Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sunny and COLD
St. Lucia Day
Sunday, the printer suddenly sputtered, made a bunch of interesting and unusual sounds, spat out a document I’ve never seen before and certainly never asked it to print, then hummed and resumed printing properly. Go figure. Printer gremlins, I guess.
At any rate, I managed to print out “Tumble” and send it off.
That means I managed three MAJOR rewrites on Sunday – of “Blueberrying”, “Lady”, and “Tumble” and got them all out. Keep your fingers crossed. There’s plenty more that needs to be done. The only light edit was on “Lady” – which I revisited a few times this year with an eye to submission. “Blueberrying” needed some strong work, and “Tumble” had a quite a bit that needed to be fixed. It still comes in just under 12,000 words, but that’s how long it needs to be.
I woke up on Monday morning at a quarter to four from a dream that my car was stolen. I managed to quiet myself down and doze a bit, and woke just before the alarm at 5:45. Made the 7:09 train, got to the pick-up location early. Fortunately, the van arrived a minute or two after I did, and I had a warm place to sit.
We went waaaaaaay out into Queens – it’s so beautifully decorated for the holidays. The holding area was an old sports/shooting club that must have a delicious history. It was halfway between the two locations set for the day – and we had to be driven to each one. We unloaded the racks of clothes we needed for the background from the truck – a REAL wardrobe truck, complete with platform that raises and lowers on the back, so you can roll out the rack and then move the platform down and roll it off, not the kind we had on the last pilot, where we had to carry it up and down the stairs. Then, the truck moved closer to the location.
These producers actually appreciate their crews, and they understand what wardrobe does. We had enough people to efficiently dress over 100 background, including providing police uniforms for an entire group. There were one or two chaotic moments – you tell casting “Send me someone who will fit into a jumpsuit sized large” and they send over a giant who had to be an XXL at the very least – so we had to pull someone else from the group who’d fit into the costume and redress the big guy so he could be a mourner. One woman had a fuchsia knit hat – I mean, come on, you’re background, for crying out loud, you’re supposed to blend in. And one woman wore bright pink boots.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s a reason some of these never make it beyond being, as one person put it, “scenery you have to feed.”
And yet, many of them are lovely people. Especially on this show. It’s a different casting agency who casts the background than the agency that cast the background for the pilot I worked on in October. What a huge difference.
We get everyone dressed, everyone’s rehearsed. We’re on a hilltop overlooking the water with the Manhattan skyline in the background. It’s gorgeous, even though there are snow flurries.
And then, there’s no camera.
The camera truck was held up at a security checkpoint when it tried to come out of Manhattan.
So we all pile back into trailers and vans, etc., and when the camera truck arrived, they worked as fast as they could to get it set up so we could shoot.
Because, of course, it’s pre-Solstice, and there are a limited number of daylight hours.
They used two cameras. The takes were very long – they’re going to do something interesting with the footage – I’m not sure if it’s cross fades or if there will be voice-overs or what – but it’s going to look stunningly beautiful and I think the scene will be moving.
Once we lost daylight, wardrobe broke for lunch – like at 5 PM – and then we went back to holding to get the BG out of the funeral costumes and into the costumes for the other location. We’d checked them for both at the top of the day, so it wasn’t a big deal, and, like I said, there were enough of us so that returning costumes ran smoothly.
We bagged everything up into a van, broke down two of the three racks, and three of us went back to the studio. Since it is a studio, there’s always something shooting, and people are friendly, no matter what the production.
We unloaded the costumes and got them back to our own offices; then one wardrobe person went back to set, and the other one and I headed back to Manhattan and then back home. I got home about 10 PM.
I’m booked on the show for the next two weeks, or they would have used me up until Christmas. Then they’re on hiatus for two weeks, starting back up on January 3.
But they definitely want to use me again in January. They like having me around and I like being there. The hours are kind of killer, but the money’s good and the atmosphere is good. And I can’t wait to see what it looks like on screen.
It was cold out in the cemetery, but I had a body warmer on my lower back, one on my shoulder, toe warmers and hand warmers, plus my Timberland boots and my LL Bean coat, so it was all good. And, using the body warmers meant not that I just got through it, but I wasn’t in pain at all and could function properly. First time I’ve been on set when I haven’t been popping the ibuprofen or some other sort of over-the-counter pain blocker. I didn’t need it.
I think I need to invest in box of body warmers for my life.
Going to try to get some writing done before heading in to the city at 10 AM and starting Holiday Hell at the show.
It was good to work hard and have a distracting day.