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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

L.A. Proper

Working on a set is a lot like going to camp. The real world kind of falls away, outside news intake drops off, you're thrown in with the other campers going through the shared struggle / way of life of trying to convert the script to footage... It's got its own rituals - the things that are acceptable to discuss at different points of the shoot (so what do you do? where are you from? how'd you get here? What are you doing next? Got a card?) - inside jokes ("Anyone want an apple? We haven't got anymore water, but there's gum.") and games. It's an application of the rule Spider Robinson puts forth every few pages in a given Callahan collection - shared pain is lessened, shared joy is multiplied. In this instance, I didn't much like the movie, but I quite enjoyed making it. The wordy, oft-mumbled or drowned-out-by-helicopters script seemed to meander, with a handful of leads that...come to think of it, I was there and I don't know how any of the subplots turn out. Hm.

Regardless, if I had to be at Lake Routinely-shut-down-by-police, curiously scheduled, upper-management-seems-vaguely-disinterested, I'm glad it was with the team we had. A routinely impressive art department, a crew with a common sense of humor and determination to make as much of the days as possible, and an AD team struggling to hold it all together. Extra special thanks to Danny the grip, Angel the Camera PA, Marina the beachcomber, Monty on production stills, Bill, and that bloody roadblock in MU/H.

In G&E we squeezed a lot from a small lighting package (so far, the smallest kit I've worked with on a show that had 'real' gear). Typically, we had our daylight or tungsten 'looks,' but every so often we got to rig something interesting. Photos should be on flickr in a few days, for the good stuff. And we learned some valuable lessons, like how many kinos can run on my 150w inverter (1x4' + 4x2' tubes on three ballasts, cube tapped into the inverter). I found that in particular especially interesting, since I was working on my kino-flo merit badge. (Requirement 6a. Change 2 4x4' banks and 1 4x2' bank of kinos from daylight tubes to tungsten. b. and back again. c. And again. d. And again. e. Once more, just in case.)

And now that it's over, I've got a couple of days to re-integrate with the real world via laundry, paying off a production-sponsored parking ticket, and buying some food (since I can't just eat on-set), amongst other miscellany.

Most folks tend to do alright with their co-workers out of necessity as much as anything else (shared grief? common enemies?), so you pick the camp you go to and you do even better. People who show up with the earnest intent to make a film will probably get along well with others of the same mind. And a movie doesn't typically go on forever, so that means going to camp again and again (if you're lucky) and throwing in with further teams, so on and so on. And we're all in this business to make friends, right?