Friday, January 21, 2011


  Not much to report. It's TV, which basically means that you start every Monday somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00am, depending on how much of a precall you need to build cranes or load stakebeds, or whatever the puppetmasters have pre-ordained for you to do. By Wednesday, you're probably coming in by 10:00am at the earliest; and by Friday, it's either a split, or a straight night. Which is what we have. We seriously started on stage on Monday, worked on stage all week until Friday, which is a full night exterior in Long Beach. Now, those of you from Los Angeles will immediately know that Long Beach is a peel job. Those of you who aren't, will have to have it described to you. Long Beach is the one location, besides Palmdale, that all Angelinos roll their eyes and sigh wearily at when they hear it. It's far. From everything. There is literally nowhere in Los Angeles close to Long Beach except Long Beach. And if you happen to live in Long Beach, it still sucks because Long Beach, no matter how pretty it sounds, is a hole. You know those TV shows that always end with a shootout at the docks because a drug deal is going down on some boat of Liberian Registry? Long Beach. Every episode of NCIS or CSI:Miami that involves any kind of shipping container of dubious contents, whether it be kidnapped immigrants or Columbian White? Long Beach. So, tomorrow at around, oh, the beginning of the Los Angeles rush hour, I will begin my trek to Long Beach. To shoot the non-descript exterior parking lot of a bar that you could find replicated hundreds of times over in the environs of the San Fernando Valley. But I digress (because I have now had three rum and cokes). What I meant to say was that I sent my dolly in for servicing because three weeks of dusty, crappy locations had rendered it pretty near unusable. As most of you know, I generally prefer the Hustler 4. It's not really the best location dolly, but is the most versatile. For my show, a Hybrid with roundy -round would be ideal, but as it isn't available yet, the stoutness of the arm combined with the versatility of the roundy steering of the Hustler 4 make it the best choice for now. I'm going to digress here again- I love the Hustler 4. In my opinion, Chapman has created the ultimate dolly- for studio work. I can put an operator anywhere on it. I pushed a Hybrid for years but when the Hustler 4 debuted, it literally changed what was possible as far as where I could put a camera or an operator on a set. The biggest drawback in it is, its' low ground clearance, and the exposed rails the arm rides on. I could drag a Hybrid sideways behind a stakebed through the swamp for weeks (and have) and it just wouldn't stop. The Hustler 4, however, is more of a stage dolly. Anyway, I sent my dolly in for servicing and Chapman gave me a replacement. True to form, the replacement is better than the one I sent in for servicing. So here I am, Mr Big Time TV Show Dolly Grip, insisting to Chapman that I get my dolly back once it's serviced, and he sends me this one. Number 4* (yeah, like I'm going to tell you which one it is). It practically booms itself. I think I could call it on my cell phone and tell it when to boom up or down and it would do it. It's that good. So now I have to figure a way out to tell the Chapman tech that I want to keep this perfectly tuned machine after I've made an ass of myself insisting that I want the dolly that I'
ve done two shows on, that he's having serviced, back. The funny thing is, I m pretty sure I've had this dolly before. Back, long ago when I used to do movies. I remember you number 4*. And now you're mine again.
Anyway, I'm beginnig to ramble. But you get the general idea. That being, I made a big deal of insisting to my Chapman rep that I get "my" dolly back, and the temp replacement being better. Anyway. I 'm going to make another drink, so have a good night. See you in Long Beach.

I intended this morning to do what I call my "MASR,"   pronounced like "laser" or "Morning After Sober Rewrite." But, I've decided that the Captain (Morgan)'s writing style has a certain creepy charm that I rather like. The run-on sentences and awkward examples give it a flavor all it's own. So I've decided to leave it as-is, with apologies to Long Beach, Palmdale, NCIS, CSI:Miami, my high school English teacher, and anyone else who reads this random, seemingly pointless post.


The Grip Works said...

Ha ha ha !! D, you are hilarious. Enjoy your drink. I was on set with Gina and we tried calling you, but I got your voicemail.
On a separate note, I have to say that Chapman has the best customer service of any company I have ever encountered in this business.
Had a question for Frank, and called him way after office hours (time difference confusion) and he very patiently and happily gave me the information I needed over a 20 minute phone call.

Michael Taylor said...

Great post. I absolutely hate those location calls in Long Beach, and for a long night shoot in January? Awful. The only saving grace is that when you're driving home Saturday morning, there won't be any traffic -- but that's only after fourteen hours of yawning torture.

Have fun...

A.J. said...

For some reason, your "Captain Morgan" posts are usually my favorite. Don't ever do an MASR. :)

D said...

Geoworks I got your message and gina sent us a great pic. Have fun!
Aj they're my favorite too but I try to have a little decorum.