An unfortunate, and somewhat ironic, by-product of working in the movie business is that you have little time to see any actual movies unless they're late night bleary eyed cable or Netflix offerings. I hadn't been to a theater in probably a year or more before my wife and I hired a babysitter and ran out to see The Bourne Legacy, which I actually liked. Not as much shaky-cam and a good performance by Jeremy Renner made it quite enjoyable. I still haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises, and only got out to see the incredibly disappointing and overblown Prometheus while I was on location and had a free Saturday afternoon to fill up. Luckily it was one of those theaters that also doubles as a bar, so after the first plot hole, I started downing gin and tonics. It's a shame, really, because I still love the movies. I've had the great fortune of working regularly with a DP whom I admired before I even knew what a dolly grip did exactly. I just knew this DP shot movies that I really liked looking at. That he later became a friend and frequent coworker is one of the coolest things that could happen in my career.
There's still nothing quite like a darkened movie theater when the previews come up. I still get a little excited and it also gives me a chance to see firsthand what my fellow dolly grips have been up to. My buddy Azurgrip, who helps me run this site, had been telling me about the movie he had been doing last year involving multiple Technocranes and miles of greenscreen. When I saw the trailer for Pacific Rim, I suddenly understood what he had been talking about. I like watching the results of my friends and colleagues' labor. Too often, our contributions to the final product are lost in a sea of red carpet events and award shows, so I like seeing their work and knowing what long hours and years of expertise went into it, because only those of us who do this every day really recognize it when we see it.
On the same note, I recently managed to hire the babysitter and take the wife out for a night at the movies again. We saw Jack Reacher. I had long been a fan of the books by Lee Child so was somewhat jealous of my friend Bill Wynn when I learned he was doing it. Bill is a veteran with such credits as Talladega Nights and The Town. Billy and I worked together once a few years ago when I came in and did B Camera on some reshoots (This very reshoot as a matter of fact). We have a lot of mutual friends and have kept in touch over the years. Jack Reacher was great. It totally captured the spirit of the books, and Tom Cruise was a great Jack Reacher, though he is physically not anywhere near the 6'5", 250lb Reacher of the books. He nailed it with attitude and an understanding of the character. Bill did a great job. I texted him soon after watching and told him what a great movie it was and what a great job he did. He probably hates this but that's what this place is for, to recognize good work. Great job Billy!