Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ice on Mars and the woes of reality TV...

It's been six months since my last blog...half the year is gone and therefore I will be reflecting on experiences on both commercials, a feature, and of course a reality tv show that I almost walked off of...on several occasions.

Mostly, I'm a commercial and documentary guy (I know, opposite ends of the spectrum)...either working 3 or four days at the most with easy setups or busting ass in hot or freezing locales, humping gear for hours on end and then partying and living by the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead"...But never have I worked on a reality show where it's 12+ hours a day of doing nothing but watch 9 tools rome around a mansion, talking about their virginity, boobs, methods of measuring penises and ultimate fighting...I could go on, but I'll save you the time.  If there is one person that reads this blog, please heed my warning...Never be a Pelco Camera Operator.  I was an AC and production fired their Pelco op.  I had never worked in reality and didn't even know what a 'Pelco Camera' was until the next day.  I found out I would be spending 12 hours a day sitting in a chair, maneuvering a security camera to follow the cast around and film them whenever something intriguing that corresponded with the story would happen.  At first I was psyched...I mean sitting around in Air conditioning next to the director and executive producer plus the operator credit, what more could I ask for, right?  WRONG!  After about two to three hours into the first day, I hated it.  I loathed the job and I thought, "I have 19 more days of this?"  I mean don't get me wrong a paycheck is a paycheck, but in all honesty I feel as if I've waisted a month of my life.  No offense to anyone who makes their living working on reality tv shows, but I don't think I'll ever work in that field again...unless of course it's a PA spot, because the PA's on this sucked...When I was a PA I kicked ass and most of the ones in Arizona do, but this group was terrible.  No one handled lockups, helped any of the other departments; I mean I would leave the control room to help Art Department move furniture while they were standing by crafty.  I have yet to decide how much of it is their fault or the AD's though.

On a side note, they found Ice on Mars?  How long until we can move?

Until next time (hopefully not another six months),

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

No Donny, these men are cowards... feels good to have a nice day of work for a change.  After about a month and half without work, I must say, I love checkouts.  Fighting with a video assist system, I missed it.  I missed everything about a camera checkout.  I'm in a happy mood now, there is some more work on the horizon...

I did just see Atonement the other night.  Good movie, I didn't, however, come to the understanding on how it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture.  I thought that 'There Will Be Blood' and 'No Country For Old Men' far surpassed that film in all aspects of production quality, acting, and story.  'Atonement' did have "the shot", so referred to by obvious film school students in the theatre.  They were speaking of a steadicam shot that lasted, oh I don't know, maybe three minutes or so.  I will admit, it would have been a hell of an experience operating, and even pulling focus on that shot.  I can't imagine, going soft about two minutes into it and realizing it and then having to just keep going without screwing up again.  So much pressure, I mean, when I hear, "let's role on this one", I can feel a reaction in my gut that tells my brain, "don't fuck this up" but I can't imagine being the first on that shot.  I have a lot of respect for them.

I still believe that Daniel Day Lewis is the best actor of our, or even any generation.  He completely consumes a character when he takes a role.  Tremendous respect and admiration for that man...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mark it zero!!!

"Am I the only one that gives a shit about the rules?"

I was kicked out of a coffee shop today, while trying to write my second attempt at a blog.  I have a lot of free time on my hands now, but not enough to be jerked around by some douche-bag whose most difficult task of the day is to mold his hair into the perfect faux-hawk.  Why is it that you must continue to spend money in a coffee shop to use their "free wi-fi"?  The sign does say "FREE" doesn't it?  Well apparently you have to spend a minimum of ten dollars to sit for more than an a half hour.  It then came to my attention that he was right, the place was PACKED!...what with three people sitting down, taking up only one table.

Anyway, back on to the subject at hand.  Is it me, or does the world need retreat back to the days of natural selection?  A friend of mine, who just so happens to be a raving racist, brought this up to me during the holidays.  Though I don't agree with him that the hispanics, would die off if that were the case, I do see his point thoroughly in the area of stupidity.  There are some people that just would not be able to survive on their own if it was forced upon them.  There's too much coddling these days.  I for one am taking a stand now...the rules have changed.  I am voting natural selection in 2008...let the dumb and ignorant ride off into the sunset.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Man from Vancouver

About three months ago, I was happy, working in the camera department, preparing and testing gear that was about to be shipped to Saudi Arabia for a shoot.  There were some other jobs on the horizon.


A bomb, in the form of a strike exploded on my doorstep.  The 'prep' job ended and I was degraded to searching the pages of 'craigslist' and for jobs.  "Doing business on Craigslist is not the way to do business, boy", said my mentor/friend from Vancouver.  This coming from a man with 15+ years experience on film sets who could find work if he were living in Sri Lanka.  Let me just tell you, that I can't even get a job as an AC working on an AFI or USC thesis film.  So here I am, a 2nd AC, living in L.A. with no contacts for work.  We'll see how long I last.  God I just love to bitch sometimes...