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Totally Unauthorized

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

6:29PM - It was fun - sort of - while it lasted

The past week has been very similar to a hurricane - mainly due to The Blonde having gone completely off the deep end and, as a result, my not having gotten more than four hours of sleep on any given night.

There's a thing that happens at networks and film studios: if an exec leaves under less than totally friendly circumstances, then all the projects associated with that person get buried - they get put in a weird limbo, where they're not going to get made, but can't be shopped anywhere else due to contractual bullshit ("Sure, you can shop the project elsewhere - if you pay us back ALL the money we've spent." "But if I get it made somewhere else, I can pay you back - wouldn't you rather take that chance?" "No, not so much.").

Three guesses what's happened to our show.

I'd seen the writing on the wall; normally every line of dialogue, every idea, every shot, every rough cut is second guessed by some level of network or studio jackassery - Standards and Practices (to make sure you don't do anything that will get the network fined), executives, executive's kids, the cleaning guy, various hangers-on, etc...

When all that stopped and we got no notes from anyone at all (even before we knew our exec was leaving) I knew we were doomed. Legally the only thing we can do is to wait until we can shop the show elsewhere - another year, I think.

I've turned my phone off tonight (and I'm holed up at a friend's house. The Blonde knows where I live and I'll bet that she'll be pounding on my front door at some ungodly hour), and I'm going to run the risk of missing a work call because I have got to get some sleep. I'm already hearing people who aren't actually there talking to me. I think - they might really be there and I'm just not moving fast enough.

Honestly? This whole process has put me under so much stress that I'm almost glad it's over.

I have to check with the lawyer to see how much of what happened I can write about. That may have to wait a year, too.


Couch of the Day:

Couch

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

1:28PM - Confidentiality Agreement for a stupid, stupid product

This isn't the entire document (a bit more legalese than I'm in the mood to type), but one particularly choice excerpt:

Feedback: Notwithstanding any other provision in this agreement, if Recipient provides any ideas, suggestions or recommendations to Company regarding confidential information, Company is free to use and incorporate such feedback in Company's products without payment of royalties or other consideration to Recipient, so long as Company does not infringe Recipient's patents, copyrights or trademark rights in the feedback.


Well, that's just... Wait a minute ... What?

So if I make a suggestion to improve the Stupid, Stupid Product ("you know.. you should make these with an extra long headset cord so that people can cram the entire unit up their asses. That way, they wouldn't risk mislaying them!"), and then I see my suggestion ("new and improved with ass-crammability!") in next year's product revisions, I'm just out of luck? I don't even get bragging rights?

That's just wrong, man.

All kidding aside, most of us know damn good and well that any suggestions we make will not be credited or compensated (or paid attention to, especially when it's a suggestion that could save production time and money). That's why most of us don't make them - that, and it just slows things down (ad agency flak: "Ooooo... that's a great idea! Can we cram one of these up someone's ass? Call casting right now!" First AD: "Godammit, will you please shut the fuck up so I can see my kids sometime this week?").



While I can't reveal what the Stupid, Stupid Product is - I can tell you this:

Ten thousand years from now, when archaeologists are pawing through the flotsam of our civilization, they're going to wonder what the hell was wrong with us that we had to make so many of these worthless (and non-biodegradable) things.


Couch of the Day:

Couch



Although I disabled it when I started moderating comments, I'm going to have to turn that awful 'word-verification' thing back on. For the past week, I've been getting about 15 comment spam attempts a day, and it's wearing on my nerves.

Monday, July 24, 2006

8:28AM - I see a lot of coffee in my immediate future

One of the things that's so difficult about night shoots is trying to sleep during the day. I got home from work at 7 am, slept for three hours and am now wide awake with no hope of getting any more shuteye.

Ugh. I have to be back at work at 8pm.

I'm hoping that if I lay down and pretend to be asleep, I'll actually fall asleep, but I think the sticky sweat-soaked sheets might keep me awake.

At least we're on the West side tonight. Last night in the San Fernando Valley felt like a furnace*.

*For my non-LA based readers, the West side of the city is normally cooler than everywhere else, since it's close to the ocean, and the Valley is at least 10 degrees hotter than downtown.

Couch of the Day:

Couch

Saturday, July 22, 2006

2:26PM - Weekend fun for when it's too hot to go outside

From Unfogged:

Think you're clever? Well, fuck you, clown.


The comment thread is so funny it's frightening.

Couch of the Day (see, I told you I'd be back to the same old shit):

Couch and Friend

Monday, July 17, 2006

1:25PM - I'm too hot for my toolbelt

From an article in the LA Times:

"The cool ocean breezes and clouds that meteorologists call Southern California's natural air conditioner broke down this year, creating record heat that is expected to continue through October."


Oh, I don't want to hear that - it's way hotter than normal for this time of year, and two people I know have gotten heat stroke in the past ten days.

The Local 80 Goddess was working at one of those 'movie ranches' (you know the ones - with the photogenic 19th century Western-style facades, artfully rutted dirt roads and nary a power line or highway overpass in sight - yeah, those are all located in the city's hottest suburbs) and collapsed in the 110 degree heat, which resulted in her being a guest in the ICU. Last I talked to her, she'd progressed to being allowed to walk around the block - only if it wasn't too hot out.

The other person didn't collapse, but started to feel really crappy in the lunch line and was able to recognize the signs of heat-related problems in time to get to the hospital before things got really bad, but still admitted to not feeling so great a few days later.

I'm sitting on the couch with a fan aimed directly at me, moving only in order to go sit someplace with air conditioning (I've used up all my movie passes and I've seen all the summer movies twice, but cool air's cool air), but I'll be working soon enough and Murphy's Law being what it is, I'll probably get sent to some far-flung inferno where I'll be expected to remain alive for 14 hours despite the heat.

Production doesn't stop just because it's insanely hot - just like it doesn't stop when it's freezing cold, windy, or raining toads (they'd just have the set dressers clear them off with a shovel).

I think you have to fuck up an actor before a show temporarily shuts down - but not always even then. Mr. Movie Star had a story about getting hit in the head so hard that he saw double and being expected to complete the scene anyways because they were running behind that day.

Or maybe Mr. Movie Star was just being overly dramatic.



Couch of the Day:

Couch

Thursday, July 13, 2006

11:24PM - Holy delayed reaction, Batman!

During my foolish youth, I decided I didn't need to wear flip-flops in the gym showers ('cause I was a rebel like that) and as a result have Plantar warts on one of my feet. They're not very large - mostly due to my doctor being pretty vigilant about removing them before they get to the point where they might cause pain - since I do, after all, spend a large portion of my working life standing.

For some reason, I picked up a really tenacious strain and the little bastards are completely resistant to any treatment besides cutting them out, so I have to have it done every so often. It's not a big deal - they numb the foot, cut the wart out and then for a week I can't wear any shoes but those horrible Crocs things.

When the doctor gave me the news today, I burst into tears at the idea of another procedure - completely out of character for me. I'm not normally weepy, and this really isn't all that big of a deal (the worst part of the whole thing is the injection into the nerve to numb the foot). I just sat there in the chair with tears running down my face as I said "Yes, Friday's fine. No, really... it's fine" while the doctor gave me that concerned look.

Ten bucks says that as I'm on my way out of his office tomorrow, he hands me a prescription for Prozac.

The only explanation I have is that it's a delayed freak-out from the dog bite. For the few days right after it happened, I had nightmares where I'd wake up thinking the dog was biting me again - I could actually feel the teeth closing on my leg - but they went away, and I thought it was fine. When I told a friend (whom I called for a ride home from the hospital) about my little meltdown today she said "I'm not surprised - you were way too calm just after it happened."

Post-meltdown, I had to do a freebie for a gaffer I work with a lot who's trying to jump up to DP, and needed a few of the normal crew to help light a blue screen shot for a micro-budget feature (Freebies suck, but when someone gives me a lot of work I'm kind of karmically obligated to do them).

Keeping an even exposure isn't as important in this day and age of digital (back in the day when effects were shot on film and composited on optical printers, an evenly lit bluescreen was critical), but it has to be pretty close and the light on the actor can't spill onto the screen, nor can the actors throw shadows onto the screen due to unfortunate light placement.

A bit much for a Craig's List 'copy and credit only' crew, so we showed up, set up the lights, shot the shit with the nice folks and then took off once we were no longer needed.

I was the butt of the jokes all day, as anytime I lost my train of thought during a conversation, mislaid my gloves or couldn't make a decision, it would instantly be blamed on the case of rabies* I've now got. This escalated into jokes about my howling at the moon while turning into a werewolf and... and... well, there was one more, but I forgot.

It's not a full moon, so it must be the rabies.

*I do NOT have rabies - but next time I work with this group, I'm going to stick an Alka-Seltzer (tm) tablet in my mouth at breakfast so I'll walk onto the truck foaming at the mouth, while acting really nonchalant about it ("What are you staring at? Do I have something stuck to my teeth? What?").

Couch of the Day:

Couch

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

1:24PM - I love the internets, yes I do.

I have done nothing today except keep my leg propped up (it's almost stopped bleeding but I stood on it for awhile tonight and that didn't help) and laugh like hell at some poor clueless guy - which, since I think he's the number one site on the web today I'm sure you've all seen, but here's the story in case you missed it:

It all started with an article in The Onion.

Guy gets his panties in a wad, thinks The Onion is a legitimate news source and posts a rant to his scary blog (I don't care which side of this particular issue you're on, this guy is unbelievably frightening, and since the media attention started he's added EXTREMELY graphic images to this post, so consider yourself warned).

People slaughter him in his comments (HIGHLY entertaining).

Guy realizes he's made a mistake and tries to spin. However, Guy still seems to think that The Onion is real - even after about 400 (update: almost 800 now) people tell him otherwise.

People slaughter him in his comments (HIGHLY entertaining).

What will Guy do next? Who knows?

(Update: He deleted all his comments and posted a finger-wagging rant about how 'a few people spoil everyone's fun'. Spoilsport - although he was getting the biggest internet bitch-slapping, well, ever so I guess I understand why he's felt the need to put a stop to it, but if you want to read the mostly hilarious comments, they're available in the google archive here,(the original post) here (the even funnier follow-up post), here, and here).

Sweet lime-flavored Jesus, those comments just keep getting funnier. I haven't laughed this hard in years.

Pillowcase full of hammers? Meet Guy. Seriously, go easy on him. You're a lot smarter than he is.

This is way, way better than TV.

Oh, and note to self: Next time I have a date with a Eurotrash (and I mean that in the best way) male model, don't take him to Amoeba to see Cut Chemist do an in-store show.

That... that did not go well.


Couch of the Day:

Couch

Friday, July 7, 2006

1:22PM - It makes me happy to know that you care.

Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone!

Now that the bruising and swelling (of which there was quite a bit) has gone down, the bites themselves don't look all that bad - they're fairly superficial and should heal up within a week or so. Also, there's no tendon damage (that would have put me into another line of work - permanently).

Except that one of the teeth marks (the one that did go super-deep) is still bleeding. It's just one, and it's not bleeding much, but there's still blood when I have to change the dressing (twice a day) and my doc's refusing to sew it up. I don't feel like I should argue with him about it, as he went to med school and I didn't, but it's a damned nuisance. Hopefully it'll close up in the next day or so.

According to the Ambulance Chasing Lawyer, if doggie's owners rent their house, I'm shit out of luck as it would be impossible to collect a judgment, and quite frankly I'm not all that injured - the chance of my getting a settlement worth more than a few hundred dollars is slim, and ACL might not want to bother if there's not going to be a decent payout for him.

We'll see.

Honestly, I'm less interested in financial gain and more interested in pounding doggie's owners into a bloody pulp with the golf club I was saving for the tomato plant thief.

Something I've learned while laying on the couch with my leg elevated while wondering if it's ever going to stop fucking bleeding:

The remake of The Producers isn't nearly as funny as the original.

Maybe it's just me.


