Saturday, January 28, 2006

Last day on this movie.

The last day of a movie is always filled with busy work. Stuff that got shoved somewhere in the set weeks ago has to be found, sorted (the gaffer has his own equipment, the stage has it's own equipment, and there's a rental house package as well. Over the course of a movie this all tends to get jumbled up no matter how careful you are), and packed.

Since there's a wrap crew coming in, what we had to do was pretty minimal, but it's nice to help the brothers out a bit, and production wants the gaffer's stuff off rental ASAP.

The main thing we had to do today was de-rig all the Kino Flos and change out the tubes. For the elevator and hallway sets on this movie, they used 'cool white' tubes in the kinos, which on film have a greenish tint to them (that weird color light in the parking garage scenes in Fight Club was cool white tubes). This is a great effect if you want it, but most folks carry color balanced tubes in their kinos, so they have to get changed back before they're returned.

Kino Flos are the devil - they're fluorescent lamps that are a great idea on paper (lightweight, easy to rig, nice even soft light), but are a HUGE pain in the ass in practice - they have a lot of parts to them (housing, reflector, fluorescent tubes, plastic grid which breaks easily, lamp harness, ballast, mounting plate, head feeder - all of which get lost if they're not inventoried every 90 seconds*), and since nearly everyone takes them apart (in order to tape the tubes to a wall or cannibalize for parts when the lamps break), at the end of the show, they have to be completely disassembled and sorted in order to make sure that all the parts of each lamp come from the same rental source.

What I really want to do with Kino Flos is throw them into the nearest dumpster, but I don't think the gaffer would like that. They're expensive and I'm pretty sure his insurance doesn't cover damage done by frustrated employees.

We got them all sorted and packed (except, of course, the ones that were working in the set that we were shooting. Those, the wrap crew will have to get), and it was only a 10.5 hour day - mostly due to the director needing to go to some awards ceremony right after work.

I've got a one day weekend (get up, get coffee, do laundry, script meeting for the TV show, try to clean the house, and then go back to sleep), and then I'm back to work (on something else, of course) on Monday.

* While I'm on the subject - Kino Flos are responsible for set lighting having to carry C-Stands in our rental package. I fucking hate C-Stands. They're grip stands and are designed to be versatile enough for a million uses (the name is short for "Century Stand", supposedly because there's a hundred different ways to set them up), but they're hard to set properly (if you do it wrong, the stand falls over and breaks your light) and drive electricians nuts.


Justin said...

I've gotta disagree here--I think the light you get from a Kino makes it worth the hassle. 's very pretty.

I also like C-stands. But I'll admit that part of the reason is because I'm more familiar with them than most people at my film school. To use them in the most elementary fashion you've got to remember the righty-tighty thing, the largest leg under the load, bag the opposite leg, oh are you working on un-level ground? You don't get a Rocky Mountain leg, we've got to keep those on the stages, where it's nice and flat. Fuckers.

So...yeah...they can be annoying. But on the other hand you can use the base for a low-angle junior light, you can pop the upper portion into a junior stand for additional height, you can use that upper portion to boom out from a junior stand, you can build all kinds of rigs using the gobo arms...the list goes on. No doubt you know it, but I thought I'd rant anyway.

Anonymous said...

There's no mystery about how to properly "set-up" a C-stand. If you don't know, ask a grip. And the name Century, I believe, came from the original manufacturer.

The Unsomnambulist said...

CStands are hard to set up because they fall over easily?
Sandbags, baby! Always use a sandbag!

Elhanan said...

Youre crazy! Kino's rock!! Well... Image 80's rock, 4x4's can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

Anonymous said...

One of the TV lighting crews in NYC solves the C-Stand problem (not really a "problem," but they're another three hundred pounds of equipment that take up precious truck and staging space) by putting the kinos on baby and 2k stands. They have 10 or so short arms and gobo heads in the bottom of the Kino cart and use them with the lighting stands. If a big offset rig is required, the grips provide a large stand and speed rail. I wish all lighting crews used this system.

DzrtRat67 said...

And then, of course, there's the old joke:

Q. How do you drive an electrcian (or PA) crazy?

A. Lock them in a small room with a c-stand.

Anonymous said...

I agree, most comments are in ref to having a few I80's or 4x4 on a truck. Wrapping a huge stage rigged with a huge amount is a pain in the ass. Most on the time, you end up having 3+ vendors (Kino Flo, Mole Rental, and whatever crappy lot package they provide, just to name a few) and every piece has to sorted, and placed in to coffins and plastic bins owned by each vendor. Of course each unit you find will be a WB head, a Mole rental ballast, and Pasal feeders. And the number will never add up. Your pile of Mole ballast will be off by 6 while the WB pile will be over by 9. A best boy dream! Kino are a pain in the ass. The 30 cent grids will always snap under normal use, and then you get charged 30 dollars each.
In a side note, I hate lights that need a c-stand (indeed c for Century...which are now the worst stands around...well, Norms are right up there...always go American Stands. I hate carrying c-stand on a lighting truck. Than again I hate asking the grips just as much. What to do...what to do. Feel better girl!


Anonymous said...

We all know how to "set up" a c-stand. To say that to any juicer in the biz for more then one year is kinda an insult. The best thing to ask a grip is point to the hardest space in a stage and say "can we rig a light there?" Some of the stuff they come up in mind blowing. I love to watch good grips pull off the amazing. It really is an art sometimes.