"Same old shit" indeed...'shit' being the key word here.
Today's rig was at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Our crew got there about four hours before the shooting crew, so we could run cable to the day's first set in the hotel's nightclub, change lights that needed to be swapped out and get first unit's carts off their truck - first unit had about 8 pages to shoot today, so our taking the time to get them set up meant that they could just walk on the set and start the day's work.
The direct line from our trucks to the set was through the hotel's lobby, but management didn't want us walking through the lobby with equipment (I can certainly understand that), so we had to use the service corridors - narrow, hot, winding, filled with dirty linens piled in huge carts (in some spaces, we barely had room to squeeze our lighting carts through. One steers these carts by pushing and peering to the side to make sure one's still on course and tight quarters where there's no room to actually see where the cart's headed is the ultimate test of cart-pushing skills) and harried hotel employees who were remarkably nice to us, given that I'm sure we were ruining their day.
The hotel is really nice and clean, but once you get outside the walls, it's the old-style Hollywood; dirty, poor and run-down - and in this particular neighborhood, there's dog shit everywhere - residents of the apartment buildings just behind the hotel don't clean up after their dogs, so whenever we had to walk on the grass (and if we had to get something out of our truck's jockey boxes we had to walk on the grass) we were on constant "land mine" alert - this meant screaming "POOOOO!!!"(let's face it, yelling "shit" doesn't really get any kind of reaction on a movie set) whenever one saw a co-worker about to step in something, and the co-worker would freeze, one foot in the air, neck craning frantically, trying not to step in the shit or drop the equipment he or she was carrying (hey, no one wants to be the person who tracked dog shit all over the hotel's expensive floors or be the one having to clean shit off of lighting equipment so it can be used inside. Wait, you didn't think we'd be allowed to bring filth-covered equipment inside a hotel that's just had a multi-million dollar remodel, did you?).
We got lucky and no one stepped in anything, but the whole street was thick with flies because of the piles of shit everywhere - although the smell wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
When first unit got settled in, we went to rig the day's second set, which was around the hotel's pool. Since the Roosevelt's remodeling team were inconsistent in their placement of handicapped ramps, I just about finished my knees off by carrying coils of banded* up stairs.
We left right after that, and I'm sure first unit will be there well past midnight. I tried not to gloat as I walked to my car.
I'm off to bed - I have a 6 am call tomorrow (and they've added me for Thursday as well, so I'm now getting five days this week).
*It's called "banded" because, as you can see from the photo in the link, it's several cables banded together. Some types of banded are heavier that other types, depending on how heavily the cable is insulated. One 50 foot piece of five wire (meaning there's five cables banded together) banded weighs anywhere from 65 to 75 lbs. Of course, we had the extra-heavy type.
Couch of the Day: