Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Best Thing I Ever Bought.

Despite set electricians technically being employees of a company, we buy a lot of things for our line of work. Most of my colleagues and I have spent some pretty shiny pennies on things like work bags, tool belts and pouches, tools, meters, rain gear and so on. And while I don't have the "best" of anything (my rain jacket doesn't cost a few hundred dollars and my flashlight can't be seen from space) I have enough to do the job well, which is all anyone asks of anyone anyway.

But a little while back, I splurged on something I bought specifically for work and I thank myself for having the good sense of buying them every time I use them. Which granted, isn't often, but it's still one of the best investments I've ever made.* And the funny thing? I don't even even take them to work with me. They sit at home instead of my work bag.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend putting blackout curtains in your bedroom. Good ones block out about 99% of light keeping the room dark and cool enough to fool yourself that the sun's not out yet.** You may not use them all that often, but you'll be grateful you have them when you get stuck on a night shoot and crawl into bed when they sun's already up.

Trust me. I speak from experience. Especially in the past few weeks...

* And hey, another good investment to make? If you're an avid reader of industry blogs and/or curious about the industry in general, consider making a donation to Crew Call: The Below-The-Line Podcast, being started up by none other than The Anonymous Production Assistant!

* Okay, I get that this isn't exactly breaking news and is basically common sense. But honestly, I spent a few years thinking the blinds on my windows did the job well enough, and holy shit balls was I wrong. The difference is light night and day, pun intended.


Michael Taylor said...

Duvateen -- "borrowed" from the grips and hung inside my bedroom windows -- used to keep me comfortably in the dark during extended periods of night filming and day sleeping.

That darkness helped a lot, but for me the real battle was heat -- fending off the thermonuclear rays of the brutal LA summer sun, which turned my bedroom into a Tandoori oven. Hard to sleep while sweating like a pig.

Man, do I hate those all-nighters. If I never do another it will be much too soon...

A.J. said...

Michael - Ah, yes. Duvetyne: the poor man's curtains. The problem with that, as well as the heat you mentioned, was that the last thing I wanted to do after working an all-nighter was tape duve to my windows.

I don't mind the all-nighter jobs too much. It's when you're day playing and have to jump between the nights and day calls that kills me.

Michael Taylor said...

At a certain point I just grip-clipped the duve to the curtain rods in my bedroom and left it there. Coming home from a night shoot, I'd drop it in place and be good to go. My bedroom didn't exactly look like House Beautiful, but that was fine by me.

Of course -- like most young men at the time -- I had very low standards when it came to house beautification. Still do, even though I'm now far from young...

There was nothing I could do about the heat, though -- a second-floor bedroom with no shade facing west turned into a sweat-box by early afternoon. There's nothing like awakening from a fever-dream about work just in time to... go to work.

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