Friday, April 01, 2005

They call it "Double Dipping"

It's working two jobs in the same day - i.e. working one job during the day, and then going to another one and working at night - it's generally not allowed (if you do it, and the boys at the union find out about it, they'll fine you), but when it's busy, the union will let you do it..

I wrapped a music video (Green Day - I hate them and hearing the damned song over and over and over didn't help) Thursday night ( 11pm - 6am), and then went to rig some TV pilot ("Halley's Comet") today (8am - 2pm). Thank God it was a short day.

Actually, thank God they were both short days. When I was in my 20's, I used to double dip all the time (I think I worked 24 hours straight more than once), and I'd just sleep the next day and be fine. Now, it hits me hard - I can tell when I'm REALLY tired and shouldn't be driving when I see animals that aren't there running across the road. It's really freaky. I'll see some brown furry thing running across the traffic lanes, I'll freak out and slam on my brakes, and then it'll disappear. That means it's time to pull over and take a nap before I kill myself or someone else.

We started out in Van Nuys at a crappy warehouse stage (no 'permanents' - the wooden walkways in the ceilings of a real stage - the warehouse stages just have 'pipe grids'. That's exactly what it sounds like - a grid of pipe hung from the ceiling to rig hanging lights from. Pipe grids are a pain in the ass as you have to use a lift to get to them, whereas on a real stage you have a walkway to get to the lights. I'll be able to explain this better when I'm not insanely tired).
We were "off production" - just taking the lights and cable out before the next video came into the stage at 7 am this morning.

Rock and roll lighting is similar to movie lighting, but different. It's rigged differently - they don't use stands - everything is hung from the ceiling, and they cable differently than we do. That's fine, but it means that you have to think when you're wrapping. If you pull rock n' roll rigs out the wrong way, you end up with a big fucking mess that takes hours to sort out (you know how Christmas lights get all tangled up? Our cable does the exact same thing. It's just a LOT heavier than Christmas lights, and you can't get pissed off and throw it in the trash. You have to untangle it - so it's better not to let it get fucked up in the first place).

One of our lifts died, and the stage manager had to call a condor mechanic to come out and fix it. I had three 'new guys' on my crew, so someone had to babysit them all night - they did fine, though.

Then, after the Starbucks version of a "Big Gulp", I went out to Pasadena to put this TV pilot rig in. It's shooting in a closed hospital (there's a bunch of those in Los Angeles, and they all have film crews in them all the time), so we just had to change tubes in the fluorescent fixtures (actual fluorescent tubes photograph green as the proverbial ' fucking shamrock'. Movies use special "color balanced" tubes. Light is measured in degrees of Kelvin. Different degrees of kelvin results in a different color of light. Again, something I'll have to explain when I've had some sleep), and run a small amount of cable.

It's still busy as hell - on my way home, I called the union hall to register as 'out of work', and got sent right back out for Monday. I'm back on "Enterprise". The call steward said it was rigging, which confuses me, as I thought that show was done.

I'll find out 6 am Monday.

I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My First Angry Letter to the Editor

Well, it's not an angry letter, but it's a letter..

"Us Weekly" Magazine reported that the crew of Mr. and Mrs. Smith were replaced due to their gossiping about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

What a crock. Most of the time, we're either working our asses off, or trying to set stuff up for the next shot so we don't get said asses kicked by not being prepared.

There's always commentary on the walkie talkies, but on "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", the only snarky comments that I heard on the walkie were aimed at the director.

Anyhow - here's my first letter to an editor. We'll see if it gets published and in what form:

In your April 11 issue, you reported that the crew of the upcoming movie "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" were replaced for reshoots due to their 'gossip and speculation' about actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

This is untrue. The reason there was a new crew during each successive round of 'additional shooting' (this current round wrapped Thursday, March 24), is that like all crews, they had moved on to other projects during the film's multiple hiatuses, and were not available when shooting started again - hence the need for a new crew.

Contrary to popular belief, film crews generally
don't care about the antics of celebrities.
We are usually too busy trying to get through the day's work to worry about who's doing what to whom in the trailers between shots.

Ladies who Lunch!

Last minute lunch with The Blonde and The Drama Queen at The Ivy - They called me, said they'd gotten a table, and did I want to come and have lunch.

For those of you not familiar, The Ivy is a celeb infested, over priced 'eatery' in West Hollywood.. there are perpetually photogs planted outside, and the food's okay - given my druthers, I'd go across the way to Chaya - still overpriced, but much more interesting food.

There wasn't really anyone good there except - Mr. Movie Star.

I couldn't believe I saw him there, and The Drama Queen couldn't believe it when, after a few minutes of him staring at me like he couldn't figure out who I was, he came over and said hello.

He's still short, and still very, very charming.

He got my number again as he said he'd 'lost his phone'.

I managed to not giggle quite so much this time.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Some light reading for your perusal

There's a fake Michael Bay blog here on blogger (Those of you who've read my entire blog will know my thoughts on M.B.).

It's hilarious, and whoever's writing it is a fucking genius.

Go check it out!

Downloaded the truck for Mr. and Mrs Smith today. It's finally over!

Since I got off work early, I met my friend Rebecca for lunch. Rebecca is a costumer for just about everyone (she's making costumes for KISS and the Pussycat Dolls right now). She's going to make me a purse when she's got some time - I gave her a really rank Louis V. handbag that I bought at a thrift store (one of those cylindrical ones with the spikes), and she's going to take it apart and make me a knock off out of something cool (I'm thinking of turquoise and green patent leather. I like the idea of having something that no one else has).

I'm so glad I got to see her - she's one of my favorite people in the world.

There's about two weeks left in pilot season, so I'm taking tomorrow off to try to get my taxes done, and then I'm back to scrambling for work before it goes dead again.

I still can't figure out this fucking picture program, so I'll just post photos on MySpace.
Here's the URL for my profile: