Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Talk With Dad.

I'm visiting the folks a few days early for Thanksgiving when my dad and I are watching something on television. Whatever we settled on watching ended up being somewhat boring, so when a big night exterior scene came up, I decided to provide some commentary.

Me: "You know that moonlight that's hitting those buildings right now? That's fake. There's a guy in a boom lift* about eighty feet in the air with some big lights mounted in the basket."

Dad: "Really? That's interesting."

Me: "Yup. And see those houses in the back? The light you're seeing in the window isn't from a table lamp or anything. It's from a light the crew set up in each of those windows."

My dad seems to be studying the screen now, so I continue.

"Also, there's probably a light on the ground in front of a few of those houses so you can see them and it doesn't look too dark in the background. Plus see how tree in that yard is backlit? That's another one of our lights. Not to mention the pools of light you see on the street. Some of those aren't from street lights. Instead, we'll set up lights to mimic them. And then we wet down the streets and sidewalks to make everything look more interesting."

My dad sits silent for a second, still studying the scene. Then he speaks with some surprise in his voice.

Dad: "Wow. That sounds like a lot of work."

Me: (sits there in silence because the only thing I can think of is, "Uh... YEAH. What did you think I did all day at work??")

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

* We call them "condors" but most civilians do not. Same thing goes for "ratchet straps." Store employees will stare at you blankly if you ask for them. Instead, you have to ask for "ratchet tie-downs."


Ed (sloweddi) said...

And a wonderful holiday to you too.

Michael Taylor said...

Civilians -- related or not -- have no way of knowing just how much physical/cranial work goes into the making of any TV show or movie. I sure as hell didn't when I came into the biz wide-eyed and blinking.

But ignorance is curable... and maybe that's what you and I and all the other industry bloggers are doing in our own humble ways -- educating anyone interested enough to find out what it's really like on the other side of that silver screen.

Hopefully your dad now has a greater appreciation for how much his once-little girl has learned and accomplished in serving the Gods of Hollywood... and how hard we all work to make the magic on screen.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Nathan said...

Cranial Worker: Someone who rides up in the bucket to adjust the BFL!

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