This past week, those of us in the northern hemisphere were lucky enough to have the Summer solstice mark the official start of the hot season.
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” is great when you’re kicking it by the pool with a nice book, but as the mercury rises in the thermometer, there ain’t nothing easy about pushing hard through a 12 hour day.
So if you’re out there on a set right now, make sure you got the right clothes, some bug spray, and plenty of water — and if you get a chance, take a break and read some of the interesting comments left on the site this week.
This Week’s Comments
Here are some great comments from the week at The Black and Blue:
1. Andrew on If You’re Lost on Location, Hope for the Best
As Key Set on a full length feature shot in Winston-Salem NC, I got “asked” to drive the costume truck to set one morning from the PO. I grab the directions that were in the file that day and take off.
Not only were the directions wrong, the wrong on the whole “North or South” issue and found myself an hour away in the wrong direction. At 5:45 am. With a 6 am call time. In the rain. And no gas.
I show up on set quite late and explain the situation, and thankfully all was clear and I wasn’t blamed or yelled at. But it certainly wasn’t fun!
I know a funny story from the key grip who taught me the trade:
He bought an extra truck from a car rental company years and years ago. Because it was so busy, and he was a bit lazy, he didn’t take off the sticker signs with the company name of the truck.
One day he had a shoot in the north of the country and the key make up artist, who also brought the whole wardrobe, saw him driving on the highway. Since it was in the early 80’s and there where no cell phones nor gps devices and she was not so keen with finding the right directions she decided to follow that truck to the set. After almost a 1 1/2 hour drive she noticed she was going a bit to far north ways and decided to overtake the rental truck and checkout what going wrong.
When she was riding next to the truck she noticed it was not a key grip driving that truck but just someone else who rented a truck that morning for who knows what! She took the first exit and turned around to drive back an whole hour and find the right route again.
After 1 1/2 hour she finally found the set and every one was waiting on her for like 2 1/2 hours. The 2 AD called her husband cause he was very worried because they called him because she didn’t showed up on time.
An extra tip: always follow your own route or gps! :-)
3. Steveo on If You’re Lost on Location, Hope for the Best
How can you NOT work with a GPS ? either stand alone or on your phone. while not perfect my iphones have saved me from being late countless times. its a professional investment of gear for your career, never leave home w/o it !
In fact, I’d consider a smart phone with a high or unlimited TM add on pretty much a requirement. ditto email on your phone. it solves so many typical production problems I could never imagine not having one… except maybe a data connected iPad :)
To add to this post, wrapping cables so they look good, clean, and safe is a great way for a PA to look busy on set when there’s not much to do. Having a clean set of cables is a plus for anyone who walks on to view the action (producers) but be careful, you don’t want to wrap a cable before it’s in its final resting place. Someone could still be placing it!
That’s why I also recommend that when you coil a cable, you place it on the ground so that if someone were to pull the cable (needing more) it will pull off itself easier from the top, rather than the bottom.
If you put the coil upside down, and someone pulls the cable from the bottom of the coil, it drags the whole coil with it, and gets caught on various things around the set, including feet!
One of the saddest things I ever saw back in my days in live sound was a brand spanking new 48 way analogue multicore (a REALLY nice one with beautifully made tails and stage box) get completely destroyed by over eager students just yanking at it repeatedly like a tug-of-war when de-rigging. Still have nightmares :)
Join the Discussion
Now’s the perfect time for you to leave a comment on The Black and Blue.
Because the community is expanding in a wonderful way (over 1,000 fans on Facebook now!) and I want you to be a part of it.
So if you read an article you like and think you have a great tip to add on, a cool story to tell, or simply have a question to ask, then leave a comment and join the discussion!