Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curse you for breathin' ya slack-jawed idiot.

So I haven't posted in almost a week but I don't think it matters since no one is reading this anyway. Well, that's not true. My mom reads it and thinks I'm the coolest, just ask her!

The past few days have been rather. . . interesting? I worked on a music video on Thursday and Friday and it beat me down. I don't really feel like the work itself was particularly hard, it was more that the lack of organization or planning taxed my intellect. Normally we all show up, the various departments and whatnot, and we pull our gear out and everything is organized and ready to go and we wait to see what the director wants to do. Not a bad state of affairs really, military-style hierarchy, everyone has a job to do so we arrive at the goal of completing the day's work. Nice. Neat. Straightforward. Not on this one. I was talking to the Key Grip, my pal, at one point and we decided that there was no fucking C.O. That's right, no one was truly piloting this ship as it slowly drifted toward some very nasty looking bits of rock and reef. As much as we tried, we couldn't get anyone to give us a straight answer about what we were doing or what we would be doing. This is horribly frustrating for department heads, you simply can't get ahead, you can't plan your day and effectively utilize your guys or your gear. You spend the whole day dodging bullets and reacting to things a shade too late. It sucks.  It's demoralizing. Most importantly, it makes the day seem so much longer and the prospect of a nice cold beer on the couch seems to fade away into the horizon. I always feel a few decades older after a music video.

There were some shinning moments though, like when David Motherfuckin' Carridine showed up in full "Kill Bill" regalia and slapped one of the lead singers. We got it all on film! He ad-libbed this little interaction and slapped the shit out of the kid and then gave the crew this weird speech. I think he was high or drunk or both but either way it was priceless. Crazy old actors who have seen it all and just don't give a fuck anymore really make me happy.

In bizzaro news the owner of the house was psychotic. He let a whole crew inside and then insisted that we not move or touch anything. He basically added an extra day to our schedule by making these stupid requests so they had to drop some shots. What an asshole. Why bother letting people shoot there if you're going to pace around all day and be a jackass? Film crews are very respectful of locations but shit happens sometimes. Personally, I'd never let someone shoot in my place unless they wanted to give me a million dollars and a blow job. What? Nothing. Funny thing about the house, it was Frank Sinatra's old hideaway from the Rat Pack days. Middle of Chatsworth, which really is the middle of nowhere suburban sprawl. Weird. I never want to go back there again, it sucked. Damn Rat Pack.

The three day weekend was basically spent sleeping and eating and surfing. That's a good weekend! Got to hang out with Melah quite a lot and even managed to take Bean & Brent out to insanely good Chinese food. Too bad the work week is now upon me and I have to stay up all night, in fake rain, to shoot a commercial for some useless Italian product. The money is good but dammit, fake rain? I hope it's not still cold tonight because there really isn't anything worse for camera work than cold and wet. I don't like it, the gear doesn't like it, and usually water just makes things go wrong in the film business.

Fuck it. I don't have to be at work until 6:30pm (it's 8am! Why am I awake? Oh yeah, Ghost.) so I think I'll go for a surf and take a nap on the beach. Livin' the fuckin' dream.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore.

OK, the title is a little extreme, especially if you know where it's from, which you probably do, but let me explain. Lucy! You got some 'splaining to doooo! Anyway, I'm once again working for the Mouse, aka Hitler's last laugh, aka Walt was a dick, aka Disney. I'm going to help the Mouse make yet another bus load of money off of dumb-ass parents who don't understand that they're ruining their kid's lives by letting them listen to crap pop bands. Oh, it's just the regular pop crap of old, you say. Bullshit. Bull-fucking-shit. The Mouse's new  and improved soma is of a degree and intensity that only a drug dealer can really appreciate. Or a neo-con Republican. Or any number of low-life bastard versions of humanity what plague our society. Fine, you think I'm being overly dramatic but let me ask you this: if your 12 year old suddenly got pregnant and said "Hey, Brittney's sister did it so it's OK!," what the fuck would you do? Would you suddenly remember all of those Brittney albums you bought her? Would you think about Hannah Montana naked in Vogue? Would you think about all of the vast number of ex-Mouseketters who are "bringing sexy back"? Yeah, I'm going to cash the check after getting my ass kicked helping the Mouse make another million, but goddamit! I am not going to sit back and personally encourage any parent to purposely expose their child to this shit! It's fucking shit, we all know it, there's no point in denying it. Sexualizing pre-pubescent kids is a nightmare on par with our ever more toxic food supply, our war on the poor, and our imperialistic foreign policy (which, by the way, was not started with W but has been going on since the Clinton years, at least). We'll bomb the shit out of you, ya damn towel heads, because you hate our freedom to fuck our own kids out of a future! Yea ha! Let's just hang a nigger while we're at it, why not!

Ah, fuck me. I get too worked up when I deal with these cock suckers. I need to remember I'm a semi-well compensated tool-belt monkey laboring away in the salt mines of mediocrity. It's all good! No new taxes and what not, we're still number one, right? Whatever. I'm still going to go to work, I'm still going to pass "Go," and I'm still going to collect my two hundred dollars before I go to jail. Monopoly. Is any one else a little uncomfortable that that game was/is so popular in a country ostensibly founded on destroying monopolies? Maybe it's just me since I'm routinely called an asshole.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

There ain't nothing so complicated as the inside of a torpedo.

