but let me first back up to the fifth floor of the library; i was reading a book because it was one of those days when my computer had chosen to not talk with byu's internet, thereby frustrating my plans of polishing some japan-trip concerns and studying what my roommate does for a living. i keep my phone on 'silent' in there for obvious reasons and noticed that i had missed a call. the message was from some dude named simon, asking if i was available that night for some 2nd unit work on that warner brothers movie that has been in slc for the past month.
i thought about this: i really didn't feel like working, especially a night shoot. on the other hand, it was 2nd unit stuff, which is usually pretty light work, and in a profession like this, a beggar like myself hasn't the luxury of being a lazy chooser.
so i called him back to get the info: up at snow basin in ogden, call is at 6 p.m. and will go until 2-3. and union rates. sure, i can do that.
driving home to get ready, i heard a song on the radio called 'bad day'. not the underrated r.e.m. one, but a really great song that has an 'understanding' feel to it.
i was having a bad day.
good things were happening to me, but there was a lot welling up inside of me and this song brought those things to the surface. so i called my sister, who later sent me one of the kindest e-mails i have ever received in my life.
but a lot must have been on my mind when i left, because i as i was arriving at the snow basin resort, it occurred to me that i forgot my gloves, my hat, and about half of my equipment. lovely.
fortunately, this was indeed a light 2nd unit shoot, with everything on a steadicam, which really makes for an alleviated load on the camera crew. and it was a cloudy-ish night, so it wasn't that cold. some friends loaned me a hoodie and a beanie, and my biking gloves were sufficient for the night.
2nd unit crews require less people and there is less pressure; i saw some people from beyond last week, friends from school, a good natured camera crew, and an odd script girl who insisted on finding the most morbid words for the scene numbers. normally, shots in a scene are 23A, 23B, 23C, and so on. to avoid misunderstandings, when saying the scene number, you say 'twenty-three apple', 'twenty-three baker', as do most other institutions dealing with alpha-numerology. but haylie was insistant on 'twenty-three aneurysm', 'twenty-three blood', 'corpse', etcetera.
this movie is called unaccompanied minors and i heard it described as home alone meets the terminal. yeah.
apart from a shot of a kid walking through the forrest and wiping his nose on his sleeve, we spent the rest of the night getting nothing more than shots of trees whipping by as the steadicam was rigged to a snowmobile. over and over, first over here then over there. actually, we did get a little more than that. there was also a canoe rigged with a sort of motor in the middle of it so that it could drive around in the snow. riding in it was a guy running the motor, a dummy dressed up in a sort of eskimo costume, and haylie the script girl with a wig, presumably doubling for one of the eponymous children.
when i got the call for the job, i was told we'd wrap between 2-3. on set, i was hearing that we'd be out by 4.
4 o'clock came and went around many frustated takes involving a motorized land-canoe that wouldn't run very well on hard frozen snow, and wrap was called a few minutes after 6 a.m. an hour to clean up and i was on the road at 7.
the production offered to put us up in a hotel if we wanted. we were told to go there and tell them we were with the movie [i'll let you imagined the scenario of a tired and dirty guy arriving at the front desk and saying 'i'm here with unaccompanied minors']. besides, i was feeling rather chipper and didn't worry about the drive home.
and for the the first thirty minutes, i was great. once i got to salt lake county and the glorious rush hour that most people have to endure everyday, i was starting to lose it. maybe i should have found out where that hotel was, but i had made my choice and i would live or die by it. i kept the radio on loud, slapped my face as needed, and tried to sing along as much as i could. after the point of the moutain into utah county, i was doing alright. i got home at 8:30 and slept until 3.
take a sad song and make it betteron my way up to snow basin, i heard 'hey jude' on the radio. i really needed that. that made me and the night awesome.