Couch of the day:

Couch

Thursday, July 6, 2006

6:21PM - Bad dog! No biscuit!

I normally walk to the gym. It's close to my house, I'm not burning fossil fuels and I have to spend less time on those horrible cardio machines (a whole room full of people simultaneously running to nowhere while completely ignoring one other gives me nightmares about chain-smoking, philosophy-reading French hamsters).

Yesterday, as I was marching along while looking for any couches that might have been dumped overnight, a black furry missile appeared from nowhere, launched itself at my legs and began to bite indiscriminately.

If he barked, I didn't hear him. He (and I'm just assuming it was a male dog - I didn't get a good look at his undercarriage) closed in so fast I didn't even have time to react - I just kept screaming "help me, help me!" at a passerby who very kindly ran in the opposite direction as the 50 lb-ish dog tore up the legs of my (thankfully wide-legged) pants and landed bites on two different parts of my calf (a few inches above the Achilles tendon and top of the calf about four inches below the knee).

I was afraid to run in case the dog tripped me and I fell (which would have given him a really good shot at my face and neck), and backing away slowly only gave him a fresh angle. The only reason I got away was because the dog charged at yet another approaching pedestrian who was apparently a better target (I guess he had fatter legs).

So much for my action heroine fantasy ("Hasta la vista, doggie! Today, I teach you de lesson you voooon't fooorgeeeet..").

Luckily, a guy across the street happened to see the whole thing as he was leaving for work and called 911 on his cell phone, which meant I provided the afternoon's entertainment for the neighbors as the fire engine (why? Nothing was burning) and ambulance blocked traffic while the paramedics sat me on the curb to field-dress my leg before hauling me to the ER.

The firemen managed to chase the dog back into his yard (his owner had left the front gate open so the dog was wandering around on the public sidewalk where I was walking when he bit me), so the neighborhood's safe until they leave the gate open again.

After a three hour wait to be seen by sleep-deprived interns, they cleaned up the wound, determined that my tetanus immunization was up-to-date and I wouldn't need stitches (thank you, loose clothing - out of a total of 10 or 15 bites, the dog only got skin contact three or four times. Of course, he made the most of those opportunities. My leg looks like hamburger), then released me - without warning me that the wounds would bleed like hell all night.

That's okay. I didn't really like those sheets anyway.

This being Los Angeles, animal control never showed up, and when I called them today to ask them if they'd picked up the dog and rabies-tested him they pretty much told me to go fuck myself. They're busy.


Damned dog. I loved those pants.


Couch of the day:

Couch

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

1:20PM - Happy holiday, everyone!

It's boiling hot here in Los Angeles, so I'm going to be spending the day at the beach (where it's marginally cooler), followed by a friend's barbecue this evening.

Have a safe and fun 4th!

Couch of the day:

Couch

Friday, June 30, 2006

8:19PM - Back to work, for a moment

As I was leaving the dentist's office Thursday, after getting a lecture on using too much force while brusing my teeth and damaging my gums (statistically speaking, I'm a bit less than halfway through my lifespan so my teeth have got to last another 40 years at the very least. Who knew one could actually cause damage with what's turned out to be overzealous dental hygene), I finally got a call to go to work - for one day only.

Very few shows are shooting Monday as Tuesday's a holiday, and a lot of folks don't like one day calls as it messes up one's unemployment, but I don't mind. It's pension hours, heath insurance qualification hours and gets me out of the house. Plus, one day here and there helps me ease back into the swing of things before I go back to 70 hour weeks.

My offered choices were wrapping cable in the almost 100 degree heat or working on the lamp dock.

I didn't hesitate for a second. "Lamp dock, please." My momma didn't raise a fool.

Lamp dock work is mostly warehouse-style stuff. Putting things away, fetching things, checking orders, flashing* returned lamps to make sure they work.

I had a fun day working with a great group of people, even if I did spend too much in the studio store (discounted DVDs qualify as an occupational hazard).

