Last week of Pre-Production, first days of the shoot.
Chaos, time, travel...it all meant no sleep, no posting, nothing but chaos in a controlled way.
I did have time to note a few things while dashing from home to the train to the ferry to trains to trains to the office to locations to sit for 147 minute long hours.
- Love your crew- This one isn't hard...I've been lucky that way, I seem to fall into crews that jell together in a great way. The CD (costume designer), the SD(set designer), HR(her assistant), TP (the producer), PM, who found the stooges and the rest of the 'talent' (the main talent, she didn't find, and he's just a prop that eats) and my man, AD (assistant director) and I are a team. The rest are nebulous beings who drift around, but, the core of us are there... TP floats in and out, however, he has our backs (I hate that saying, you need it in a film). The AD? I'd walk through fire for him. We call this little number, "Heaven's Gate: The Documentary". I'll say no more. I've switched from scripty to 2nd AD, and I'm loving the new job. You have to love or at best like, and respect these folk. And, yes, we have our 'inside' joke... and we use it.
- Bathrooms- You have to find them on set, off set. I prefer public bathrooms against the wall, so you can set down all the bags and such that you have with you safely. Always have a small purse size package of tissues with you in case there is no toilet paper...and I also have hand cleaner. The toilets on the ferry are NOT a good idea in the cold months. They are even colder than the air, thus, they are welcome for one positive thing, and one thing only; they are guaranteed to wake you up if you are still in that "Gee, I wonder what I put on this morning?" stupor when you sit down. If you are leaving the set and have the I'm not really ready to wee, it's a nudge, not an urge yet, wee anyway. By the time you are getting close to Penn Station on your journey on the 4 to the 6 to 42nd to the 7 to the 1 to Penn to have to walk to stage rehearsal.... you will wish you had.
- When Possible, Work in Michael Moore's Production Office-You can be sure of two things:Lots of medical supplies and a really big take out/delivery menu file.
- People who will make you whip your head around even when you've proclaimed Ich Bein New Yorker! -Last Wednesday, upon being given revision 472 of the script, the AD and I were walking towards the station down 57th street from the Production Office. Coming our way, in a jaunty stride, was a squeaky clean man, wearing naught but a smile and a pair of navy blue jockey shorts. Since he didn't have on shoes or a shirt, I doubt he was going to dinner.
- Purses on the Street-Hello, my name is Quin. I am a purse whore. I've mentioned this before, I'm saying it again. My budget allowed for either a)veggies or b)fruit. I bought a new purse that would hold my laptop and two scripts. It is a rich turquoise, I bargained it down $30 by getting two other women to seal their purse purchases (and all of us walking away from one dealer en masse to the one across the street) allowing us to all have a nice price. I wheedled the seller down, we all had our, ummm, leather bags (we were located next to a falafel cart....I wonder if the leather had anything to do with the meat sold with the pita that day) and I am again carrying a huge bag. But, it's a cute one.
- Watch Where You Walk in the Street- Asking directions from a post office employee is always a good idea. When you back away from the truck, make sure you look down. Otherwise, you will suddenly realise you are standing on a feather, which makes you realise there are the remains of a slow pigeon just at your heel, which makes you do the HOLY-SHIT-IT'S-A-SQUISHED-PIGEON-WITH-BLOOD-AND-GUTS-RIGHT-THERE dance all over the street to the great amusement of the locals.
- Farts-Here is a news flash. Farting in public can be heard. To the man sitting across from me on the SIRR last Wednesday... pretending you didn't hear yourself toot your version of van cliburn playing Tchaikosvsky's 1st Piano Concerto doesn't mean we didn't. Another hint: standing in a doorway tooting away? Remember, someone (me) may come out of that doorway behind you to go, oh, I don't know, outside maybe? Do not walk up the stairs from the train, making a toot on each stair without checking to see if there isn't SOMEONE BEHIND YOU, JACK!
- The Ocean-The WeatherGuy took me to see the Atlantic Ocean upon my request last Tuesday. Next time, I'll ask to go when it's light outside. He did point out where it was...I saw dark, and took his word. I appreciated the fact he drove far out of his way to show me. The time would have been better spent, I think, at Costco. Or at least, more productive... although I did enjoy the air. And, I saw stars.
- Spiders-In the days back in the Land O'Utes, my children, HRH and TheInvestment and I had a ritual with these beasts. The finder issued the battle cry, a mighty squeal of distress. We do not believe in the torture or the crunch of smushing. The other two raced to the scene of combat with weapons, a can of hairspray and a match. Huddled together, we sprayed and lit said spray, frying the spider. We then did the dance of victory, dashed upstairs and watched 'Mansquito' on our DVR. Now, I am alone. While leaving a message to a friend, I saw one... the message went like this: "Hey, when you get a chance HOLY JESUS, THERE IS A SPIDER THE SIZE OF A YUGO ON MY CEILING!!" I was forced to deal with it alone. It was moving slowly towards me on a string...downwards, sneering at me, knowing my troops were far away. Little spider telegraphs had told it of my past murd..kil...removals of it's mates. What was I to do?? I only had pomade and travel approved spray! DAMN THE TSA!! It had me backed into a corner... it was it or me. I took it out with a copy of The New Yorker. I rock.
- Flirting-I suck at this game. When trying to walk with my usual stride away from the train at my stop, it's best to be careful. My brown boots have a slick heel. What does this mean? It means that knowing I was being watched by the nice man I'd been chatting with, I did that usual stride, allowing my boot to slllllllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiddddddddddeeeeee putting me on my ass. If I was in the back car I tend to ride in, fine. I was in the front car. They stopped the train, and the engineer jumped out. "Are you okay?" "Um, yes, fine... go away" "Do you want help?" Everyone (aka 'Him') is standing there, looking. "Go. Away." "I can call for... " "GO AWAY!" My boot is scuffed, and I now have to wear dark glasses when I ride the train, scouring it for faces that I saw at the windows.
- The 1 Train. WTF? There is one train directly from the Ferry into the City. The 1. People will mow you down to dash down the stairs to reach it....only to see the doors close on an empty train as the smiling engineer pulls away. There are signs posted that should read: "The 1 Train will not run at any time convenient to anyone in New York. This means on weekends, when we have it posted it will run, on days with weather above or below 50 degrees, in months with a vowel, or if we are in the mood". That, my friends, should be the posted sign. Instead, they read, "Between midnight and 5 AM, Saturday through Monday, the 1 will not run". Fine. When does it stop running? Oh, around 9P.M. There you are, on the platform, and you see it on the 2 platform. Why? WHO KNOWS? You run under the station, to the 2 platform, and it's back on the 1. So, you take the 2 down to 14th, and wait. No 1. A 2 shows up, you take it... it's packed. You get off on Chambers, because why should any train run to the Ferry, no one lives on Staten Island. The Ferry is late, your card won't work as a transfer any more.. and if you want your $2 back, mail your card in right away. Yeah, like I'm going to do that. My usual 90 minute journey home took 3 hours. I could have flown home to New Orleans by then. Yes, 90 minutes to go 4 miles.
I love New York.
Thing is, I really do.
With the doc going on the road, I'm moved up in the pecking order of the film, I'm now 2nd A.D. I think this means I have more work, at the same low pay. Do I hear the Peter Principle at work?
Off to do one of my new 4,762 forms. The upside? I'll be riding the R. To the D. To Brooklyn.