Friday, April 21, 2006

a different sort of paper lanterns

i have never been able to understand why people stay in abusive relationships, yet there are some days when i think that the freelance camera assistant lifestyle is really pretty cool.
yesterday i realized that i am usually thinking that in the calm times, commonly during the earlier half of the day.

working with cosmic pictures is usually a happy time from start to finish, even when there are 15 hours between those two.

this time it was a u.t.a. trax spot, which i have learned are actually pretty convenient [the trains], particularly when i found out today that you can ride it around central slc for free. rad.

while i am here, i would like to state to the world that:
1. the aaton 35-III camera is the most difficult camera to load, excluding those weird super-high speed cameras.

2. i'm getting pretty good at it.

this commercial consisted of starting near the delta center on a parked train car, getting shots of some kids meet a real soccer player [the league or team or whatever they are, pronounced 'ray-all'] and me getting to toss the soccer ball into the shot for the soccer star to catch it with his foot [this 'toss' was later downgraded to a 'roll'], then a lot of hopping on the train, ride to another stop and film some more shots of the train being a train in all of its train glory and the kids looking at it in wonderment.

dinner was at z tejas and i enjoyed my blackened catfish burritos.

last night's work was a second trax spot, this time involving some happening-looking young women who show us that you can be attractively cool and ride trax, too.

the scene of them coming out of the abravenal hall downtown provided me with a fulfillment of a secret small wish i've held: i got to ride the dolly as a focus-puller for a shot.

i never really worked as a 1st a.c. much as a student, and while i did get to pull focus on discoveries, i was told it would work better if i just walked along the camera [when i watch the dvd, it does go a little soft...].
but last night i got to ride on the dolly with my own little seat and take measurements. and this wasn't some token pull; this was 20' to 7' on a 50mm at a t1.4, thank you.
and i did pretty good.

the rest of the night was spent on the train, riding it all around town as we got many, many shots of these girls changing from coming out of a symphony to spending a night on the town. personally, i would think that dressing up for the symphony would be where you deck yourself out, but they must have been going clubbing afterward, because the hair comes down, the glasses are off, and the trendy hat donned.
and you can do this all on trax, people.

despite us not being able to start on this until after 11:30 p.m. [when you're driving a train forwards and backwards at will, it helps to have all the other cars put away for the evening], this was rather fun. we had several more trendy-ish looking early 20's extras who were remarkably well behaved into the wee hours in the morning [nearly every guy had his arm around a girl, so maybe it's not that remarkable that they didn't complain, actually], our talent, a 10-person crew and a dolly and track and lights.

i just like climbing on things, and so all of the necessary climbing over seats and balancing on rails and other related gymnastics helped us forgive that 1 a.m. came and left without any real notice. i got to pull some more focus and was even asked to cross in front of the camera for the shot when my attempts get where i needed looked really cool on the monitor.

downtown slc looks strikingly different in the late hours of the night when you have been in a train for long periods of time and are rather disoriented.

today's highlights included some dude who evidently thought we were with star search, as he began rapping loudly from the platform across the street, hoping we would use him in our movie [shooting in downtown slc on a friday inevitably increases manyfold the number of people who ask if they can be in your 'movie'], and recalling the rule of thumb that 'you aren't a film maker if you aren't breaking the law'--this generally refers to traffic rules, and our city parking permits amazingly flexed in such a way that we parked
anywhere we saw most convenient.

the happiest moment came from last night, when i asked the associate producer what i had to do to get a 'cosmic pictures' hoodie sweatshirt.
he gave me one today. i wear it with happiness and pride [the good kind of pride].

final word: sitting down to lunch at cafe rio today, i had a weird sensation of deja vu; i had seen that scene before, but it was from a dream i had as a missionary in japan many years ago.
really gnarly. but the feeling soon passed, and now i wonder if it ever even happened.

post script: few things make me feel all dreamy and romantic inside like a big city lit up at night, and salt lake does it well.

*i think the library is playing a symphonic tribute to metallica in forcing me out of here.

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