Friday, February 17, 2006

Leave this to me, I'm a professional truck monkey

Loading a truck is a bit like playing Tetris (tm). Everything has to go in a certain way, even if we've got a 'real' truck with shelves down the sides.

The reason for this is obvious - we have to be able to work off of said truck, and if stuff's just thrown in a pile (also called 'shovel-loaded'), it's impossible to find anything quickly, and stuff gets broken in transit.

On this shoot, our 'truck' is a cargo van driven by the DP, which is carrying our stuff, a small generator, two heaters (the big ones that are the size of a small end table), a bunch of propane tanks, camera cases and grip equipment.

Needless to say, we don't have a lot of equipment, but we're all possessed of the same burning desire not to have to unload the entire van every day just to find one stand that's buried.

Unfortunately, yesterday that's exactly what we had to do, as the van was shovel-loaded really badly.

We still had to unload everything yesterday (as we used all our lights), but at least this time we got some 'alone time' to sit and think about how to load all of the stuff.

There's a thought process that happens when you have to work off of a truck every day. You really do learn how to load stuff in a sensible manner, and once we were able to sit down and hash it out "Well, let's put the stands there, and the rags here, that way we can lay the ladders down on top of it all", it went in fairly neatly at wrap, despite the lack of shelving or 'tie off' points.

I'm sure it'll come out quickly tomorrow morning.

I'm tired, and am off to bed.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Venice Beach

Taken at the graffiti Pit, where I was working today on a still shoot (I don't do very many of those) for a clothing line that I've never heard of.

Today was a good day to be at the beach - it was a gorgeous day, and winter at the beach is always way less crowded than summer.

It was warm, too, until the clouds rolled in right after lunch.

Venice Beach is always an adventure. A drunk guy threatened our art director (she just rolled her eyes at him), and a street vendor saw my walkie while I was walking to the coffee place, mistook me for an undercover police officer and followed me for a whole block while yelling "Narc! Narc!" at the top of his lungs. Production hadn't gotten the proper permits for the graffiti pit, so until it got sorted out, the site rep literally chased us off the beach.

We also had no PA's, so we had to take turns sitting with our staged equipment to make sure that it didn't get stolen.

Still, it was a very fun day. This is a four day shoot (the last day is Sunday) that's paying cash.

I LOVE cash.

I'm totally wiped out (couldn't sleep last night), so I'm off to bed.

We're in the Valley tomorrow, and we have an 8 am call.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yeah, that was worth it.

When I'm not working, I'm always hesitant to spend money - I never know when I'll work again, and I've spent too much when work was tight before and had to make the humiliating call to my parents for emergency funds.

So, yesterday, when I was in Best Buy looking at wireless internet cards for the new laptop (The Blonde dropped the old one, so she pitched in for a used IBM on eBay), I almost bought the cheap one.

However, the lure of the instant rebate made me spend the extra 20 bucks for the extra long range, high powered wireless card.

The result? I'm getting a wireless signal in my living room. I do not have a wireless network in my house - I think I'm picking it up from one of the office buildings nearby.

It can't be someone's home DSL - it's way too fast, and despite the 'very low' signal strength, I'm surfing away just fine, thanks.


We'll see how long it lasts.

I'm rigging for a TV show tonight. I get to spend the entire night changing fluorescent tubes in a warehouse in the valley.

I'm going to try to take a nap.

Pre work update: The signal is coming from the Los Angeles Unified School District. When using it, I can't access Yahoo, messaging services, MySpace, or anything deemed unsuitable for schoolchildren.

Fine with me. I can use the computer in the back for that. Right now I'm playing internet radio over the smokin' fast signal.

Hey, it's almost 7 pm. The kiddies aren't there. I promise I won't eat up the free bandwidth during school hours.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Random Link

The Steadicam Operator's Manual of Style.

It reads like a textbook at first, but give it a chance - it's really funny.

On a related note, I heart me some Firefox. The Adblocker plug in rocks.

Got ads on your site? I can't see 'em now!

Were I audio blogging, you could actually hear the maniacal laughter as I see the little x's where the ads were.

I think this means I need to go outside for a while.