Sunday, March 9, 2008

The week in review

Friday was the kind of day that sometimes gives me great distaste for this business. As Rigging Grips on this movie our world revolves around using these 4 humongous frames made of truss used to block out the sun, so the Director of Photography can always shoot in the right light, which is bleak gray. We have a 60ft x 40ft, a 40x30 and 2 20x30's, one made out of aluminum that I have come to have very negative feelings about(see previous post). We were told that all of the frames were going to work all day so get ready. And we did. we arrived 4 hours before the shooters to "skin" all the frames and place the 30x40 over the trains for the first scene by use of huge crane. Everything huge on this picture. The process of moving these frames is amazing. 4 guys on one roof. 4 guys on the opposite roof. All holding rope guiding this thing while its being hoisted by this crane. Must be what wrangling a huge float in the Macy's day parade is like. We are all set to go when the DP and the Director show up. We can see from the roof there is a serious conversation going on and lots of Production Assistants are scurrying all over. Never a good sign. All of a sudden we are being told to move the frame as quickly as possible. Apparently the Director and DP have decided to shoot a completely different scene. Interior. What? The next thing you know are being told the frames will not work today and we have to dismantle everything and get out of the sight of the Director and DP, because they hate seeing riggers. Pronto. It doesn't matter in the slightest the man hours and materials and coordination required to have the first thing ready, never mind completely changing on the fly. All to suit the whims of the folks we call " above the line". Meanwhile, we have an additional rigging crew who were supposed to leave at the start the day to the next location to start the rigging work there. They've been waiting here because we had a supposed all hands on deck situation. Now most of our 10 hour day has been shot. Mark and I are the first ones at the new location at 4:30. We don't see anyone until the truck and Scott arrive an hour later. Because its Friday and I have a date, I have a vested interest in stepping up, being proactive, taking a leadership role and spearheading things until the best boy and key grip arrive. The problem is that the info from the key and the best is confusing and contradictory. The other problem is we haven't officially broken for lunch, meaning we are all still on the clock for meal penalties. The problem here is that Production would rather sacrifice a limb than pay overtime or meal penalties to riggers. So what they do is make a deal with the key to not bill for either, instead padding an extra hour on the time card. The key then often tells the crew that we won't cry about the O.T. and M.P.s and instead we'll "stick it to 'em" by padding on extra hours, which turns out to be one. Some days that little move can add 10 tho 15 taxable dollars. Yipee. The reason production wants to make this deal and keys are rewarded for bringing this home to the crew are days like today. The hour of overtime was worth $45. The meal penalties were worth $150 dollars. There were 8 crew members so you see how this works. Long story short. Both trucks and all crew members(minus the key who never showed) finally arrived at 8:30pm. And we still have to unload the truck. About an hour that can totally be done the next day when we actually start rigging. Long story shorter. We got nothing done all day and I could barely stay awake through midnight dinner with my girlfriend. yipee.

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