On a Tech Scout, you spend a lot of time on the bus going from one location to another. Some of that time is spent talking about the place you just looked at, but more of it is spent getting acquainted or re-acquainted with other folks who are on the job.
We tend to tell stories about stuff that's happened on previous jobs...War Stories!
Here's one I heard today, and one from me about a job I did years ago.
The new one:
Our Director just finished a movie in South Carolina. On the first day of the job, one of the grips showed up in a shiny new car. During breakfast, before the actual crew call, a bunch of folks were admiring the new car. One wanted to know what kind of mileage it got. He answered that he had only picked it up the day before and had only put about 60 miles on it. He promised to let them know once he'd driven it more.
(I have to interrupt the story a minute to give you some background. Once the trucks park during the day, they can't just run off to the gas station to top off the tanks, so we have a fuel truck that fills all of the trucks and generators that need it. This also saves tons of overtime on the drivers because they don't have to stop on the way back to where the trucks live overnight.)
Anyway, one of the crew made a deal with the Teamster Captain. Every day, the fuel truck would put a couple of gallons into this grip's new car. Not enough to fill it, but enough that the level never fell by much.
Around the fifth week of shooting the original guy went back to the grip and said, "So now that you've had it for a while, how's the mileage on the new car?' The grip gushed that he was still on his first tank of gas. It was still over 1/2 full and he'd driven over 1500 miles.
They never let him run out of gas for the rest of the show. We're all curious to find out what his reaction was to how much gas he started using as soon as the job was over.
Coincidentally, on a job in South Carolina. I've mentioned before that when we're out of NYC, I end up hiring a lot of off-duty police details. Sometimes it's for working on the shooting set; sometimes it's for overnight security. At any rate, I can become fairly popular with a local police department.
On that job, most of the locations were outside of the city itself, so I was dealing mostly with County Police. Most of our locations were 60 miles or so in every direction from the hotel where we were actually living. Needless to say, some of us tried to cut a few minutes off of the drive.
Shortly into this job, the Producer hands me 11 speeding tickets and asks me to see if I can't get them fixed. I called my contact and told him all about it and he said to drop them by his office and he'd see what he can do. Now, apparently, in the jurisdiction, there are a couple of ways a ticket might be forgiven, but in all cases, it requires the officer who wrote the ticket to go along as well.
So I get a call from my contact a few days later. He says, he can get rid of ten of the tickets, but his boss says it's on the condition that the Producer get a driver and not be seen behind the wheel of a car in this county for the duration of the show. "Done," I say, "What's the problem with the 11th one?"
"Is it possible your Producer called one of my officers a cocksucker?", he asks.
"I'm surprised he didn't call all of them cocksuckers! We'll pay that one."
Those are my two stories from today.