Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Photo

I'm always going on about color temperature and swearing I'll explain it later, so here's a photo which illustrates everything:


Note how blue the outside looks. This is because tungsten sources (the interior lights) are much warmer (more orange) than daylight.

You don't usually see this color difference in movies because we match the lights inside and outside so everything looks even.

On a completely unrelated note: I saw Transamerica with a friend last night.

If Felicity Huffman doesn't win the Oscar (tm) for Best Actress, I will personally give a wedgie to the first Acadamy (tm) member I catch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Call me a hypochondriac, will you?

Ever since I've had medical insurance (starting when I got in the union), I've been complaining about my feet. Insoles, acupuncture, ice packs, horribly expensive shoes - nothing seems to help.
Whenever I've mentioned it to my doctor, he's given me a referral to a podiatrist to get new insoles, or told me to sit down more often.

Today, I got him to really look at my feet and it turns out that I've got bunions - bad ones - on both feet (I can't figure out how that happened - I don't wear tight shoes), plus plantar fasciitis, and some nerve damage from my shoes putting pressure on the tops of my feet (my arches are so high that the top of the foot's curved, so I'm going to have to change the type of shoe I wear. Dammit. I just paid out the fucking nose for new work shoes and now I may not be able to wear them).

The triumph I feel at finally being vindicated is tempered by the fact that I may have to have foot surgery.

I'm seeing the podiatrist on Tuesday - 9 am in Santa Monica, which means I'll have to leave my house at 7 am to make the rush-hour cross town trip.

Let's hope my fucked up feet can be corrected without surgery (which, if I have to have, I guarantee will happen right as it gets busy. Murphy's Law again, you know).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

When is a joke not really a joke?

While watching a Simpsons DVD today (I should have been re-doing the grout in the tub, but I just had to see the episode where the movie shoots in Springfield), I saw something that was intended as a joke, but in fact really exists:

There is actually such a thing as a movie screw.

No, it's not when you sign your deal memo* - it's a 3/4 inch drywall screw.

Go ahead - try to find one at Home Depot. Screw that (pun intended) - try to find one online. Try to find one anywhere.

Although they're the standard screw in the film industry (well, one of them at least) - just about everything is built with them as they're the perfect size for just about anything - the only way that I know of to get a box of 3/4 inch drywall screws is to ask the grips to order one for you.

They have some secret source for the damned things.

A significant percentage of the stuff in my house is held together with salvaged 3/4 inch drywall screws: bookcases, the couch (don't ask), the desk, the spice rack.

Want to figure out which one I am on set?

I'm the one harvesting the discarded movie screws from the stage floor.

* A deal memo is what we sign when we start a job. It spells out the terms of the contract (no double time until after 14 hours, crappy rate/good rate, whether or not we get 'kit rental' - which is pay for use of our personal gear), and you have to sign it or you don't get paid.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Scenes of a Vanishing Southern California

Not so many years ago, Camarillo was a mostly agricultural seaside town northwest of Los Angeles. I never really went up there as I had no reason - it was mostly strawberry fields and hillside orchards (all private property, so unfortunately no picnics allowed).

Sunday, our location was one of those hillside orchards, and as I pulled off the freeway into what I thought was still a mostly agrarian community, I got a nasty shock.

Within the past few years, vast tracts of once-farmland have been subdivided and turned into housing developments with names like "Avocado Acres" and "Terra Bella Estates". It's happening everywhere, so I don't know why I didn't expect it this time. I guess I figured that food production was a pretty high priority.

Silly me.

With the gentrification marching onward (thus making urban areas increasingly unaffordable) and housing prices continuing to skyrocket, farmland becomes less and less financially viable - so Southern California is quickly turning into a region of wall-to-wall tract housing and strip malls.

Views like these are, sadly, now very rare:



Eucalyptus trees


I understand the need to build more housing.

It just makes me kind of sad to see Southern California chewing up our agricultural heritage and spitting out acres and acres of identical Mediterranean-style stucco houses.