Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The wind blows

For some strange reason, someone on this show decided to jump from a 6:30 am call time to a 9 am call time.

One would think that it would be great to sleep in, but the later the call, the heavier the traffic.

So I left my place a full hour early, anticipating to get stuck in the crawl, and then got lucky and got there way too early.

It was a nice calm day when I pulled out of the driveway, but by the time I got to location the winds had picked up – not just a light breeze, either. Violent gusts that bent trees and knocked over anything large and top-heavy – such as grip equipment or lights on stands.

The first thing we did in the morning – before we were in* – was frantically weight down the stands with all the sand and shot bags we could get from the grips, and then secure the equipment as well as we possibly could.

I finally got to see one of the other empty houses that’s being used as a location – it’s about a block away from the main house and has an incredibly green pool. Not intentionally green, mind you. Mosquito vector green. Someone told me it hasn’t been cleaned in about six months – oddly, the entire time the production has been shooting in this house.

The winds kept up all day and into the evening – by sunset my sinuses were a solid block of dirt and pollen – because we’ve killed the lawn on the property, there’s a layer of dust on everything – the carts, the equipment, the crew, the food. It’s like a music festival, except there are no tunes and you can’t get a toe ring.

The winds should die down by tomorrow afternoon.

Although California is currently in drought, I took a really long hot shower in an attempt to dislodge the mass in my sinuses – it was so bad even my ears were jammed up.

I need Claritin for the rest of the week.

*At call, the ADs will yell “we’re in”, meaning the work day has started. Most shows have a caterer that serves breakfast so everyone gets there early and mills about. It’s bad form to show up right at call, and it’s equally bad form to start working before one is called in, as one isn’t getting paid for that work. But, if it’s a choice between working five minutes early or losing a light due to it getting blown over….

Filed under: locations, long long drives, Los Angeles, movies, Work, , , , , , , , ,

Just when I think I can’t be surprised

Yesterday, as I was riding my bike home from swimming (no job, no driving. Gas is expensive, for America, plus I have to work off all that craft service somehow), I stopped off at the local overpriced organic grocery, pretending to shop just so I could sneak in a visit to the bathroom.

As I was walking my bike out of the parking lot, I looked up at the large American flag flying over the store – not out of a sense of patriotism, but to compulsively check wind direction (I don’t know why I bother. It’s not like I can do anything about it or change my course when I’m on the bike. Guess it’s just one of those odd habits), and noticed that the store had locked the flag to the pole.

You read that correctly. Unbeknownst to me, Los Angeles has been experiencing an apparent wave of rampant flag thefts by well-meaning but presumably broke patriots.

Or maybe it’s just the beautiful people who, having liposuctioned themselves into permanent frigidity, are desperately attempting to insulate themselves from the moderately chilly evening breeze near the beach.

I can’t believe this hasn’t made the news.

Probably because the local news are more interested in staged variety shows, but that’s a rant for another type of blog.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, , , , , , , ,

Yay! Money!

After today’s particularly grueling bike ride (fighting what felt like a 15 knot headwind may be good exercise, but it’s exhausting. I only got in half my normal ride before I gave up and headed for home. Of course the wind shifted while I was contemplating packing it in so I had what felt like a 15 knot cross breeze all the way home. Nice. When I complained to a friend, he informed me it was proof that God hates me. You know, I’ve always suspected as much) I came home to find an unemployment check! Hooray!

I did the best happy dance I could manage on my sore legs, hopped back on my bike and struggled over to the bank so I could deposit the check (and get some cash for laundry and the farmer’s market on Sunday), and when I got home my legs felt like.. well, like I just biked across Hollywood while fighting a wind. Twice.

I’m hopeful that work will come soon, though – I’m starting to see more and more art department folks driving around in 10 ton trucks, which is a good sign. Those guys are back to work a few weeks before we are, so hopefully I’ll be working again before I go completely insane.

Yesterday I was so optimistic that I dumped my work bag, sorted out the stuff that I actually use, threw away the flotsam (lot passes, commissary receipts, half-finished crossword puzzles, band-aids, old call sheets, candy bar wrappers, broken bits of old headsets that no longer work), and then took the bag outside and hosed it down, so I can now find things and the inside doesn’t smell like socks anymore. Sweet.

Then, I decided it was as good a time as any to crack open my last bottle of the wine I brought back from France (you have to celebrate the small victories, too) – the wine that I schlepped across a medium-sized country, carefully wrapped in a sweater, hid in my suitcase, denied the existence of to a customs agent (“why no, I don’t have any alcohol or food in my suitcase. That salami smell is your imagination”), and saved for just the moment I thought I’d really like it…

Was corked. What really sucks is this was the ‘good’ bottle. Oh, well. Just one more excuse to go back someday, right?

I’m going to smear myself with whatever sore muscle rub I can reach, hobble to the couch and watch whatever movie happens to be in the DVD player.

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

Friday Photo

It's been a rough night around here.

This sort of sums up this particular winter storm – it’s not just that it’s rainy and windy, but it’s rainy with an occasional strong gust of wind. There’s just enough time between gusts to give you and your umbrella a false sense of security and then…Pow!

You’re left standing in a downpour with an inside-out-brella, swearing like a sailor and trying to keep your camera dry.

Somehow I doubt this phenomenon is unique to Los Angeles, though.

Filed under: Photos, , , , , , , ,

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