Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's good to be closer to home.

I knew night work wore me out, but this last week it wore me out more than usual - hence the lack of posting.

I worked Tuesday night and Wednesday night downtown LA, spent Thursday recovering and on Friday, started work on a show that's shooting days. Plus, the two day load-in is only a few minutes away from my house. Plus, it's my favorite gaffer in the world and a best boy that I like a lot (I liked the gaffer and best boy on the night shoot, too - I've gotten to a point in my life that I don't want to work with folks that I don't like, but that's probably an entire post on it's own).


Tuesday - shooting in a downtown bar (lucky for us, it was a newly remodeled and suddenly trendy bar that was nice and clean. Normally bar downtown = 50 years of gross crusty stuff on the floors, most of which sticks to cable surprisingly well), and the entire night's work was inside the bar. Aside from one of the trucks (parked right outside the door) breaking a fuel line and filling the entire bar with diesel fumes (boy, did that give me a headache), the night was uneventful - other than I have to give an 'attaboy' to the extras. Normally, background actors are notorious for impeding crews by not moving when asked, but this was a good group. I never had to say "Coming through" more than once, and a few of them actually jumped to get out of the way.

Call time: 10:30 am. Wrap time: 3:30 am.

Wednesday - the dreaded 'shit alley'. Crews call this shit alley because it's the communal toilet for the local homeless population. Production had the alley steam cleaned (they literally hose the alley down with high pressure boiling water), but for some reason the steam cleaners never hose off the walls - where a surprising amount of shit sticks. There are always smears about two feet off the ground all along the walls, and for some reason the gaffer (any gaffer, they all do it) invariably wants lights placed right next to the freshest smears.

A fun touch was the guy standing outside our truck and barking like a dog all night - except when he was meowing. I remember thinking that it was a good that he was bilingual. Increased employment opportunities, you know.

Call time: 5 pm. Wrap time: who knows; they cut the crew down as soon as we were done with the big shot (the one where we had all the lights in the alley and cable run for a city block), so I got set home at 3 am - a nice surprise. Yes, I missed out on a few hours of overtime, but sometimes I don't mind.

Thursday, I was totally wiped out, and after a nap my goal was to stay awake all day (helped by two doctors appointments - one at 10 am and one at 2 pm), so I could sleep at night, which I needed to do because my call time for Friday was 7 am at the lamp dock.

Friday was the first day of our load-in for another pilot. The town's really busy, so we were having trouble getting equipment at all, and some of the stuff we got was really old. With tungsten units, age isn't really an issue, but older HMI's don't work as well, and we generally try to avoid them. Of course, when it gets busy we have to take what we can get.

Monday will be day two of our load-in, and shooting starts Tuesday.

And on an unrelated note, the janitors at NBC and Universal Citiwalk are involved in a labor dispute and have started a blog about it.

It's cleverly titled "Picking up after the Peacock".

Si, Se puede!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Enjoy reading this while I'm standing in a shit-splattered downtown alley all night

Working all night fries me, so I can't think right now.

Although I normally ignore meme's, here's a one courtesy of Shane Nickerson.

It'll have to hold you until tomorrow (or the day after).

4 things about Los Angeles

Four Jobs I've Had In My Life in LA:

Set Lighting Technician

Bartender at a celeb-infested night club

Platform model for a hair product company (this entails standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people at a hair show while being given a terrible haircut and being expected to smile)

I don't know if this counts, but once I applied to be a tour guide at Universal Studios. They turned me down because I was too cynical.

Four Movies About LA I Could Watch Over And Over:

LA Confidential
LA Story
Pulp Fiction

Four Places I've Lived All Over L.A. (With Food Memories From Each):

Culver City: Childhood memories of standing in line at Tito's Taco's. I could never get my tacos fast enough. I loved those tacos so much as a child, and now they make me sick.

San Fernando Valley: There was (and presumably still is) a really fancy hillside restaurant called "The Odyssey". It was the first time I ever went to a fancy place, and it was always an occasion, although I don't really remember the food.

Silverlake-ish: The food booths at the Sunset Junction Street Fair every August - bands, crafts, everyone I knew was there, and despite the fact that it was boiling hot, TONS of great food.

Pre-gentrification Hollywood: Those ratty (and so very wonderful) Thai places along Hollywood Boulevard. They were all great and dirt cheap.

Four LA-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch:

Police Woman
Arrested Development

Four Places I Would Vacation At In LA:

A garden cottage at the Chateau Marmont hotel
Deep Creek Hot Springs

Four Of My Favorite Foods Found In LA:

The secret sushi place I'll never tell any of you about.
Pink's Hot Dogs
Anything at Real Food Daily
Steaks and martinis at Mastros

Four Places In LA I Would Rather Be Right Now:

Burke Williams
The swimming pool at the Peninsula Hotel
Drinking tea in the garden at the Chateau Marmont (and posting this via the free wireless there)
The beach in front of David Geffen's house

It's all in the eyes.

I have come to the conclusion that I'm mildly doll-phobic (is it possible to have a mild phobia?).

I seem to remember not even liking dolls when I was of the age to be playing with them.

I found a box of dolls in my closet that I've had since childhood (they were wrapped in an issue of the Los Angeles Times circa 1979), and when I called my older sister to find out what they were and where they'd come from, she said she didn't remember but thought they were probably valuable.

Since my sister has the worst financial sense in the world (but if I just threw them out she'd turn out to be right and they'd be worth a fortune), I decided to get them appraised.

As I stood there in the doll shop (grossest toy? Stuffed rabbits covered with real rabbit fur. Eeeeewww), looking around and waiting for the appraiser to finish the longest phone call in the world, I felt my skin start to crawl.

It's the eyes. Those horrible little eyes that seem to get stuck halfway open in some sort of demonic wink ("Ha ha! Just you wait! We'll kill you in your sleep!").

Gah. I'm creeping myself out just typing about it.

Anyways, my dolls were gas station giveaways from the 1970's (buy a tank of gas, get a doll), and, according to the appraiser, aren't worth anything.

"Aren't worth anything as in try to get a buck for them on eBay, or aren't worth anything as in give them to my friend's kid to destroy?" I asked.

"Give them to your friend's kid. I doubt they'll ever be worth anything."

After the kid breaks them I'll have the immense satisfaction of knowing that those creepy little heads are going to end up in a landfill.


On a lighter note, at a get-together last night I discovered a pretty decent sulfite-free red wine (most sulfite-free reds taste like ass, but it's the sulfites that give me the terrible red wine headache). It's called "Our Daily Red" and since I love red wine but hate the headache, I'm going to buy a case of it.