Friday, July 06, 2012

Things That Don't Suck

In order to balance out the universe, it's only right to have a list of Things That Don't Suck.

In no particular order:

You know that perfect zone you get into when doing a boom up or down combined with a push-in and the speed of both match up exactly and the operator doesn't have to touch the tilt wheel? That doesn't suck, but it's a delicate balance.

Finding the one perfectly level piece of ground in the whole state. For a fifty foot run.

The director walking up and saying,"Thank you. Great shot."

A standing board that fits the first time.

Per Diem.

A UPM who actually understands how movies are made, not just how to read a balance sheet.

Seeing an old friend you last worked with over ten years ago.

Pulling off a very technical move on the first take.

Your family showing up at lunch.

fourteen hour turnarounds.

The familiarity of working with a camera and grip crew you know very well and with whom you've done several shows.

Having your B camera dolly grip walk up at the martini and saying, "The truck's loaded, just roll it in and we're done."

A really good wrap party. Not a snooty one with a jazz combo, but an open bar and a nasty funk band.

Finishing a show in December and knowing you have another one starting in January (Or even February).

A good stand-in.

Getting rained out on location, in a really cool city, early in the day.

Laundromats with bars in them.

Night exteriors downtown when you light up three city blocks.

Getting home while the sun is still up.

This is only a partial list. Please add your own in the comments.


Michael Taylor said...

I have to differ with you on "night exteriors downtown when you light up three city blocks."

The final result may look great, but as one of the army of juicers who had to run the cable, set the lamps, move them all night long from shot to shot, then wrap up all that heavy equipment and slam it back in the trucks as the sun rose over the city, I can attest that such a long, hard night sucks so much that it blows.

And I've got the bad back to prove it...

Other than that, nice list -- but
Laundromats with bars in them?

Where do such wonders exist?

D said...

Of course your night ex is considerably different from mine. I understand why you don't like them. For me they still generate that old excitement of being in the movie biz.
Yes, there are laundrymats with bars. They often have names like "Suds" or "The Beerwash" Great one in New Orleans called Checkpoint Charlies that also has great bands. Don't know if LA has any but I know Little Rock and Nola do.

A.J. said...

Haha. Michael beat me to it, on all counts.

Anonymous said...

Ah, checkpoint charlie's. They even let me bring my dog inside. Good tImes.

Anonymous said...

Oh man. I had a nice Beerwash experience in NoLA, 24hr Laundro-bar. We were switching to nights so we stayed up late and walked out of the bar with the morning sun coming up. Excellent experience.

Checkpoing Charlies is rad too.

EPR said...

A rates conversation that doesn't involve haggling. "What's your rate?" QUOTE "OK, great, and are you available through September?" SCORE

Properly marked "to crew parking" signs and "Equipment drop off" signs.

In on Friday, out on Friday.

Actors who ask their frame size and control their performance accordingly.

The Arri Alexa (a camera company makes a camera, industry shocked when it just works better)

DP's who understand "the right tool for the job"

Walking through a complicated shot for the first time, realizing how it truly helps tell the story, and it's a unique thing you're going to be very proud of (This isn't my "Goodfellas" shot, this is MY shot other guys will reference this movie about)

The Grip Works said...

Getting proper rehearsals ...
Good coffee at craft service ...
Lunch at lunchtime ...
Operators who dont say "WOOF"
Operators who dont waggle their fingers mid shot and expect you to interpret what it is they are saying


tony-bear said...

hot ruebens @ sandwich time
lattes and capos
porta-jib speed wheels
G I Track
I Phones

D said...

Great additions guys!

Nathan said...

Things that don't suck:

Arriving on set to find that the caterer parked exactly where you showed him on the map to park...not where the generator needs to land.

Prepping a neighborhood and at least 3 out of 5 people say, "Oh, cool! you're gonna shoot a movie here?"

Every store on the block that needs to stay lit up all night just leaves you the keys and says, lock up when you're done.

Having a picture that proves that the big-assed crack in the wall was there three weeks before the crew showed up.

Phil W (Dolly Grip in UK) said...

Great list.

Doing a very technical move and getting it in one take, the DOP then winking and saying one word "Meastro" (happened to me last week)

Locations with Elevators

Booking a crane to lift my camera crane over a building

Production meetings where the young cute female office runner calls you sir

When you get a call from a DOP you've worked with before saying he won't do the shoot unless you're on board