I had a six am call, which was good. It means I got to go through the security checkpoint before it became a complete cluster fuck (about 7 am), and working an eight hour day meant that I got released to go home at 2:30 pm. I put my extra time to good use by going to the gym and then checked my garden to discover that someone had stolen two of my tomato plants - dug them right out of the ground. Asshole. Sometimes I really wish it were legal to beat people with a golf club.

Couch of the day:

Couch


*Get your mind out of the gutter. "Flashing" is turning a tungsten lamp on and off very quickly to make sure it's working without having it heat up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

7:18PM - RIP Little Antonio

The LA Times has been keeping a webcam trained on two goldfish living in a tank full of water drawn from the LA River - it's been sort of an unofficial experiment about the water quality of a really nasty looking cement-lined urban river.

One of the fish (named "Little Antonio" after our not so beloved by everyone anymore mayor) has died, although I'm pretty certain his (or her) death wasn't due to the water quality, since he (or she) lived for over 100 days.

In case you were wondering about relevancy - I'm deeply interested (no pun intended) in LA River water quality, as over the years I've had to wade in it numerous times (damn music videos) for work.

I really, truly, with all my heart want to believe that there's nothing toxic in that water.

What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger, right?

Right?

What's the lifespan of a goldfish, anyway?


Couch of the day:

Couch

Monday, June 26, 2006

7:17PM - The big geeky trade show weekend is the new black

This weekend was Cinegear - the annual grip, electric and camera cluster fuck. This year's show was at the Veteran's Administration in Westwood, so at least it wasn't boiling hot like it would have been had we been in the Valley.

Cinegear Trade Show 2006

There weren't as many vendors, and the ones that were there didn't have last year's lavish displays, but I got to see a lot of friends, catch up, and find out when everyone's going to start working again.

My Coolest Booth Award went to one of the music libraries who had an Elvis performing:

Elvis

He gave me a scarf and a kiss on the cheek.

That made my week - I love me some Elvis, even if it's really a guy named Steve in a wig. Actually, as Elvii go, Steve was a really good one, so I'll recommend him should you find yourself in the situation of needing an Elvis for, you know, whatever. He doesn't have a website, but email me and I'll give you his manager's phone number.

Before I hit the show, I went to see Who Needs Sleep - Haskell Wexler's excellent documentary on the effects of long hours on film industry workers and what folks are trying to do about it. In the movie, Wexler interviews the surviving family of two crew members who (several years apart) worked 20+ hour days, fell asleep at the wheel on the way home from work and died (one was a camera assistant named Brent Hershman whose death spearheaded a lamentably short-lived attempt to reduce working hours in the film and television industries).

If it comes to a theater near you, I highly recommend it. Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time know some of the hours I can work and have been able to see for yourselves what happens to my brain ("Can't... Post... Passing... Out...").

What you probably don't know (unless you've known me personally for a very long time) is that some years ago, on my way home from our location in Palmdale (a bedroom community of Los Angeles that's about an hour's drive one way if there's no traffic) I fell asleep at the wheel after a 19 hour day. I got all comfy in my seat and bored by whatever was on "Morning Edition", dozed off gently and woke up not understanding why my car was facing into oncoming traffic on Interstate 5.

The LA-based crew had not been offered hotel rooms.

Thank the deity of your choice that the only thing I fucked up were the trousers I happened to be wearing at the time. Oh, and don't bother asking me how I managed to make the car do a 180-degree turn without flipping it over. I was, after all, sound asleep at the time.

Check out The 12 on 12 off Foundation



Couch of the day:

Couch

Thursday, June 22, 2006

7:16PM - Punk'd (tm) by LA.com!

Lurking somewhere in the forgotten depths of LA.com is a list of hotels which allow non-guests to use the pool areas. When I read this, I was stoked - there's a pool where I work out, but it's a typical gym pool (and not too clean in the summer when it's heavily used), so no languishing poolside with a cocktail and relaxing, jumping in every so often to enjoy a dip - which is, of course the point of hanging out poolside at any hotel.

Two of the hotels on the list were the Bel Age and the W, both within striking distance of my house, so I thought I'd swing by after today's podiatrist appointment to enjoy a pool not filled with testosterone-jacked lap swimmers (the other two hotels listed were the Standard Downtown which I hate and the Lowes Santa Monica which requires a $25 day pass).

