Monday, October 20, 2008


Another early start with an early finish. So early in fact after rigging today's location, a number of small locations in the woods. We went back to the stage to chill for 3 hours before scooting home in time for lunch. Why not just go home you ask? The chill mode at the stage served 3 purposes. One, we needed to hang in the oft, oft chance there was some sort of emergency on set and we needed to get back there to help. After a couple hours, however, the shooters are on their own. No blame attached to us. Two, by chilling at the stage we gave the Monday morning rush hour traffic a chance to subside. Making for a very breezy ride home. More on that later. The third reason was for the guys with families. I don't think any of those guys wanted to get home before their kids got to school thereby plunking them right smack dab in the middle of the morning chores.
The ride home was awesome. The sun was shining, the roads were clear and my Ipod shuffle was the perfect sound forever. Every tune was a winner. The one after the perfect complement. It was uncanny. There was a point were I was speeding up I-95 singing (in full throat, of course) Jaheim's "Happiness" followed by Sophie Ellis Bextor's "Murder on the dance floor". Man, for this old huntin' dog, it don't git any better than that.
This got me to thinking about carpooling. And how I try to avoid it like the plague.
This country is in trouble on many fronts. There's a recession on and gas prices are ridiculous. The carbon footprint is enormous. We drive so much in this business, you would think people would be clamoring to carpool. I actually share a place with a guy I work with. Not really. I'm sure everyone has their reasons. For me the reason is simple. I like my space and I need to sing in the car. It makes me feel whole. After a bummer of a day, nothing gets me back to one like some hardcore (don't call it gangsta) rap. After days like that, I turn up the Mobb Deep and jet back to to the cultural warmth of the hood. Smooth Tha Hustla lets me know that its all about the dough and I remember that all this craziness is just business. Nas and Jay-Z are reassuring. I'm reminded that they can't touch me and that there is a deluxe apartment in the sky. Redman is like carpooling with the spirit of Redd Foxx. These raw displays of blackness would likely make my carpool mates a little uneasy. NPR is great for the drive in, but after work its go time. Then there are days like today when I just want to celebrate my freedom and make a joyful noise for the lord. Honestly, I can't sing a lick and nobody should be subjected to that, so everybody wins.
I consider myself a pretty green black guy. I recycle, I conserve. I read labels. I've been involved in organic farming in the hood and I try to ride my bike whenever possible. But there are some things a man can't budge on. I tend to luxuriate in the shower as well. Otherwise, I'm a pretty green black guy.

On the serious side however. Film sets can sometimes be ecological nightmares. Trucks idling all day long. Half filled plastic water bottles are strewn everywhere. And tons of materials wasted and then discarded. Even I, conscious of the situation find it hard to reign in my wasteful tendencies. It does takes extra effort. You tend to be really focused on whatever your doing and then on the move quickly. There are people paid to clean up after us so its really easy to lose the common sense about these things that at home most of us are more than willing to take care of. We all want to do the right thing, so when there is any kind of effort. We are more than willing to help out. I believe it was Carmen Diaz who bought a shitload of travel mugs for a production so that people wouldn't waste so many coffee cups.The production I'm on currently gave little out little flasks and then banned plastic water bottles from craft service. Commendable efforts both. I know there are probably many efforts across the country. The one that does a lot of good around here is called FaERI. It is headed up by the lovely and tireless Jodi Baldwin. The girl needs help. Its a massive effort. Look her up and help her out if you are so inclined. Better yet, start your own. It's a good thing and trust me, helping out does wonders to help ease the guilt of singing at the top of your lungs in an empty car.


Michael Taylor said...

I'm glad to see that you're back posting. You have a good strong blog going here.

Nice post.

Anonymous said...

Big fan of Michael Taylor's blog, which is how I found my way here. Glad I did. I'm just getting started in the wonderful world of Electric, so thanks for sharing your tales.

JD said...

I find the water bottle thing very disturbing myself. Being freelance (I.E. unemployeed)in G&E, I always try to do my part on shoots by Re-cycling as much of the gels and other expendables into my truck on the last day, so I can Re-use them when I work as Gaffer on other indie shoots.