Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nathan's a Whiney, Whining Whiner Part 2.

Today has been...boring. We're shooting interiors in a small apartment. Once I get the company in on a day like this, my day consists of fielding important questions like, "Are there more bathrooms? This one's all stopped up." "Where is the nearest Kinko's?" "Does the G train stop at Borough Hall?"

This is not fun. The set itself is crowded and boring and they don't need me there, so I spend most of my day standing around. Like I say, once I've got the trucks parked and everyone knows the lay of the land, I'm pretty much done until wrap. Boring!

Add to this the fact that we have day and night scenes today, so we started at 10:00 a.m. and we'll be out of here around Midnight. Boring and long.

So, one of the first things I did this morning was to introduce the production assistants to the freight elevator. Its this ancient thing with early Twentieth-Century technology. You run it by pulling a cable up or down and this goes to some motor that either goes forward or reverse to go up or down. The other important thing to know about this elevator is that if you let the doors close with nobody inside the elevator, you can't get the door open from the outside.

Of course, somebody closed the door. That's bad. Because, basically since the grips, camera guys and electrians never know what they'll need at any moment, they all like to take absolutely everything off their trucks and bring it all upstairs. Having no elevator to get it back down from the fourth floor would be bad.

Luckily, one of the Production Assistants, Luke, is MacGyver in the flesh. He somehow got it open with a broken stub of a screwdriver. He is my hero today.

So anyway, life got interesting there for about a half-hour. I'm glad its back to boring now.

How is/was your day?


Anonymous said...

So what do you do with your boring, boring day other than stand around, on call, in the cold on sore, tired feet?

Can you write stories on your laptop? Take distance ed courses via wireless? Email using your BlackBerry? Whack passers-by with your clipboard?

There are advantages to long boring days - if you can just think of them. :)

Nathan said...

Regardless of the fact that I'm standing around a lot, they really are bombarding me with stupid questions. Its pretty unrelenting and not conducive to concentrate on writing.

No Blackberry. I'm holding out as long as I can on that one.

I'm supposed to set an example and be nice to the passersby.

Truth, be told, though, I've usually got enough to do with planning for the next day and the days to come, (permits, call times to cops and locations, etc.)

MWT said...

Sounds like a very widely varied job. I wouldn't want to do it, as I hate planning logistics of things, but it's at least more interesting to talk about than "I sat in front of a computer all day and compiled spreadsheets."

... which was basically my day both yesterday and today, hence I didn't bother to post about it. You would've just been bored more. ;)

Nathan said...


The logistics is what I love. I remember doing a memo regarding the Rally scene in Private Parts. We were going to be shutting down traffic on 40th street, 41st street and part of 6th Avenue. We were also expecting anywhere between 6000 and 10,000 extras to show up.

I remember figuring out how many port-o-lets, walkie-talkies, cops, traffic agents, additional Production Assistants, private security and a ton of other things we'd need to make the day work.

Its also interesting figuring out how to shoot train stuff. You have to configure the train completely differently for interior scenes than for exterior shots of a train.

It can make the brain hurt, but getting it done is very satisfying.

The big complicated stuff is what keeps me coming back.

Anonymous said...

I understand, I like organizing logistics too - that's why I'm a project manager.

I just hate my job when it gets bogged down in politics and strategic planning, because then I can't get anything done!