Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Photos

That's right - plural.

I got some really good ones this week.

First - the best perm graffiti EVER:

Perm Grafitti

Ever wonder what your crew thinks of that brilliant dialogue you slaved over for weeks?

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.


Paramount has all this super old camera gear stashed in the "basement" of one of the facades on New York Street (where we were working today). The layer of dust just makes the stuff look even cooler:

Really Old Camera Gear

Really Old Camera Gear

Well, I know what the next couple of weeks will be like.

So I got added on to the rigging crew for this show - which is kind of weird in TV as it's not a full time crew (most movies carry rigging crews full time. Sometimes the crew is smaller than other times, but they're always there - good riggers are hard to find, and when you release your riggers for a week they go get other jobs and sometimes you can't get them back), so I'm looking at a few days each week, guaranteed, which is a good thing - this is a group of guys that I really like and have a good time with.

They only do 10 hour days, which is both good and bad. Good because I can have a life, bad because I won't make the big overtime bank.

It's also good because I'll get my Paramount ID renewed, so I won't have the daily guard gate hassle. I could also buy cheap DVDs in the lot store, if they had anything good, which they don't (okay the South Park box sets for 12 bucks each are cool, but that's about it).

Couch of the Day:


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bubble wrap

Bubble wrap
Originally uploaded by Peggy Archer.

For when the owner of the location we're shooting at absolutely, positively refuses to move the car.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oooo.. I must be psychic

"Same old shit" indeed...'shit' being the key word here.

Today's rig was at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Our crew got there about four hours before the shooting crew, so we could run cable to the day's first set in the hotel's nightclub, change lights that needed to be swapped out and get first unit's carts off their truck - first unit had about 8 pages to shoot today, so our taking the time to get them set up meant that they could just walk on the set and start the day's work.

The direct line from our trucks to the set was through the hotel's lobby, but management didn't want us walking through the lobby with equipment (I can certainly understand that), so we had to use the service corridors - narrow, hot, winding, filled with dirty linens piled in huge carts (in some spaces, we barely had room to squeeze our lighting carts through. One steers these carts by pushing and peering to the side to make sure one's still on course and tight quarters where there's no room to actually see where the cart's headed is the ultimate test of cart-pushing skills) and harried hotel employees who were remarkably nice to us, given that I'm sure we were ruining their day.

The hotel is really nice and clean, but once you get outside the walls, it's the old-style Hollywood; dirty, poor and run-down - and in this particular neighborhood, there's dog shit everywhere - residents of the apartment buildings just behind the hotel don't clean up after their dogs, so whenever we had to walk on the grass (and if we had to get something out of our truck's jockey boxes we had to walk on the grass) we were on constant "land mine" alert - this meant screaming "POOOOO!!!"(let's face it, yelling "shit" doesn't really get any kind of reaction on a movie set) whenever one saw a co-worker about to step in something, and the co-worker would freeze, one foot in the air, neck craning frantically, trying not to step in the shit or drop the equipment he or she was carrying (hey, no one wants to be the person who tracked dog shit all over the hotel's expensive floors or be the one having to clean shit off of lighting equipment so it can be used inside. Wait, you didn't think we'd be allowed to bring filth-covered equipment inside a hotel that's just had a multi-million dollar remodel, did you?).

We got lucky and no one stepped in anything, but the whole street was thick with flies because of the piles of shit everywhere - although the smell wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

When first unit got settled in, we went to rig the day's second set, which was around the hotel's pool. Since the Roosevelt's remodeling team were inconsistent in their placement of handicapped ramps, I just about finished my knees off by carrying coils of banded* up stairs.

We left right after that, and I'm sure first unit will be there well past midnight. I tried not to gloat as I walked to my car.

I'm off to bed - I have a 6 am call tomorrow (and they've added me for Thursday as well, so I'm now getting five days this week).

*It's called "banded" because, as you can see from the photo in the link, it's several cables banded together. Some types of banded are heavier that other types, depending on how heavily the cable is insulated. One 50 foot piece of five wire (meaning there's five cables banded together) banded weighs anywhere from 65 to 75 lbs. Of course, we had the extra-heavy type.

Couch of the Day:


Monday, August 07, 2006

Finally, I'm back to the same old shit.

Sometimes the work season starts off slowly, and I start to panic. I fret over how much money I've spent, how I've left the fans on when I'm not home and run up the electric bill (a big deal in California, but I worry about the cat when it's hot), how I've gone out for sushi once too often, how I'm going to have to buy another car in the next year or so.

This is the standard paranoia of the self-employed, and I'll certainly take it as a trade-off for a job that I really, truly do love. Somehow, everything always works out in the end, and although I may yet end up shuffling down Hollywood Boulevard with all my possessions loaded into a shopping cart, I'm reasonably certain it won't happen this year.

As I was standing on set today (grateful for that last-minute call which got me a day's work since I'd been kind of panicked about my not working enough last week), waiting for the gaffer to release the rigging crew (we'd stayed on past our allowed 8 hours to help first unit move from one set to the other), the rigging best boy booked me for tomorrow's rig on this show (some forgettable mid-season replacement comedy).

Not five minutes after that, a friend who's pushing* a crew on a Paramount show called me and asked me if I could work Wednesday and Friday for him.

Four days this week, which covers my rent. Plus, Paramout is super-close to my house so I have a five minute commute time. Okay, ten since I bet my ID card's expired and that means a delay at the gate when I'm trying to get on the lot.

Back to the same old shit, and I'm very glad to be posting it.

* "Pushing" a crew means being the supervisor of that particular crew. Generally, when a show has more than one rig going in at the same time and the best boy can't supervise them all, he or she will appoint a "pusher" for each rig.

Couch of the Day: