Wednesday, August 22, 2007

why i work

how can this happen? how is it that three hours ago at work i wanted to scream? that it seemed i would have to spent the whole drive home talking with a friend on the phone about how rough today was? and yet, as i sit on my bed, taking off my socks and listening to coldplay, i can feel so good?
because i have good friends.
i don't live to work. i work to live. i go to work to earn money and a living so that i can spend time with my friends. so that i can have time to enjoy life. mark took it upon himself to start the 'pre-season' of 'classic movie night' tonight, meaning that i came home to a group of people thoroughly engrossed in 'babel'. i watched the last half hour with them and we all talked about how amazing it was and what it could mean and what we each got from it.
after everyone had left, mark confessed to sneaking a looking during out apartment prayer and noticed the condition of our carpet. 'we've had a lot of good times here,' he said.
absolutely. and that's why i'm going to work again tomorrow; so that i can continue to beat the heck out of our carpet.

Friday, August 17, 2007

my 28th birtday

i was out the door in a good time this morning. i should have planned ahead just a little better, though. mark's birthday was on sunday, and someone 'attacked' his car. the same thing happened to mine this morning. it was very cool, with crete paper streamers, ballons, and window writing [though the 'i'm legal' kind of confused me]. it evidently rained last night, because the streamers were soggied to the car. it took me a few minutes to clean all of this enough that i could drive to salt lake, but the thought was certainly worth it.

i wore my superman shirt [my personal way of declaring how awesome i was on this day] and labeled all of the mags in blue marker instead of my usual black. does this sound lame? it was just my secret little way of celebtrating.

starting at midnight last night, i recieved celebratory text messages from 13 different people and two singing voice mails [which i have decided to keep on my phone indefinitely]. jess wins the earlybird award with her text coming in at 12:00:21 a.m. her sister's actually came first, but it was disqualified for coming at 11:58 p.m.

i didn't mention anything about my birthday, but as the accountant was handing out our paychecks, she shouted happy birthday to me [she'd seen my hiring form and noticed it was the same as her sister's or something], and pretty soon the news had spread thoughtout the crew. all of the p.a.s wished me a happy birthday, as did the gaffer and several other people, so that by the time we were having our second meal it was announced over the radio by the camera crew. at the end of the day, when i called the producer with the day's report, he said he'd just heard and wished me a happy birthday.

it's been fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

who makes movies?

a few days ago i overheard someone talking about the 'high school musical 2' premiere in los angeles, where the executive producers congratulated themselves on the movie's success. it was noted that some of these people didn't seem to do anything.
who made high school musical 2?
andrew, the steadicam operator, who wore that heavy rig in the hot st. george sun and held the camera smooth and still.
barley, the cheerful dolly grip, moving and setting up the dolly and gliding the camera to make the shot.
garlan, the gaffer, who watches out for everyone and is like the grandpa on set.
fritz, the best boy electric, who lives by the philosophy that we're all making the same movie.
matt, the tattooed craft service guy, making sure that we've not only got water, but any treats we want.
delynn, the amazing transpo driver, who knows proves that there are no unimportant jobs on a set and who makes sure we can do our best.
and many more; these are the people who make 'high school musical 2'.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


recently, the great cinematographer haskel wexler made a documentary called 'who needs sleep?', looking at the strenuous hours put in by those in the film industry. i've heard it was inspired by the death of one of his 2nd a.c.s, who died in a car crash after falling asleep while driving home from a 19-hour day; i remember reading about that, actually.
i've learned three important rules to working happily in the film industry. 1. when you are on a production, accept that that will be your life; do not try to do anything outside of that, and if you do happen to have an hour or two of free time, consider yourself lucky. you will have plenty of time when the production wraps. 2. work until they call wrap. do not hope you are done by 8:00, do not get upset if they add another shot or if they go past 12 hours. work until you are done, and you will feel much better. 3. a good night's rest makes all the difference.

tonight i came home with plans to tidy up the house a bit then get to sleep [after a poorly managed night last night]. instead a friend came over and we talked until i kicked her out at midnight [she's still a cougar]. as important as sleep is, reminders of how wonderful it is to have friends can be an even bigger variable. i'll get five and a half hours of sleep tonight. and i don't regret it in the least. after days of profanity and cynical attitudes, i am more grateful for awesome people.

