Monday, July 27, 2009

Let A Man Do It

The Set House

I just got back from Glens Falls. The shoot was perfect.

On my way to meet the caravan, I got caught in the effing rain, just like I predicted and accidentally walked through Harlem. We stopped along the way and I bought some boots - the best $25 of my life, even if they are now covered in mud. Along the way, the producer mentioned that Adam said he might stay with me in the city. My first response to his name was "I am so terribly in love with him." This led to an awkward look and some fun time for me. I spent most of the trip faking like I was head over heels for Adam, and that he came to New York so that we could work things out. It was great and he was a good sport. Anyway, we made it to the hotel, I met with Adam for a total of 5 minutes, during which time I couldn't stop smiling and rocking back and forth with glee, much like a 6 year old. I adore him to pieces.

This was our one day of prep. Anne, the Production Designer,* had me cover a chair... Adam didn't believe that I did it cause it was so sexy. We also prepped the house and some of the hero props. The labels and the faux cigarette packages were amazing. That night, we had a group dinner, where I saw Mulcahy, whom they forced me to call Michael. Needless to say, I avoided saying his name altogether, and the one time I had to, I called him "Mike, Michael." It was awkward. Later, I made Adam go to the pool with me. He sat and watched me for a good 10 minutes, and then bailed. I would've stayed longer, but a gaggle of 12 year old girls came in running and giggling. I bailed.**


Day one of the shoot. I met Joe*** the property master. I spent some of the day on the prep set, but at one point, Anne sent me to work with Joe on the actual shoot. He had a machetti and let me play with it. I was happy. That night, I headed back to the hotel and came up with a new script idea and an alternative idea to the one I already wrote. I ran all three by Adam, the original, the innovated and the new, and with his help, I cleaned up the innovation even more. Some impromptu 2am discussions brought further script developments, but I'll leave that for another post.

Joe hurt his back and was late to set. He told Anne to let me run property for set. A few hours later, Joe popped in on set and watched me for a while. Later he pulled me aside and told me I had a knack for this and he wouldn't have let me run props if he didn't trust me. This gave me a little well needed confidence seeing that Joe has no problem ripping people to shreds, even girls (another story for another day). ****

Joe was back, so we worked together. We got the vintage cars - 5 of them. I changed out the plates so that they were the right time period, and Joe let me use the machetti; he could tell how fond I was of it. During down time, Adam and I talked about the actors, particularly "Legs" and "Shorts." Of course, others took our giggling and whispers as further hints affirming our love. Classy.
Kevin Black, the director's husband and actor, talked to me about the senior BFA class, noting that our reputation precedes us. When he asked me why my class was so good, I responded by saying "We tell unique stories, we are comfortable with the equipment and we are technically dedicated to making good work." His co-actor, the sexy Scott Cohen, said he could tell because of my confidence on set.**** He later stalked Adam. Interesting man.
On the way home, I had a mildly awkward ride with Joe for several reasons, but mainly due to an error on our part. We forgot to replace one of the plates. It was 2:30am, and we were 45 minutes from set. Boo. Note, we found this out after Joe gave me a longer version of the "you should seriously consider this as a career option" speech. Epic Fail.

This set was super calm, even if we were behind. Champs.

Sexy cars. I want that soft blue one.

Makeshift Art/Prop set truck.

Joe went to the ER for his back. Once again, I got to run set entirely on my own. I got pissed momentarily when I experienced some brief womanizing moments on set. The big one came in the form of Craig. I was trying to cut a branch with these dull sheers to replace a broken flag stick, because an HGTV carpenter look-a-like decided to gank my machetti. The problem? I couldn't cut it quick enough. Craig yelled "Let a man do it!" My face went red hot and I had to bite my tongue from saying "Do it yourself, you old fuck."***** Skyler however snuck in an told him off for the comment. I understood what he truly meant, but the way he said it, and the fact that it was in front of the entire crew made me pissed for a good hour or so. Later, I helped Anne with some set dressing and aging a few props. By 9pm, the shoot was wrapped and we had a quick party regardless of our exhaustion and loaded the trucks as quickly as possible. I said goodbye to Adam, who was leaving that night, and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

6am. Coffee and a doughnut. Anne, Joe, some PA's and I headed to set for break down. We knocked it out in 2 hours. I met Joe's wife briefly and he gave me his card, saying that if I ever needed anything, ask. Thank you. Once we got back into the city, Sarah, the other Art PA, and I headed down to Greenwich Village, which is an experience that I have to explore some more.

-I learned to HATE headsets.
-If it's a small set/ non union set, help other departments if you have down time/aren't a key. They'll love you and have your back later. This is particularly true when it is raining and everyone wants to get the hell out of dodge.
-I could do art and be very happy. I could do prop and be very happy. I could live in New York and have a job and be very happy. This set made me ready to work and collaborate on other projects this semester and in the future.
-"There's a train leaving in the morning. I guess I expected too much."
-Sexual innuendo's about Gazebo's completely negate any comment made on a mans penis size.
-Fireflies sometimes have green lights and are easy to catch.
-Your teachers really don't know everything, but some *cough* Mulcahy *cough* are still champs on set.
-New York is obtainable. Mixing film and family is possible. And a little luck and a little hard work do go a long way.
-A rat trap and some mylar are all you need to recreate a gunshot blowing out a window.


Being back, this city feels different. With a little less than a week to go, I've realized that in a year, I wouldn't mind living here at all. This place is starting to feel like home. Tomorrow, some of the crew and I are heading to the museum. Wednesday is my last day at work. Thursday my mom arrives. Friday is a concert and some exploring. And Saturday, I head back to Phoenix, arriving at Sky Harbor at 9:30pm. Until then, I'm gonna enjoy these last bitter sweet moments, and worry about the future in a week from now. And no matter where the rest of this summer goes, what I've done so far has been amazing.

People often tell me that I come off as confident. What they don't realize is that it's because I'm comfortable in the things I don't care about, which is most everything. But when it comes to the only two things I do care about - film and relationships - I'm a hot mess. I feel like a failure in both, a child in both, incapable and unworthy in both most of the time. But after my experiences this summer, I'm starting to see the two in a clearer light. I'm not so nervous and not so unsure anymore. I see what I deserve and realize what I need. And that hope I had on the first night of this blog - the hope to cash in my ticket for a life changing experience - well, if this was it, it was worth every penny.

Less-Than-Three You, Monique
Listening to: My Moon My Man - Feist

*Anne Stuhler is amazing. She could have become a pro tennis player. She turned down a job on "Elf" because her daughter was graduating high school. And, she makes her own furniture and paints. What I learned from that woman is invaluable.
**Adam came down to the pool later and confused me with a 12 year old. Fuck that.
***Joe is crazy and amazing. He is covered in tat's and owns a tortise. He isn't afraid to tell off anyone, even Craig, the AD. He talks a lot of shit and taught me to use a machetti. This man made me have faith in being a filmmaker and a female on set, even if Craig didn't.
****This set was really good for me in that for the first time, I have confidence in what I'm doing. It was well needed after last semester and after working with my ridiculously talented class. Love you, boo's!!
*****All my respect for the man was lost during this set, not only because of the comment, but because, well, "I guess I expected too much." And if I ever hear the phrase "let a man do it" again, regardless of intent, I swear to God someone is gonna get socked in the fucking face.

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