Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"I'll shoot the man who's not loyal to me!"

Location: Readeville Stage
in: 7:15am
Out: 5:15 pm

Those words came from my boss Tom today during lunch. Considering whats been on my mind lately, the words were chilling. He was talking about what a great job this is, and he's right. Its a 100million dollar dollar picture. It shoots forever, and its the best rate in town. And its a huge credit. The other two thirds on the Job, Scott and Andrew are superior rigging grips. They have a ton of experience and they know how to do everything. I'll learn so much from them if I stick around. I'm torn. Rigging Gaffer of this film, Scott(the boss) Davis is the coolest guy in town. He says go with the money, always. That means I'll stay. I think he thought I was just day playing on this film. Meaning that he thought the better money job was the other one. Maybe it is about money. Does it matter that I feel cooler and more plugged in when I'm lighting if i'm making a ton a cash being a grip. I'm not sure anymore. I'm not sure it matters to anyone else but me. I'm starting to think I shouldn't worry so much about it.
The other big issue is that I've been sick as a dog the last two days. I probably should have called in sick today. The two guys I caught it from did. Mark blames Geoff and Mark and I decided that at least for a little while he would be referred to only as "The Outbreak Monkey".
I think its fitting. I feel a little better than I did last night so hopefully I'll feel a little better tomorrow. Can't call in sick in your first week on the job.

Monday, February 25, 2008

First Day

In: 7:15

Today was my first day as a rigging grip on a very big budget picture. The rigging key Billy seems like a very nice man. The best is Tom Doran. A very nice man who has really done a lot to help me out in this business. Its a very long job. I believe it may go into early July. Its shaping up to be a great experience on a really big picture. There's only one problem. I thinking very seriously about quitting the job in 3 weeks to take another job on a smaller production that will probably be that considerably less lucrative. Why? Because I'm convinced that my long term happiness and success lies in being a full time electric. There are many reasons why I think this so. For one I feel more engaged when I'm working as a lamp operator. You're closer to the gaffer, whose closer to the Director of Photography, which is really what its all about for me. I love movies(Working on and watching) mostly because of the way they look, the photography. 400 Blows was the first film that I fell in love with, when I was 16. I was spellbound. The stark black and white photography was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Its been that way ever since. I love wathching gaffers and DPs work. Grips have as much if not more sometimes to do with the visual style of a film, but the lights are sexy! I'm also not particularly handy with tools. Pretty much a prerequisite for gripping.
There are cultural differences as well. Grips drink domestic beer, period. Electrics favor imports and microbrews. Electrics tend to be better read, slightly more refined individuals. Grips often talk like mobsters. I read the New Yorker cover to cover and have a passion for 90's indie rock and deep house music. I think at heart I'm a set lighting technician. Electrics aren't perfect. If you're a grip, whether for a day or a career, every grip is your brother and will go to the wall for you. Electrics will definitely leave you hanging from time to time.
Anyway, after the first day on the big show, I was definitely feeling the love and the benefit of staying on for the full run and probably making a shitload of money. Stay tuned. I forgot to take a picture. I gotta get in the habit.