through the ceiling that didn’t move, we lit an entire scene from above and saw the whole fucking world, every single shot. The grips managed to drill some holes for us, but mostly we used a metric ton of tape and more time than we should have taken to do a fairly simple lighting set-up.

By the time it was over, my boss was rocking back and forth, muttering to himself while clutching his light meter to his chest.

We ended up having to move one scene to tomorrow, which will be nice and refreshing to end our day in the air conditioning, because we’ll be spending most of the day outside in the heat and humidity (okay, it’s Los Angeles humidity, which is dry compared to say, Texas).

Also, work has been so slow that my work shoe calluses went away, and now I have blisters on my feet. Guess I’ll be stopping by the drug store on the way to work to buy a metric ton of moleskin.

 

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , ,

Time and space

As the show goes on and more stuff gets put into the sets, the stage itself starts to get harder and harder to navigate.

On shows running longer than three months, the boxes, cases, oddly shaped bits of wood, unused couches, etc..  would be tucked away somewhere not the stage (sometimes an office but many times a shipping container).

Since a lot of the stuff we have will only be on camera for one episode and no one has any real estate large enough for storage, everything just gets stacked where ever there happens to be space.

In hallways, behind backdrops, against set walls, in the bathrooms, around our carts, under the audience bleachers.

Which I understand, as there’s just not any room on the stage to store anything, but it’s getting difficult to navigate lifts through the monumental piles of crap.

Add in the copious amount of fake trees in the fake yard and it’s damn near impossible to reach some of the lights.

Of course, the lights that are the biggest pains in the ass to reach are the ones that need the most attention.

So we bushwhack our way back to a point at which we can almost reach the light and then have someone act as a counterweight while we lean out over the debris to change a globe or refocus.

We’ll do a set changeover in a couple of weeks, so at least it’ll be different junk, hopefully in different places.

 

Filed under: studio lots, Uncategorized, Work, , , , ,

Super duper retro Friday Photo

Flats

From Help Me Help You, circa 2006.

I know it’s old, but this is one of my favorite photos.

Besides the flats leaning up against the walls, those black square things at the left of the photo are spacelite* accessory bags.

Each spacelite comes with extra stuff that one may or may not use, but is inadvisable to lose, so the bags containing said stuff must be put in a safe place. Like stapled to the wall.

That’s pretty safe, right?

*When I do an image search of certain lighting items, the only results I get are photos I’ve taken. Dammit, people, I’m not the only juicer with a blog. Step it up. I’m not sure how much longer I can carry you motherfuckers.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

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