I the course of our day-to-day activities, we are sometimes called upon to simply LOOK as if we're accomplishing something, without really accomplishing anything other than making others feel better. I call this eyewash.
I don't know where the term originated, or where I even heard it, but I've always used it to refer to these situations. An example- The DP asks you to "lock off" an effects shot even though you know from talking with the operator that it will be unoperated and no one will touch it during the shot. So, you dutifully grab an arm, a head, and a mag clamp and affix some good old fashioned eyewash to the camera. The DP sees it and is happy. Even though it's essentially doing nothing. Other examples of eyewash are- harnesses in a scissor lift, a furni pad over the operator for a squib hit that's 50 feet away, a lenser for the moon. There's nothing wrong with eyewash. It scores you points easily without having to do much actual work. I'm a fan of it no matter how I may roll my eyes when I'm doing it. I know all of you have some good eyewash stories. Let's hear 'em.
Please note that the wheels are incorrectly turned. I am aware of this.
The first time I heard eyewash used in that sense was at a commercial studio in tne early 80s, when I was starting. The head prop there would build a kitchen set for product shots, saying the clients needed the eyewash to feel they were being treated respectfully.
Clearing the actors eyeline till infinity ...
The extra half-hitch on a knot that doesn't really need it. All it does is make it look "beefier" (read: "safer").
Working on an episodic in atlanta at the new screen gems stages. It sits next to the lakeshore apitheater which usually isnt a problem for stage 5 because it is so far away from the the music. But on this day the parking lot for the ampitheater which is adjacent to the soundstage was filled with 2 stages and a moto x ramp for an all-day metal show. Now our lead actress had a thing about noise on set and would get frazzled and shut down if she ever got distracted. That day the windows of the house set were buzzing, china in the kitchen was moving around- it was like metallica was at video village. So the first ad had us build a giant furni pad wall on mambos and a 20' speedrail to cover the elephant doors! We did it. We called it "the wall of futility". But it made them happy. In all honesty, it was eyewash-it didnt to jack.
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