Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Night Two

Of course, when we showed up at work the first thing we did was split the crew – some stayed down at the beachside set to work the day exterior, and the rest of us went back up the hill to re-rig the set up from the night before.

It wasn’t as bad, since we were rigging the turn around from the first night – the original shot had been looking down the hill, so we saw (and had to light) much more than we did when the camera was aimed up the hill.

Still, we barely got finished in time, and once the shooting crew landed, everything got changed around, but this time we had more people and I was more emotionally prepared for the hard, long day, even though I started out sore and in pain from the night before.

After they finished the night exterior, the set guys went down to the beach to work the night exterior on the beach, and we stayed up top to wrap.

One of the things that is, in reality, much less wonderful that one might imagine is working on the beach.

No matter if it’s day or night, working on the beach is difficult. Sand gets everywhere, carts are useless, and the big inflatable wheels that are supposed to make lighting stands roll don’t really work as well as they’re supposed to.

Did I mention sand gets everywhere?

So I was very happy to just be wrapping – we got there, got the stuff from up the hill loaded into the truck and then wrapped cable (covered in sand, of course).

The wrap went quickly as we had the entire crew working, then we had to wait for the rental company to show up. Lucky for us, they got there half an hour early, and we were on our way home before the sun came up.

I came home, slept for a couple of hours, then got up and did something. I know I did something, I just don’t remember what.

Today, my legs are incredibly painful and my left shoulder’s stiff. I know the legs are stiff from the hill, but I’ve got no idea what’s up with the shoulder. Hopefully it’ll sort itself out in time for me to go swim.

Filed under: locations, long long drives, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , ,

Early arrival has some perks

When one works at this particular lot, one has to consider the garage factor into the arrival time.

This lot’s parking garage simply isn’t large enough for all the cars that need to park in it, so late arrivals have to use the valet service. While this may seem cushy, in reality it’s a huge pain in the ass. Since shooting companies work far later than do the valets, the solution is for the valet to park the car in a space that opens up after the garage empties out, and then take the keys to the front gate (on the other side of the lot from the garage) after the garage closes. If one is working on a stage that’s near the parking structure, this means that after wrap one has to traipse all the way across the lot to get the car keys, and then all the way back across the lot (while carrying all of ones work gear) to get back to the car.

Call me a whiner if you like, but after a 14 hour day that double walk across the lot seems more like a 400 mile hike while lugging a boulder.

So, for an 8 am call I got to the parking garage at 7:15 am, and that was almost too late – all the ‘good’ spots were gone, but at least I didn’t have to cruise the garage with my fingers crossed hoping against hope to find a spot that everyone else had overlooked, plus I had time to finish my coffee and stroll over to the stage and raid first unit’s craft service (since they were in an hour earlier than us and the main unit generally gets better stuff than the second unit).

While I was driving to work, I kept having this nagging feeling that I was forgetting something, and I kept going over my work gear checklist in my mind: change of shoes, change of socks, hat, tools, sunglasses, phone, etc..

I couldn’t figure it out until, of course, I’d gotten far enough away that I wouldn’t have been able to turn around and go back and then I remembered. My knee brace. I left it sitting on the bench next to the front door where I’d placed it so I wouldn’t forget it.

D’oh.

So it was really a good thing that I got put on the dimmer board (since the guy who was supposed to be running the board called in sick). I got to stay off my feet (the dimmer board is almost never on set – it’s usually in a small room somewhere, and the operator gets to sit down, although one generally can’t walk away from the board because as soon as the operator steps away, the gaffer will start adjusting light levels) and I didn’t have to do anything more complicated than bring up the lights the gaffer wanted (one can do incredibly complicated things with dimmer boards – but I’m a bit out of practice on this particular model, so requests for something complicated would have sent me frantically paging through the manual while trying to stall the gaffer) and only had to call the first unit dimmer board op a few times with questions. The rig in that stage hasn’t changed in so long that he doesn’t leave notes out because he’s got it all in his head, so every now and then I’d not know something and then have to call, but luckily our gaffer and the DP were calm and no one flipped out.

Plus, I managed to get out of the studio store without shopping myself broke.

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

September 2019
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