Did you ever wonder what happened to the middle of the road kids in your high school? You know, the kids who seemed pretty happy and well adjusted but a little dim. Not dumb, just uninterested in improving themselves intellectually. Nice but not too inquisitive or restless or curious or, well, fun. Yes, it's true, I'm some sort of half-wit snob but hey, that's me and as I told my therapist the other day, I've got to start living with myself again. Anyway, I think all of those kids grow up and more or less go to college and then get jobs in government or banks. Something procedure driven where you get to lord over the assholes who come in needing you to do your job. Just need some banking done but noooooo. It's got to become a goddamn odyssey of stupidity and knuckle dragging. Basically, I've been trying to transfer back to Sweden a ridiculously large sum of money that was accidentally deposited into my account. I've been trying to get this done for a month. Three separate visits to my local branch. Three outlandishly inane and banal excuses for not having sent the money back to Sweden. I grow weary of dealing with these idiots and their ill-fitting shirts and tasteless ties. As God is my witness, I shall never go hungry again! I mean, I shall never deal with BofA again! Time to try out the old WaMu.

At least the waves were good today and I got launched over some fast moving lips straight into the flats. Good times. Oh, anyone who doesn't know what that sentence about the waves meant, please form a line to the right of the blog and we'll be happy to give you a quick "Surf Jabbering 101" lesson.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I always expect Saturday to be the best day of the week.

So I spent Sunday working on a music video for the Foo Fighters. Not a very good use of a perfectly lovely 84° day in Los Angeles. Not good at all. Not only was I working on a music video, which is a stupid thing to do, but it was hotter than hell in East LA and we were running our asses off trying to get everything done before we lost the light. As my buddy said, "Full panic mode all day." Damn straight. Our director was a nice enough Frenchman who fell to pieces once the day really got going. I think it was because he showed up dressed all in black, chain smoked Marlboro Reds all day, and could barely speak English. All of this seemed to make him fairly frustrated very quickly. It's always like that on music videos. No one at the label ever wants to pay the money so that we have the time to make a video. It's always a low ball comedy of errors and idiocy with a bunch of good crew people thrown into the mix for pathos. Or more comedy, I can never really decide if I think the whole thing is funny or sad even when it's happening to me. Odd.

The nice part of Sunday was that my immediate boss, the DP, was one of my favorite guys to work with, an English chap with a good sense of humor. He's been in the business for awhile both as an AC and a DP so he's seen it all and done it all. The rare times he gets frustrated or angry are actually a joy to behold because you really have to try to piss him off. Sunday was a pain for both of us because we were handheld all day and hanging off a camera car like jackasses. The car was cool. It's a handmade jobbie with mounting points and chairs all over the chassis and it's electric, no noise. Silent as death! Too bad we were shooting skateboarding and had to pretzel ourselves into the rig. Very silly but I do love watching skateboarding, especially when it's downhill and fast. I almost fell out of the rig on one turn but thankfully the one safety strap I had on helped keep me in one piece. I'd really like to not get hurt again anytime soon. At least not until the leg heals up all the way.

When all was said and done, yesterday was just one more day in what will hopefully be a long and pointless career of making videos for bands that suck and commercials for products you don't need. It didn't totally suck but it sure as shit could have been more fun. Where does that leave me? Looking to get ahead, that's where. Looking to be the DP and have more creative control and make enough money to make the pain of working for morons more bearable. Ah well, we'll see. I'll either make it or keep pulling the old focus on various and sundry banalities that the smartest guys in the room keep making.

On the plus side, I just got hired to work on a Jonas Brothers video with the Englishman and the rest of the usual suspects. Three days of work for a band you haven't heard of unless you're the kind of bad parent who lets their kids listen to Disney's particular brand of pop pablum. Nah, just kidding, you're not a bad parent if you let your kids listen to teen bands mass produced by Disney. You're a slave. But hey, the slave master sho' nuff pays dem bills! Ha! I'm feeling slightly bitter but I am happy that I'm gainfully employed. I think I'll surf all day again tomorrow and then walk my dawg.

Peace out, bitches.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It just occurred to me... I've traveled halfway around the world, at great expense, simply to kill a different kind of bird.

I think I would like to start another blog. This one is dedicated to the pursuit, identification, cataloging, and eventual eradication of stupid within the Hollywood madhouse that I currently call home. As I haven't been working of late I do believe that this inaugural post shall come to a premature and rather mundane ending.

Nah, just kidding around! I'm too much of a long winded ego-maniac to not write at least a couple of useless and ultimately nonsensical paragraphs. Bring on the run-on sentences and dangling participles! What did I just write? No idea.

For anyone who doesn't know a few words about me: total asshole. I'm a 1st AC here in Hollwood and I work on a lot of commercials for things you don't need and music videos for people you've never heard of and who have little to no talent whatsoever. Not saying I do either, but at least I have the common decency to just roll around in the muck with the rest of the morons as opposed to going out and trying to get famous. Why would you want to be famous? Everyone just looks through your trash and fucks with you constantly and makes fun of you for being the same dumb-ass loser-type as they are. Your commonalities are what make them hate you and long for your failure. Better to be the behind the scenes type, the ninja 1st AC making peanuts while watching the monkeys throw shit at each other.

Uh, yeah, what-the-fuck-ever. Anyway, I'm going to rant and rave and vent and generally catalog all the various silly things I see here in Hollywood. If you're interested cool, if not, that's OK with me as I'm just doing this to keep from bashing some idiot kid director in the noggin. As always, photos whenever possible but please, no names.