Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm back!

For the past few days, my favorite person in the world has been whomever invented Polartec fabric. I wrapped myself in about four layers of the stuff and was pretty damn warm at Castaic Lake.

The only thing that was cold was my face. My boss suggested one of those ski masks that cover your face, but aside from the bank robber look not doing it for me, how am I supposed to drink coffee while wearing one of those things?

The location itself was a pretty tough one - we had our trucks in the campsites just above the lake, and the set was 30 feet down the hill on the shore of the lake itself. The production company had stairs built (which was a good thing - that hill was steep), but they were really crowded (that and I don't do stairs well because of my knees), so I ended up just running up and down the hill all night (there was a little trail and it ended up being faster anyways). We kept two guys downstairs on the set and two guys upstairs by the trucks so we could meet in the middle with equipment - that way we were only running up and down half a hill all night.

I lucked out and got posted upstairs near the trucks - which also happened to be near the space heaters and the coffeepot. Maybe that's why I was warm.

On night one, we had some lights placed underwater (they make special lights for this), so one of the guys had to go into the water with them. Right before he went in, he asked our boss what his dive rate was on this show - normally, you get extra money for going in the water - and I jokingly turned to him and said "The dive rate's a cup of Cheez Nips and a punch in the mouth." (this is sort of a riff on the fact that there's a really low 'dive bump' on this movie).

It reads really lame now, but it was hilarious at 3 am. Now it's mushroomed into a huge joke on set ("Hey, great job! Come to the production office for your rate bump*!")

I went straight from my motel room in Castaic to last night's Granada Hills location - in a neighborhood that doesn't get filmed in very often (I can tell because the residents are putting up lawn chairs on the sidewalks to watch the movie being filmed. Normally the residents where we're filming shout curses at us while they're calling the permit office trying to get us shut down).

We're back there tonight, for a night exterior in the rain. That same guy's got to get in the pool tonight - and the water's just as cold as the lake was.

Don't worry, he'll get his rate bump.

*A rate bump is a temporary raise - generally for doing something extra shitty, such as wading into a cold body of water at night.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your LA Times Story. I worked up here in the PNW for a few years unitl i got sick of the egos. Funny thing is that crews from LA were great to work with. The local crews were jerks (with some exceptions). I wanted to yell at them, " hey asshole you are a grip in Seattle... get a life."

Assistant Atlas said...

Hey Peggy, I just want you to know that it was me that originally nominated you for the Best La Blog Urb. If you're not up to speed, that's Gridskipper's (gskip is gawker's urban travel blog) Urban Blogging Awards. Actual nominations come out on Monday, these were just the nominations for the nominations. But I wanted you to know that I respect your ability to get to the blogging after a long, cold night.

Also, I just came out as a hardcore industryite on my site and I'm just telling everybody all the stuff I've been doing without telling anyone. Including Urbs nominations. They didn't have you, John at Kung Fu Monkey, Tiffany at BaT's (who i also nommed for hottest blogger, sorry, Whoreface), DudeManPhat, and Overeducated & Underemployed on the list so I had to nom all of you. I also seconded DudeManPhat's "Gangs of Souplantation" post, which I'm hoping gets a nom for "Most Inane Post". I know, 'inane' isn't normally a compliment, but I think in this context it is. Plus, he's all excited about it.

I also second your LAT story congrats, even though it was pretty obvious the author wasn't exactly "hip to 'the blogging'."

Peggy Archer said...

Anon - Thanks! I'm not sure I'd want to do a winter night exterior up there!

Atlas - Thanks for the nomination! I don't think I'll win, the other blogs are really awesome!

I'm waiting to see the hard copy of the article. You know what's funny? It's just been on the LAT website, and I'm already starting to get hate mail about how full of shit I am.


Chip said...

Just found your blog today, because of the times. I'm a semi-retired electrician, though I bested a low budget last year.

I worked four 14 years in Minnepolis, and I can tell you, nights in the 40s are the worst. You just can't get warm. If it's in the 20 or lower, it's actually easier to dress against it.

Except for that one night I was baby sitting a 6k on a set of parallels on a bridge over the Mississippi river in the middle of January. It was well below zero and the wind just whips along the river. God, that was fucking cold.

I don't think you're full of shit. Low-budget hell is low-budget hell. I can't laugh at "Living in Oblivion" because I've been on that set too many times.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peggy,
Your loyalty to Polartec is well placed. I wish that the producers we work for were as loyal to us as Aaron Feuerstein is to his workers. It would be nice not to be considered an "expense".

[this is compiled from various web sources]

On December 11, 1995 a fire burned most of Malden Mills to the ground and put 3,000 people out of work. Most of the 3,000 thought they were out of work permanently. A few employees were with the CEO in the parking lot during the fire and heard him say “This is not the end.” With these words began a saga that has made Aaron Feuerstein a legend among American leaders and a hero to his employees. Aaron Feuerstein spent millions keeping all 3,000 employees on the payroll with full benefits for 3 months.“‘The fundamental difference is that I consider our workers an asset, not an expense.’