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.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What is it with me and catering trucks lately?

Thursday, I got food poisoning again. This time, I think it was the sausage.

I showed up for work at the LA Port (where they'd turned an old cruise ship terminal into JFK, since it's impossible to shoot in an airport anymore), and since I got there about 10 minutes before call time, I ate off the buffet instead of ordering from the truck (since the chefs in the truck make everything to order, this can take a few minutes and is not an option if you're cutting it close).

I was fine for about three hours, and then I started not feeling so good.

Luckily, it hit after we'd finished lighting our big shot, so I figured I'd throw up whatever it was while we were sitting around, be fine afterwards, then go back to work and no one would be the wiser - except that this time, I got dehydrated and collapsed as I was trying to wrap cable (I was afraid to drink anything in case I threw it up on set).

After a gentle admonition from my boss ("You really should tell me if you're sick"), some fluids and a nap in the truck, the medic sent me home just in time to get stuck in rush hour traffic.

Amazingly, I felt well enough this morning to come into work (at the stage again), and aside from the medic watching me like a hawk ("What did you have for lunch?" "How much water have you had?" "No, you may not have coffee."), which I appreciated (good to know someone cares - even if it was just because he didn't want to peel me off the floor again), the day went fine, although I had to pass over some of the yummier-looking stuff that crafty put out.

I'm glad I went into work today - they added a day tomorrow, so I'll get three days this week, which will just about cover what I spent in Vegas.

Yesterday: Call time: 6:30 am
Wrap time: 8:30 pm (although I got sent home around 5 pm)

Today: Call time: 8:30 am
Wrap time: 10:00 pm

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One well placed bomb would have meant you'd have to read for entertainment.

I just got back in from Vegas - I'm exhausted.

Conventions are all about connections, so in addition to pacing the floor all day (and the Mandalay Bay convention center is HUGE), it's vital that one go to the bar after the convention closes to network.

Since all of the heavy hitters were staying at THEHotel, that lounge was the place to be - The Blonde and I circulated and chatted like crazy and gave out all our cards and flyers (jokes about the name of the hotel provided an instant icebreaker, for which I was thankful). Most of the executives, while a bit defensive inside the convention, loosened up considerably once they got to the bar.

If someone thought our show wasn't a good fit for them, they'd yell across the packed bar to someone they knew - "Hey, Pete! Come here and listen to what they've got!", and Pete would come running to hear what we had to say. This is the only time I've ever seen television executives like this. Normally, they seem to be afraid of new shows. Must be something in the water.


Although nothing is ever a lock until you're actually on the air (so hold the congrats), we're reasonably certain that we've sold the show to a cable network.

The only problem now is my bar tab. I had to buy drinks for way too many people. I'm broke for the next month.

I have a 6 am call tomorrow (across town, of course), so I'm off to bed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Vegas Again.

After a harrowing drive across the desert (wind gusts up to 70 mph), The Blonde and I are in Las Vegas for NAPTE - a television programming convention.

We're hoping we'll come home with an episode order.

This time, we're staying at the Monte Carlo - way more ghetto than the Wynn, but much, much cheaper.

I'll be back in LA on Wednesday - I'm having to leave early (The Blonde's staying until Friday) because I have to work Thursday.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Baby, it's a company town.

It seems like just about everyone in town's at Sundance.

The Blonde and I have been going to this exclusive after hours club thingy on Saturday nights (well, Sunday mornings, actually. It doesn't even start until midnight).

Normally, it's packed with film industry mediumweights*, but last night I think there were 20 people there.

Want to get into the most exclusive club or score a table at the newest super-hot eatery? Make the reservation during Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, etc...

*The Blonde views them as potential romantic interests, I view them as work contacts since I know better than to date them. So does The Blonde, but she's horny and thinking with her crotch lately.