Sunday, July 10, 2011

End of Season Roundup

  Seven months of splits, nights, splinter units, inserts, cold, heat, dust, blood (real and fake), and sweat are finally over. No matter what you think of the show, (I make it a point not to use too specific names on this site. It's just safer in the long run but it's not hard to figure out, usually, who or what I'm talking about) it is a huge undertaking and a logistical nightmare. We have six stages filled to the fire lane with at least twelve standing interior sets. Each stage has it's own basic grip package that is augmented with the truck package. I have two dance floor packages and a subfloor cart that rolls around to wherever we happen to be, not to mention a hundred feet of track, and a set of bucks for exterior and sometimes interior dance floor. Location wise, we have a standing exterior set at Warner Brothers, and several permanent exterior sets at a ranch out toward Malibu, and an exterior in Long Beach. This year we travelled the distance from Lancaster, Ca to Long Beach, which is about as diverse and distant as you can get on a show. All this is further complicated by double-up days where a second unit comes in, necessitating two extra dollies and track. I have to thank my B Camera Dolly Grip, Demian, who stepped up to the plate and made my life so much easier. He's normally an A Camera guy and having someone who can take over when I need a day (or week) off is always a relief. We also have one of the finest grip departments I've ever worked with, from the Key Grip down. There's not much these guys can't do. I had several fantastic Dolly Grips come in for splinter units and B camera and they were all great. So, Chris, Matt, Tony, Chris, Dave, Jason, George, Devin, and I'm sure I've forgotten at least one, thank you.
  As hard a show physically and logistically as it is, it would really be a nightmare if everyone didn't get along. This show, however is blessed with a great cast and crew and we all really work well together. Anyone who has ever done a TV show for any length of time knows how after a while you begin to become like a family. This may be because you actually spend more time with your TV family than your real one. There's nothing like an endless string of 12 to 14 hour days in various conditions with the same people over and over to draw a cast and crew together. Under those conditions, troublemakers get weeded out pretty quick (although usually given a few chances). Usually, we just make the best of it and laugh as much as possible. I think laughing is the key. Otherwise in the middle of a 70 hour week, you begin to wonder what the point is.
  The Camera Department? Best in the world. Thanks Simon, Brad, Weezy, James, John, Neblowski, Joel, Dave, and Romeo.
   We used a lot of toys. Here are some of them: Hustler 4 and Peewee 4, Super Peewee 3, Hybrid 3, CS Base, High Post Kit, Raptor, and Hydrascope from Chapman, Moviebird 35-45 from Procam Rentals, Fisher 23 jib arm from JL Fisher, 20' and 30' Technocrane from Panavision Remote, Aerocrane jib. Superslider, and Modern slider, Libra head (Thanks Aaron), Aerohead and Scorpio Head. I do want to thank especially Hammer, Brian and Jason, and Joe from Procam Rentals. These guys are the best. Steve, Shafi, Jason, and Christine from Chapman also did a great job and never let me down. Hopefully, I didn't lose anything.
  I am now officially unemployed for the near future. If you need a slightly used, but well rested Dolly Grip in August or September (let's just make it September), give me a call.
   Vacation time!


Crnic said...


enjoy your vacation! You sure do deserve one.

I'll actiually be heading over to the US tomorrow for a month long vacation (SF and LA mostly). I've got a three page shopping list for Filmtools over on West Burbank Boulevard, and I'd like to step by Fisher aswell to get to know how their dollies should feel like (the ones I've used have spent most of their years far away from home, in Europe.) I recon it'll be awesome.

Keep the posts coming, and have a fantastic summer!


Anonymous said...


Call Fisher, ask for Frank Kay or for Allan Fiorito, tell them Wick gave them your names. If you do so with a little advance notice, they'll be able to show you around the place.


Anonymous said...

Hela D,

Enjoy your well deserved holiday!!!


The Grip Works said...

Hey D,
Enjoy it while you can !
If you speak to Christine, please explain to her that my plans to come to Chapman after I finished in Rhode Island had to be put on hold. I came back to Bombay to be with my family for obvious reasons.

D said...

Thanks everyone. Will do Sanjay. Be safe.