Did I mention that I have no air conditioning? I suppose that's the price I have to pay for a charming 1920's-era pad with loads of 'character' and French windows throughout (so no window-mounted units for me). My place doesn't have heat, either, but that's much less of a problem.

My first try was the W Hotel in Westwood. I marched into the lobby and cheerfully informed the concierge that I was there to use the pool - after all, LA.com said it was okay, right?

Wrong.

"I don't know who told you that", she said. "Our pool is for guests only. During the winter, non-guests may use the pool if they lease a cabana (for $300 per day), but during the summer, I'm afraid it's off-limits unless you have a room here".

For the record, she was very nice, but damn. The W has a terrific pool - I should know. I once worked on a movie that shot there, so I got a good look at it while I was wrapping cable and wishing I could jump in without having my toolbelt drag me to a watery grave in the deep end (or being drowned by my boss had he discovered me swimming while I should have been working).

Next stop, the Bel Age:

"Absolutely not" sniffed the guy at the front desk. "Besides the liability issue, we'd prefer our pool area remain exclusive. Which website was it that listed us? Our management would like to correct that error."

Double damn.

I'm sure at some point in the past, these places did allow non-guests in, otherwise a fine, upstanding website such as LA.com wouldn't have listed them.

Which means I missed the boat and am condemned to swelter this summer.

Triple damn.

Couch of the day:

Couch

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

1:15PM - Soccer fever!

LA is a famously multi-cultural city (although it is possible to ignore if one keeps to certain parts of the Westside), but the "melting pot-ness" becomes even more noticeable during the World Cup.

It seems everyone is soccer-crazed in the City of Angels.

The Korean lady at the laundromat roots for whichever team has the best legs - unless, of course, they play against Korea, and then they become 'dirty bums'.

The Persian guys in the coffeehouse have brought a portable TV from home so they don't miss any action (I have to squeeze in my coffee order during breaks), and in my favorite Indian restaurant service stops whenever someone makes a good play, and a bar on Hollywood Blvd proudly sports a banner announcing "Watch all World Cup games here!!"

The games are almost impossible to ignore - they blare from every apartment window, bar or eatery that's got a television, passing cars are tuned into the radio broadcast; pedestrians who don't have portable radios lean into the car windows to find out the score - in my neighborhood, it's possible to walk down the street and follow a game just by the sound from the open windows.

Yesterday, at the Farmer's Market, I saw three England supporters sitting outside in team jerseys and scarves (it was almost 90 degrees yesterday) while animatedly discussing that afternoon's game. I really wanted to root for England, but I felt I should follow my Korean mentor's lead. The Swedish team did have better legs.

These days the international language around here is the announcer's hysterical scream of "GOOOOOAAAAL!" (surprisingly, it's the same in every language).

I know the majority of Americans don't seem to care about soccer, but it sure doesn't seem that way around here.

Couch of the day (okay, so this one's a chair):

Couch

Monday, June 19, 2006

7:14PM - A more exciting weekend than usual

Saturday night's Subject Line Here was great - an incredibly talented group of folks reading some awesome material, and I finally got to meet the people whose lives I've been reading about for ages. As I left, I had the feeling that I'd spent the evening with some old friends, which in a way I had.

Sunday, Anthony Bourdain was signing books at the Hollywood Farmer's Market - I'm a HUGE fan, and am deeply ashamed to admit that I completely geeked out and probably made an ass of myself. Hey, at least I picked a fellow fan of Hunter S. Thompson and someone who's written some terrific books, right?

After the Farmer's Market, I walked around the corner to The Hungry Cat, where I met a friend for lunch and ordered a delicious crab frittata which unfortunately made me sick for the rest of Sunday and most of today. I'll still go back though. That place rocks, although I think I'll avoid dishes containing egg in the future.



