Thursday, November 10, 2005

You seem okay for someone who just got dumped by a cat

The ungrateful little meatball decided to set up housekeeping with the caterer, who can offer him much more tasty things than us. Even after the caterering truck leaves for the night, he stays down there (the lunch area's about half a block away) scrounging for dropped morsels of food - this after we set up a little bed for him in the truck so he'd have a place to sleep.


My boss is taking it pretty well.

Thankfully, it didn't rain, but since everything was still soaked from the previous day's showers, I had to wear plastic rain pants (very clammy) most of the day. The grips had to dry out their day blues* which got soaked in the rain. They set up a really long metal rail, sort of like a heavy duty clothesline, and hung them out to dry in the sun. They looked really pretty - sort of like one of those laundry commercials (you know the ones - where the housewife runs happily between the clotheslines full of extra fresh wash), except on a way bigger scale.

Today was also the first day that we've not had any major equipment problems, and everything on our end ran pretty smoothly.

The house we're shooting at has a really gorgeous lawn and beautiful landscaping, and the homeowner (a really nice guy) is being incredibly gracious about the fact that there's a film crew trampling it, parking equipment on it, and generally abusing what has to be a few thousand dollars worth of premium bluegrass. One of his rosebushes is already dead (that's what happens when you shine a 10,000 watt light on a plant), and he's just laughing about the whole thing - although the lawn getting fucked up is really hurting him. I can tell.

Call time: 9:30 am
Wrap time: 10:00 pm

*20' x 20' (6m x 6m) cloth sheets of light blue - they're used to create the illusion of sky, or in this case, a sunny day when it's really raining cats and dogs.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And what do we do when it rains?

We keep working. We cover the lights, we cover the distro, we try to keep connectors out of standing water, we don our raingear, and we soldier on.

It's kind of strange - the lights fool your eyes and make it look like the sun's out, even when it's pouring rain.

Rainy Day

The neighborhood's stray cat has adopted us - he's hanging out on our truck, and the best boy's threatening to give him a home. He's got a collar, but the neighbors swear that he lives on the street and mooches food. We figure someone moved away and forgot him.

Our equipment problems continue - we had a head go down just after lunch, and once again the entire production company was waiting on us.

Call time: 8 am
Wrap time: 8 pm

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Majority rules!

Incoherent it is.

Our equipment problems continued today - it seems like half our cable is fucked up, and our 'blanket light' - which we used for the first time today - had about half the tubes dead.

Of course, we had to change them while the entire production waited on us - the AD didn't make things any better when he announced "We can't roll yet!! There's a lighting problem" - thus causing everyone to stare at us while we frantically tried to get the light working.

We've looked like clowns for two days now - just because of the equipment. None of us are happy about it.

The problem isn't our boss (he understands the equipment problem) - the problem is production. They don't pay attention to us when we do things right.. they only notice us when we fuck up. If we fuck up too much, then they won't hire our boss again.

We all really like our boss and want him to keep working - even if he never hires any of us again.

I'm going to bed.

Call time: 8 am
Wrap time: 9 pm

Monday, November 07, 2005

Reader Poll

We're going to get killed on this movie. We're seriously undermanned, and I can predict that I'm going to be brain-dead more often than not for the next few weeks..

I usually try to make sure the entries on the blog are at least written decently, but it's not an easy thing to pull off while my brain has given me the finger.

So, here's the question:

Do you want me to post something semi-incoherent (see the previous entry) every day, or do you want me to post once a week (I'll take notes every day and then polish the posts and publish on the weekends - still a post a day but not published until the weekend)?

You tell me.

Day 1

The first day of a feature is always about working out the kinks - how everything's going to go into the truck (this one, when packed, looks like a sardine can), who does what well and who works best with whom - although we're only a five person crew: Gaffer, Best Boy and three electricians.

I ran into an old friend whom I haven't seen in about 10 years - he and I used to go to the same clubs in LA, and we sort of looked at each other for a few moments before we figured it out. He's working art department now. He looks exactly the same as he did back in the day.

Since production got the lighting equipment from the crappiest (and cheapest) rental house in town, we're already having problems with it - mostly minor (lights not working, latches breaking, etc..), but one piece of cable was mislabeled ( the neutral and hot legs were mixed up - I'll explain the whole thing later. I'm wiped out right now), and we ended up blowing up a light.

It could have been a lot worse. Someone could have gotten hurt.

Later in the day, I was telling the sound guy what happened, and I finished the story with the phrase "Hey, at least no one got hurt - they just have to pay for a light. It's only money after all."

The production manager was standing right next to me - she shot me a dirty look and said "Yeah, only money".

Well, it is.

Call time: 6 am.
Wrap time: 8 pm (they actually wrapped at 7, but it took us an hour to load our truck).

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why do I keep doing this?

I just said 'yes' to another low budget movie - it's the same gaffer as Danika, and a best boy who I've worked with before and think is one of the greatest guys in the world.

I guess that's why I said yes.

Even if the rate's bad (and it is - almost $10 per hour under union scale) and we get worked half to death, I'll have fun and get to hang out with a great bunch of folks.

That, and the movie shoots until the end of December (six weeks of steady work - even at a reduced rate - is a very, very good thing), and they'll let me jump off for a few days here and there if I get a few days on a better-paying show.

Hopefully, my previous statements about low budget shows won't be true this time.

I'll know tomorrow - I've got a 6 am call for our first day of shooting.