an interesting effect of keeping this blog is that i am continually composing postings in my head as my day and thoughts unfold. at about 9-10 this moring, i was quite excited to write about all that was happening. twelve hours later, i was simply trying to get home before the dam closed.
due to the tight schedule of my life, i do not know if i will have time to revise, edit, and check for spelling errors in this post; it is much more of the freeflowing journal entry genus. today is broken down as follows:
drive 1 hour to work while listening to ben folds's 'rocking the suburbs'--i decide that 'losing lisa' is a really insightful and kickin' song.
work for 14 hours
drive 1 hour home while listening to they might be giants's 'apollo 18'--i remember that it is a really kickin' cd.
i am back in the saddle again, working as the b-camera 2nd a.c. on the pilot episode of what is touted to be 'one of fox's top five shows' for the fall. it's in the line of the current supernatural dramas, ala 'lost', 'invasion' or 'surface.' except that this one involves a meteorite that crashes in alaska [played by strawberry reservior, ut] and mysteriously kills an inuit family who ate reindeer who drank the water that melted from said meteorite. apparently 'the andromeda strain' is now obscure enough that it can be recycled into primetime.
my day on set began at a brisk 7 a.m., happy to see familiar faces in line at the catering truck [breakfast burritos guarantee you will have a better day on set] and finding out that more of my friends are also on this project, albeit they are all on the electric crew, so i will rarely see them throughout the day.
for reasons i still don't quite know, the 1st a.c.'s are in route from l.a. to our faux alaska, and so it is me and the a-camera 2nd and our loader--this is the first time i have had a loader, and it is really, really nice to have that burden lifted. cool enough, and the d.p. may very well win the contest for the funnest and most energetically positive cinematographers i have ever worked with. he and his name seem familiar to me, and i come to find out that he has worked on such things as 'firefly' the tv series [although he didn't get 'serenity', sadly]. so things are looking to be pretty darn awesome.
now, movie crews can really go one of two ways: the fun kind and the yelling kind. 'searching for mickey fish' wins the 'yelling' award, hands down. 'beyond' is much more in the 'fun kind' category--i knew this would be the case immediately this morning when the assistant director called us for a safety meeting and was generall cool. the a.d. on the last feature i was on would have killed you if it was legal and would save the production a few minutes. having a cool a.d. and a cool d.p. really does a lot for a cool shoot: the attitudes of those at the top tend to trickle down the ranks.
while we're here, our director is breck eisner, who resembles his corporate disney behemoth father in both apearance and voice and actually seems to know what he's doing.
and to top it off, our script supervisor is a)really cool [a pleasant script girl always makes the life of the camera crew better] and b)worked on '24'. i thought that was rad.
the rest of my morning was spent hanging out on the back of a stakebed truck, watching as the camera was getting shots of snow and giant 'snow cat' vehicles traversed the tundra on their giant treads as a helicopter made pass after pass overhead, getting variant shots of the same as well as a few shots of the herd of elk that were on the other side of the frozen river. with all this foreign equipment and the unfamiliar landscape, it really can feel like you are in alaska--at the very least, it places one far enough out of any recognizable context that you forget you have an alter ego somewhere an hour and 4,000' down the mountain; that helps the day go by.
another benefit to the film production world is that you generally get fed really well. certainly better than i've been eating lately, anyway. prime rib with some really intense horseradish, sauteed squashes, and dang good apple pie today.
the second half of the day was completely different. the l.a. camera assistants arrived, and suddenly between the camera and sound department, there were four jeffs, so i am going by 'goose' again; it's been a while.
i was a little curious how this would play out, because i've heard stories about l.a. camera guys who are really intense and who do things totally different than we do in utah; no need to worry with these guys. the b-camera 1st is friendly and patient and kind, and the camera operator is a great guy who thinks it's pretty cool that i served a mission. add to that warm weather after lunch [we were walking around in t-shirts], a lighter load for b-camera [a good place to be], and the fact that the 1st's name is 'eisber' and so he goes by 'iceberg', well, it's pretty good out there.
carrying heavy camera equipment over the frozen snow crust increased the amount of pressure per square shoe as you walk, and occasionally we would break through and find ourselves mid-thigh in snow--you laugh and keep going. i've found that walking with my legs more spread out prevents such caviture. you look silly, but no more than you do stuck in quick-snow.
being a mile and a half above sea level means less atmosphere, which is really good at maintaining temperature consistancy. less air means more variance. really cold in the morning, quite nice in the afternoon, and when that sun went down, dang. the rest of this week is what we call 'splits'--half in the day, half in the nights. not fun, but better than doing 'nights'. in fact, i stayed warm for the most part. this is my first professional in a cold environment, and i did alright. i did decide that those gloves that look like mitten but can pull back the finger covers as needed are actually a very good idea. i think they are called 'glommets'. i wish i had some 'glommets'.
i think they called wrap for b-camera sometime around 7:30-8, and i thought i would actually make it to fhe. but we couldn't leave until a-camera had all of their gear put away to [we're all camera], and had it mostly done by 9-ish. i had to speak up and ask to leave when the clock struck 9:15, because there is one major detraction to shooting up in the heber valley area: the dam is closed sunday-thursday 10pm to 6am. tonight i made it across with 4 minutes to spare. for the rest of this week, when we will be wrapping around 1 or later, i will have to drive an extra half hour by going through salt lake on i-80. that part i don't like so much.
shortly after i got home, jen called me to say that fhe was a big success tonight, and that we got a lot of work done on our movie for the ward competition [i wanted to do an intricate '24' parody, but we ran short on time; jen came up with a great idea that is much simpler and probably more fun, too]. and while i was talking with her, kristin and chris showed up at my door just to say 'hi', which really meant more to me than they realize--with essentially no roommate and no one to go visit at the end of a long long day, it was great to have a few friends over. jen came, too, and the four of us watched tonight's '24', which was really good and even a little awesome tonight.
with all that was going on today, there was one thing that was on my mind unceasingly--a few weeks ago i bought some boots at wal-mart for just such situations. they are wonderfully water-proof and kept me sufficiently warm as well. i bought them a size and a bit small, as my regular size seemed too big, and i could break these in nicely. today i realized, steel-toed boots don't stretch. my feet really hurt.