Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Temptation

As our calls creep an hour later each day*, traffic becomes less of a concern. Our call today was 10 am so I didn’t have to worry about getting stuck in anything, but I still left early because I needed to get something to prevent the cement block in my sinuses.

I stopped at a small drug store near the location and got some Allegra, which generally wouldn’t be my first choice, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Or so I’m told.

I didn’t get to catering early enough to have breakfast, and we started out having to put all the lights back on the stands, as we’d taken them off the night before due to fear of them being blown over.

Probably an unfounded fear, as each stand had at least three shot bags on it.

Once we got set up and shooting, I snuck back to the caterer and grabbed a breakfast burrito, and then had to go unload equipment at yet another house – this one is serving as the production office.

The production house has the nicest pool of all the houses, and it’s the one that tempts me most to jump in. Apparently the heater has been broken for 6 months, but the pool is still being cleaned and really, I don’t think low 70s water would be that bad on a 90 degree day.

So I humped cable past said pool for about an hour (can’t get a cable cart past the yard’s landscaping, sadly), wishing that I had a set of dry clothes with me so I could ‘accidentally’ fall in.

Maybe Friday.

Two of us went over to Green Pool House to rig two rooms for two shots on Friday, but had to be rigged today as the important people will be coming to look at them and decide what they want.

Turns out, the director on this movie isn’t really allowed to make any decisions – it’s the studio suits that are really calling the shots – they’ve been shooting for months past the original end date, because said suits see a cut, don’t like it, and make them go back and shoot more.

They’ve also been through at least three sets of writers.

Awesome.

Someone gave me a script today, but since this movie builds on the past few movies of the franchise, I was unable to even begin to follow along, so I threw it in the trash.

*Two reasons – the main one is that the lead actress has a contractual 12 hour turnaround and since she’s in damn near every scene, we can’t come back until 12 hours after wrap – a 12 hour day for us is actually a 12.5 hour day, as we go ‘off the clock’ for a 30 minute lunch. The other reason is that we have night work Friday, and it’s easier on everyone if we gradually move the call instead of holding at a 7 am for four days and then coming in at noon on Friday.

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

Mid-week random updates

The anklebiter (the small dog I found) was kept by her ‘foster’ home – so I still have visitation rights and I don’t have to pick up poo! Best of both worlds!

The toilet is fixed.

I’m appealing my unemployment denial, and when I got the statement from unemployment about contributions, I saw that Axium reported none of my earnings to them at any time last year. Fuckers. Interestingly, a subsidiary company of Axium called Pax did report earnings.

All of us are really hoping the writers take the DGA deal – pilot season is when I make a significant chunk of my year’s income, so losing it would suck even worse now that I know over half what I made last year wasn’t reported to unemployment.

Over the weekend, I decided to go out for a long bike ride (I know I sometimes make it seem like I use martinis to cope with my problems, but I really use my bicycle to cope with problems), and when I was about 15 miles away from the house, I managed to get two flat tires. Basically, what happened was this: the city of Los Angeles will sometimes try to put stop signs right in the middle of the road (in the lane dividers), so motorists can see them better – of course, it takes about a nanosecond for the sign to get run over, so then the city comes along and cuts off the signpost about an inch above the pavement – also of course, they don’t bother to mark it so anyone can see it, so it just sits there until either the road gets repaved or someone important shreds a tire.

After I ran over the thing, I went back and looked for it and I could barely even see it when I was looking for it. Awesome.

The good news is that it just tore up my tubes, so I won’t have to replace the fairly expensive road slicks I’ve got on the bike.

Also, I only had to walk about a mile to reach a bus line that went to my neighborhood. Normally, whenever I put my bike on one of the bus racks, I’m completely freaked out that someone’s going to grab my bike at a crowded stop – this time, I figured if they did try to steal it and ride away, they wouldn’t have gotten very far so I was able to sit back, relax and listen to the guy next to me talk to himself all the way home.

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

Fan, meet Shit. Shit, meet Fan.

Well, it’s official. The writers are going to strike.

Since today’s work was on a stage with internet access, everyone who had a computer kept checking every 90 seconds to see what was going on, and we got the word via the LA Times website around 8 pm.

This show will finish it’s current episode (which runs through Friday), and after that who knows what will happen? It depends on if they have a script that they can shoot without re-writing it (which is absurd – stuff gets rewritten on the fly all the time).

By 8:05, a couple of people were starting to really freak out, but I’m just going to try to scrounge enough work to get me through the next couple of weeks and then hope for the best.

I suppose the next few weeks would be a great time for me to get the bunion surgery that I need (and the accompanying 10 – 12 weeks of disability), or I could go get a regular construction job, or go pull cable on one of the event crews.

I guess that’s where those of us that are below the line have an advantage (and it’s probably the only advantage we have) is that the skills we have translate into being able to go and get a job somewhere else if we absolutely have to.

Who am I kidding? Although I like to think I’d be able to march up to a construction site and get a decent paying job that uses a similar set of skills to mine, the reality is that I’ll probably end up back on the low budget non-union movies.

Who, when you think about it, are going to be the clear winner in this mess. They’re going to get the crews (and the writers) they normally can’t afford, and none of us can leave and go work a ‘real’ show because there won’t be any.

Gods, I hope this gets settled quickly, although the pessimist in me is pretty certain it won’t.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

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