Although I didn't expect to work at all in December, I'll end up getting three days this week.
Tuesday night, I got a call to work on second unit shoots for a TV show*. My call was 11 am at Warner Brothers in Burbank.
I don't work on the Warner Brothers lot very often, and in some way that's a good thing. Warner's contains the single biggest threat to my pocketbook in the entire city - The Mill Store.
All studio lots have stores where they sell discounted DVDs and various merchandise, but at Warner's, they have really deeply discounted stuff at the Mill Store. Super cheap DVDs, CDs, shirts, hats and various assorted work-related tchotckes are too much for me to resist, and every time I'm on the lot, I spend at least a third of my check in there.
Wednesday, I had a fairly typical day - 14 hours (11 am to 2 am), two stage moves, and the nicest bunch of guys I've met in a long time. I really hope I can get back on this crew because they're all terrific** and I had a great day.
It never rains but it pours - as I was standing on set, I got called to do a day on another TV show, right after the best boy had asked me back for tomorrow to help out on the fixture rigging crew (fixtures, or practicals, are the lights that you can see on the screen) .
The fixture crew ended up being an old friend of mine who I've not seen in two years, and another person who I work with every so often who I like a lot, so I had a great time Thursday as well.
The only problem Thursday was the short turnaround. They'd set my call for Thursday before lunch on Wednesday, and when we went late and it became obvious that I'd not make the call because I wouldn't get my minimum turnaround (9 hours for studio lots), they pushed my call so I ended up coming in at 11 am (the original call was 7 am).
I can't go right to sleep when I get home - I have to take a shower and wind down before I get into bed, so I ended up getting about 5 hours sleep and being a total zombie in the morning.
When I'm a total zombie I forget things - on Thursday, I forgot my glasses.
I have great long-distance vision. I can read the tail numbers of jumbo jets flying in the stratosphere, but up close, details are a blurry mess.
We were wiring sconces that had been hung on the outside of the facades of New York street, but had to be powered from the inside (remember that if you see a power cable on camera the world will end. Okay, maybe not, but I'll get fired), so I ended up spending the day with my face right up against the walls trying to see where I was sending the fish tape. So not a good thing. The last thing I wanted to do was get my face up close to the walls on the inside of the facades.
The reason I didn't want to put my face too close to the inside of those walls is spiders. Those facades have been there for 50 years, and the arachnid life inside have dug in and gotten fat and sassy - the last thing I need to do is stick my eyeball up to a hole in the wall and have a spider jump on me. I probably wouldn't be able to see it coming, either. I'd just scream like hell and scare my co-workers and the spider.
I'm back on the fixtures crew for tomorrow.
*I will only tell you what show it is if you promise not to charge up to me on set shouting "Hey, you're that blogger. Although I do like to hear that people are enjoying the blog, being confronted at work makes me very uncomfortable, and then I think the heat's on, freak out and start posting things about my shoe collection that nobody wants to read.
Trust me, I'm a lot more interesting when I think no one's watching.
** Easier said than done at Warner Bros. The set lighting department there are intensely loyal to their regular folks, and won't hesitate to lay off people they don't know well in order to make sure their own people keep working. In this day and age of corporations not giving a shit about dedicated workers, I think it's wonderful to see a company display this kind of loyalty to workers - even when it works against me.
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