Couch of the day:

Couch

Friday, June 16, 2006

5:12PM - A complete waste of time

Today, I had a mandatory interview with the unemployment people. I had to demonstrate that I was looking for work, since they're trying to weed out... well, I don't know who exactly they're trying to weed out, but I had to go to a work center in Hollywood to have an interview about my 'ongoing job search'.

I got lucky, as the counselor wasn't completely ignorant about film production (some of them are - I've had some excruciating telephone interviews before) and just ticked off that I'd attended the interview, checked my ID and told me that I have to put a resume in the online database.

Me: "Please don't take offense, but you do understand that this is completely pointless, right?"

Him: "Yeah, but everyone has to do it anyway. If you're an actor, just put in 'actor' and how long you've been working and it's fine. They just want to see a resume, or you'll be denied benefits."


Really now - what sort of resume am I going to have? "Work History: Cable monkey, occasional craft service pirate". I'm not even sure I had a resume back when they were still relevant. Nowadays if a producer wants to verify your work history, they look at your IMDB listing.

I did, however, enjoy sitting in the air-conditioning while I wrote and uploaded my joke resume ("Work History: Set Lighting Technician, 1994 to present"). It was hot as hell today.


Tonight, it's Subject Line Here, a performance where a group of fantastic bloggers are reading works, and the best part is that all proceeds go to the Leukemia/Lymphoma society.

Couch of the day:

Couch

Thursday, June 15, 2006

2:11PM - A magical evening

Last night, I managed to swing an invite to the Magic Castle. It was very last minute and I went with a group that I only know through email, but who turned out to be a great bunch of folks.

The Magic Castle is a private club just for magicians, and you have to know a member to get a guest pass. The last time I went was in the mid 90's after working on a movie called Lord of Illusions which had a magic consultant who handed out passes to anyone who asked and it was tons of fun, so I jumped at the chance to go again.

Although the Magic Castle has amazing shows, what's more fun for me is hanging out in the lounge with the magicians - they do things like try to one-up each other with card tricks while they're sitting at the bar, and it's just a riot.

The castle has a huge collection of magic-related artifacts and is an extremely cool place, which I hope I'll be able to visit again before another decade goes by.


Couch of the Day:

Chair

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

9:11AM - The answer to a burning question

As far as my job's concerned, actors are just meat. My work's pretty much the same no matter who's in front of the camera, hence my very rarely mentioning them on the blog, but I've been asked the 'which actors are cool' question more than almost any other. So, here you go:

Most of them fall into the 'meh' category. They don't really have much to say to the crew beyond bland pleasantries between takes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The only thing I really ask of actors is that they show up on time, know their lines and get the hell out of my way when I'm trying to work. In return, I stay the hell out of their way when they're trying to work and do my best to minimize on-set hazards (heavy items falling out of the rigging, tripping on cable, salami farts).

There are, however, some actors who are super nice and/or more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and I'm always glad to see their names on the cast list.

Some big love (in no particular order) to:

Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea (the only two actors I've ever worked with who have refused to cross an IATSE picket line, and I love them both for it)
Patrick Warburton
Liz Vassey
Nestor Carbonell
David Burke
George Clooney (even more fun than a barrel of drunk monkeys wearing clown suits)
Billy Bob Thornton
Guy Pearce
Joe Pantoliano
Johnny Depp
Mark Harmon
Annie Potts
Jean Smart
Keanu Reeves (who has always been very gracious about my inability to completely hide the schoolgirlish crush I develop whenever I work with him)



Keep in mind that this is just my list, and I'm sure I've forgotten someone. Every crew person's list is different, as it's possible for an actor to be a dream on one show and a complete pill on the next.


Couch of the day:

Couch

Monday, June 12, 2006

11:09AM - Another Strange obsession to stop me from getting anything done.

Part of living in a large city is seeing trash everywhere, and generally I don't notice it at all, but for some reason there was a very noticeable collective couch throwing-out in Hollywood over the weekend.

In the space of two hours, I saw all these couches:

Couch

Couch

Couch

Couch

Couch

This is only five of them. In an area of about a square mile, I found 12 abandoned couches.

Freaky.

Of course, I'm going out today with my camera to see if any other neighborhoods have had the same thing happen.

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