Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"That's Fuckin' My Bucket All Up."

I've seen numerous videos of arc flashes before, but it was a slow Saturday night so I decided to take Michael's suggestion and looked up some videos on YouTube when I stumbled upon this one in particular.

Apparently, some construction work was being done when a backhoe hit some power lines underground* and fireworks obviously ensued. An event like that will surely "trip the breaker," so to speak, and shut down the power to that area. What many people do not know is that the system is designed to "reset" itself three times** before it gives up completely, so those workers were treated to a couple of light shows every 15-20 seconds.***

But what totally rocks my cookies is the dialogue in the video (which is somewhat NSFW).

That's THIRTEEN THOUSAND VOLTS running wild around in that hole and the guy wants to dive in there to rescue his bucket?? What really cracks me up is his answer when his co-worker tells him he can't go in to retrieve it:

"I have to."
"You can't."
"I have to!"

What?? Dude, it's not like you're a white knight deciding to rescue the princess from a dragon's cave. You're not Bruce Willis saving the world from being destroyed by an asteroid. And we're not talking about whether or not it's a good idea to tell your kid you ran over the cat this morning. We're talking about a bucket. You can replace it when you go to Home Depot after work and probably get it reimbursed if you remember to keep the receipt.****

How stupid do you have to be to insist on risking your life for a bucket? It's almost as stupid as the guy on set who tries to move an 18k on top stick of a Roadrunner on uneven ground by himself, obviously ends up tipping it over, only to rush to the other side to try and catch it.

Not that, ahem, that's ever happened...

* Digalert!
** I've been told the reset cycles are what contributed to Adrienne Alpert's unfortunate accident back in 2000.
*** At least, that's my (very limited) understanding of how shit works. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
**** Unless, of course, it's some kind of magic bucket, in which case I stand corrected.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm Not Your Personal Charging Station.

It's been a while since I've ranted about cell phones at work, and I really need to get this last part off my chest before I explode:


I'm sick and tired of finding a goddamn phone charger plugged in to every outlet I need to use. I'm tired of finding random phones plugged into MY equipment with no owner in sight and/or name on those very expensive and fragile pieces of electronics. It's times like those then I want to just rip them out of the outlet and hurl them across the set. It seriously fills me with rage.

Because if your MOBILE phone can't go a few measly hours without being plugged in, you're stupid and you're doing it wrong.

If you can't make it to lunch without needing to charge your phone, maybe you should stop checking Facebook every two minutes.

If you know your phone can barely last a day on a full charge, charge it up before you come to work.
And if your phone can't hold a decent charge, get one that can.

Another option? Get a spare battery.*

And if you fail to do any of that? Well guess what? You're shit out of luck. It's not my problem you suck, so don't make it our problem to find you a solution. As the old adage goes, piss poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. I've got more important things to worry about than your need to play Angry Birds.

If you're in another department, chances are we're running power to you anyway. The Camera Department needs to charge its batteries; Sound needs to run its mixer; Art Department needs to use a vacuum; Grips needs to plug in some power tools; Hair needs to heat up a curling iron; etc, etc. In that case, the power we run for your department is pretty much yours to do whatever you want with. If Costumes would rather use the stinger we give them to charge their phone than use it to plug in the steamer they need to do their job, that's fine by me. As long as what they're doing is safe, I don't give a rat's ass what they do with it. If they ask nicely, I'll even give them a cube tap so they can do both at the same time.

Now, with all that said, most of us in the electrical department aren't assholes. If for some reason or another, you're still in need of a place to plug in your phone, all you have to do is ASK AN ELECTRICIAN. Not a P.A., not a Grip, not an A.D., but a person who's actually responsible for the power used on set. We're usually pretty accommodating and will either direct you to the nearest possible option or get back to you in a few minutes after we're done running around lighting the next scene. And on that note, if we're unavailable to assist you in your dying phone emergency right that second, don't act like an entitled ass and plug it in anywhere you please anyway. Having a dead cell phone rarely constitutes as an emergency, so just wait five minutes. Consider it a practice in patience, which no one seems to have these days.

If, for some special, twisted, godforsaken reason, none of the above can be applied to you and you MUST plug in your phone RIGHT THIS SECOND, for the love of cupcakes, whatever you do, don't plug it into a lunchbox

Because do you know what they're often referred to as? Drag-outs. As in, we drag them out to wherever we need them. Which is why you often see lunchboxes sitting on nice piles of cable, all hooked up to the d-box, powered up and ready to go. It's so we don't waste any time. If we suddenly need power on the other side of that door when we're setting up for the turn around, all we have to do is drag the pre-connected lunchbox over there and BAM!, we're ready to go. The only problem is, we can't do that if there's six cell phones plugged into it.

And I'm guessing if one of those is yours, you'd rather I not rip it out and hurl it across the room.

* I understand that not all phones have a battery that's easily changeable. In that case, get a battery booster/emergency charger/solar charger/external battery pack/thing-a-ma-bob. Or better yet, get a different phone.

Monday, May 7, 2012


... It's what lets us watch a now well respected actor do a serious scene on set one minute, only to turn around and watch him in an embarrassingly bad movie he did years earlier once we're back at staging.
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