Friday, December 10, 2004

Screamfest part deux

Day two on "The Island"

Today we shot at Downey Studios.. they filmed Van Helsing there, parts of T3, and god knows what else.. It used to be an aviation facility, and they built one of the space shuttles there, or parts of it.

There's a story circulating among the crews:

When the pit was dug out of one of the stages (which is an old airplane hangar), the mound of dirt that was removed from under the floor glowed green and cost the management two million dollars to have removed, cleaned, and then dumped.

How true this is, I don't know.

Michael Bay is still a bad, bad man - but he screamed a lot less today. I think it was because the Dreamworks brass were on set all day and perhaps he felt the need to tone it down.. he only called us all 'assholes' twice.

Call - 9 am
Wrap - midnight
Minor injury - I cut my hand open. It hurts like hell, but it's not bad.

Maybe I'll go back and edit this when I'm less tired.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Michael Bay Screamfest

Today, I worked on a movie called "The Island".

We shot at an active DWP generating plant in Long Beach - that's an electrical generating plant.. huge turbines spewing steam, puddles of toxic waste (no, I'm not kidding), caustic chemicals, live power everywhere, etc..

When the plant went on line about 9 am, the temperature inside shot up to about 100 degrees, and the noise level went well over 100 decibels.. We had been given hard hats and ear protection, but with the ambient noise, it was impossible to hear anything anyone said to me.. either over the walkie talkie or standing next to me. Condensation formed on the metal grating that was the flooring for the upper levels, making it hot, steamy, noisy and slippery.. I found myself wishing I had a bigger CF card in my camera, though, because it was really cool looking inside.

I'll post pictures later.

The bottom floor of the plant was covered with liquid which looked like water but was, in fact, a slurry of caustic chemicals which we were warned not to walk in unless we had to - of course, that's exactly where the director staged a shot..

One of the guys slipped on the metal grating and cut his shin really badly.

The director of this particular movie is Michael Bay. Michael Bay is a screamer. He screams ALL day long, even when he doesn't have to. For example:

Normal Person: "What's the holdup? This set up seems to be taking a very long time."

Normal Person: (to D.P.) "I'm a bit antsy to wrap, and I'd like to just roll without that additional light you wanted."
Michael Bay: "NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! Take that fucking light out of the set! WHY DON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME? I TOLD YOU MOTHERFUCKERS NO THREE TIMES!!!!"

You get the picture.. That guy's at Defcon 5 all the time. Near the end of the day, he got tired of trying to scream over the 100 decibel drone of the turbines, so he went and got a megaphone, and screamed at people using that. That's better, though.. I'm told that he used to grab a walkie talkie, and randomly scream into it.. until the production staff got wise and hid all the extra walkies from him.

I called a friend of mine to dish, and he told me that crew members have been quitting because he's being such an asshole.

Call time: 7 am.
Wrap time: 10 pm.

I have to be back at 9 am tomorrow, and I have two loads of laundry to get through before I can go to bed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Black holes and aliens in West LA

Came in as a hired gun on "Zathura" today..

I had to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), but what I can tell you is that shoot's a godawful cluster fuck.. three stages, four crews (all shooting at the same time), and principal photography has to be finished in two weeks. It's hillarious, actually. First and second unit are on the same stage, and they have to take turns rolling sound. It's impossible to sneak in any work or a conversation, but it's worth it to watch the A.D.'s go batty trying to co-ordinate.

The film industry in LA is really busy, which is unusual for December.. it's normally dead around the holidays, but it's beyond crazy now - whomever scheduled all this, I'd just like to say.....

Thanks. I need the dough.

Also ran into a guy that I used to, well.. not date.. we had a thing for each other, hung out some, slept together a few times, but he was so hostile and angry that I couldn't deal and bailed (he was doing way, way too much blow).

I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't deal with the crap he was flipping at me (this was several years ago), so I did what was best for me, walked, and that was that..

Anyways, he looks good, he's off blow and booze, and has a serious girlfriend. There's a part of me that's really happy for him, and a part of me that just wants to cry. I still have feelings for him.

After we wrapped, I went over to a porno shoot house in Bel Air (yes!) and shot some video of The Blonde doing makeup on a not porn shoot.

I got two hours of sleep last night, and I have to be on location in Long Beach tomorrow at 7 am, so I'm off to bed.