texting is a wonderful thing and a great way to get through the day.

who needs sleep?
cheers to you all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

learning to play sudoku

so today was a good day on set. plus, it's 'way-back wednesday' on 101.9, where they play nothing but classic 80's alternative from 10-6. i absolutely love it, and was dancing by myself in the truck to oingo boingo's greatly underrated 'not my slave'.

during the parker & wendy show, they had an interesting game for tmbg tickets: the sudoku challenge. at 3:00 they would give out the numbers for the first three rows. at 4:00 they would announce rows four through six, and at 5:00 they would give the final three rows. the first five people to get it right win tickets.

i don't know how to play sudoku, and until now, have never needed to know. but when an opportunity to see john and john is attached, game on. so i called beej and left a message, asking him to call me back as fast as possible. i called my brother who gave me the basic run-down as he understood it, and i called nathan in the production office, who didn't know but began polling people, trying to learn. no, it's not that complicated, and i mostly knew the rules anyway.
i couldn't go on to the website and print off my official sudoku square, but i found some scratch paper and drew my own. i made a mental note to make sure this didn't get in the way of my job, but managed to be in the truck at 3:00 and again at 4:00. during the waiting time, i went through and determined every possible number for each box, so that as the next set of numbers was announced, i could go and find the answers as quickly as possible. it was really quite fun.
five o'clock was coming around and i had every number assigned that i could, when a call came on the radio that both cameras needed to reload. plus, it was 'film break', meaning time to get all of the film ready to ship off for the lab. i was able to write down the last row of numbers, but never had a chance to find the answers.
i'm hoping that my dedication to putting my job first will win me some sort of karma points, redeemable before september 21.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

75 phone calls at 75 mph

as a loader, i'm on the truck for a fair amount of time. and, being me, i like to keep the radio on. today i overheard something about a 'they might be giants' concert and perked up. the details were that it's a free concert with tickets to be given away only on by 101.9. i called my fellow tmbg fanatic who was working in the production office and told him the exciting news, and we agreed to do all that could to get tickets.
with a month on this movie, i should have enough chances to call in and win.

driving home today, the evening show had a contest to keep track of the five 'mash-ups' they played and if you could name them all, you had your choice of prizes, including a handful of tmbg tickets. keeping track of songs isn't too tricky, but when they're mash-ups [two songs that have been spliced into one another], you get some weirder titles. and trying to remember five of them while driving down I-15, well, i was earning this, that's for sure.

my phone said that it was my 75th attempt when i finally got through. by then parker the dj didn't even care if i knew the songs, he just offered me my choice of tickets to see 'bowling for soup', 'guster', or four free little ceasar's pizzas. i asked if there was anyway i could get a pair of they might be giants tickets. he said they had given away their quota for the day, but not to worry because they had 500 pair to give away from now until september 21. alright, i guess. i didn't really want to see 'bowling for soup', and winning some little ceasar's pizzas hardly seemed like a worthwhile radio prize, so i took the guster tickets for september 19, after making sure that i was still eligible to win the good tickets.

i don't even know who guster is...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

a bigger pond

today was the first of two prep days for salty pictures' new disney movie, 'minutemen'. yesterday was my one day off between movies. today was a good day. it's interesting going from the big guy on a small movie to the smaller guy on a bigger movie. there are definite advantages to both, and it's fun to move back and forth, to lead the group then to be the follower to the more experienced, having learned what i don't know then watching those who know more. the hours are rough, the work is inconsistent and unstable, yet there are some times when i really do love this filmmaking thing. 'high school musical' was on tv last night, so i recorded it and watched it tonight while doing the dishes. it was odd seeing the opening credits of the show: most of those names weren't just names, they were people who said 'hi' to me today as i was running around the office. the kids in the show were the same kids i saw last march, and i recognized the high school because i shot there. kind of neat, really.

driving home today, i came through a good strong rainstorm at the point of the mountain, and, coming into utah county, i saw the grandest and most complete rainbow i have perhaps ever seen. it was a full half circle, stretching entirely from one point on the ground to the other. in fact, i was surprised at how intriguing it was; captivating and peaceful. i almost crashed my car.