Monday, May 19, 2008

Today's Assignment.

The job I'm on now is different from most jobs I work on. Usually, I'm on a feature with a script. I break down the script and produce a list of the locations we'll need to get the movie done. When I first get started, I'm usually chasing down the locations I think will be hardest to find. Or the locations that we'll spend the most time at. As we get closer to the first day of shooting, I may not have found everything yet and I'll change my priority to finding the stuff that shoots earliest in the schedule.

A few days before any movie begins shooting, all of the department heads go on a two or three day Tech Scout. This is where everybody gets to see all of the locations in person, find out exactly what the director intends to do there, and figures out what they need to do to make it all happen. The Gaffer figures out if he needs an additional generator because the lighting will be spread out all over the place. The Key Grip finds out if he needs a camera crane the day this location shoots. The Director of Photography hears whether or not he needs any special lenses for that day. Anyway, the goal is to have all of your locations found and locked in before the Tech Scout. I still haven't worked on a movie where we had all of our locations secured by the day of the Tech Scout.

So, back to why this job is different. I know there are scripts for this show but I haven't seen them. I speak to the Producer a few times a day and he tells me what's at the top of the priority list. On Friday, I was trying to find the house that will be a bunch of different houses in the show. I haven't found it yet and I'm still looking. But now, I have a new location to add to the list.

One of the Detectives will be telling the story about how a small manufacturer in NYC was being squeezed out by a larger one in New Jersey who had mob ties. In the real story, the guy made garbage bags. If I can find a garbage bag manufacturer, they might decide to shoot there. But the thought occurs to everyone that garbage back making might not be all that photogenic. I mean, what the hell does that look like? So, my instructions are to broaden the search to include any manufacturing enterprise that looks cool. The idea is to see big machinery that moves.

When I worked on The Jerky Boys all those years ago, we shot some scenes at an industrial laundry in New Jersey. Big giant washers with steam venting off at high pressure. Big grappling arms moving the wet laundry into the dryers. Conveyor belts moving piles of linens from one place to another. Of course, the contact information for this laundry was lost two hard-drive crashes ago, so I have to find the place again from scratch.

Anyway, it's time to get to work. Have a good day everybody.

Oh, BTW, Widget voluntarily interacted with the kittens last night. Progress is being made.

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