Monday, June 16, 2008

Have no fear...

The best new blog in the land is a site for heroics. You should check it out. No wait, there's no suggestion necessary, it should simply say, go there. I'm serious. It'll make your day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

the end of the day

New York Day 2, Part III

#5 Freight Elevator Secured
George. Where ever he came from was somewhere kindda like hero-ville. All I know is whatever work speed is, he knows it, what ever work speed does to help us get to use the freight elevator, he did it, what ever sway George has, works, cause I frankly didn't have to do anything except answer his easy questions like, "what time are you arriving in the morning?" and "how do you spell the names of the people on your crew?"

So at the end of it all, it was 5:30 p.m., Leisah, the employee from Rose Brand, was meeting us in an hour at the corner of Spring and Broadway in SOHO, a 25 to 30 minute Subway and walk away from where we were, we’d make it back in time for our 7:30 p.m. dinner with the client with a little time to let the sweat dry, smooth down my hair and reapply lip stuff.

There was a moment when we knew we had done it, we still had a ton of work to do till it was done done, but we had made it happen. We were insurance covered, set design ready, allowed to get back into the building with crew and equipment, food was ordered and scheduled to arrive, we had our sanity and we were on our game. I turned to J and with complete elation and conviction said, “I love my job, I really love my job!”

The dinner with the client went smashing. Perhaps details will arrive on the Pushplay blog. But for now. Day 2 is over.

Breakfast – Hotel Breakfast Bar, small croissant with strawberry jam, a hard-boiled egg, apple juice, and coffee for the subway

Lunch - Metro Café on Park Avenue, water, shared vegetable pasta full of artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomato, asparagus, cheese, and so much deliciousness, and fresh shaved turkey sandwich on a black rye wheat bread

Dinner - with Client started with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, seasonal fresh vegetable salad with lemon dressing, and a fried calamari appetizer, then the seafood chef special – scallops with mushroom and spinach risotto, and at the end of the night, a wonderful perfectly even decaf cappuccino.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

continuing where we left off

New York day 2, Part II

I'm sorry for being dramatic, but, come on! I've got to keep ya'll in suspense.

The stress of the day all came down to the fact that everyone on the west coast was eating a late lunch and everyone on the east coast were gearing down for the end of the day…like it was a Friday and the weekend was only a few short hours away

#4 Building Insurance
Let me preface this by saying one thing, George is amazing. He is a generous and insanely helpful man. This story should in no way reflect poorly on him. He is an exceptional human being and I have nothing but respect for him, he was continually a hero to us over the three days we were working for the client.

George did what we'd all like to do, he took a week off and went on vacation. The trouble came when he got back, it was today, our first full day in New York. He would normally check all the insurance information the moment a new one arrives...but, again he was on vacation when we sent ours in.

Well, after numerous phone calls back to our insurance agency, multiple attempts with fax machines on 3 different floors, running up and down flights of stairs and calls again and again with the building owners we had our building insurance...

and then George said, “you’ll need the freight elevator then, right?”
I, with trepidation, replied, Yes.
“You’ll need to be entered into work speed then…”
Oh shit. I have no idea what that means.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Survival in NY
Part I

New York day 2, Part I

Monday June 2nd, 2008

We thought today was going to be slow, relaxed, simple. And of course, I brought a mojo of bad luck with me or something because, it turned out to be anything but.

#1 Entrance into the client’s building
It wasn’t anything to write home about, or perhaps I should say, it wasn’t anything to blog about. We took the 7 train to Grand Central, exited the subway, walked across the street, and into the building, stood in line at the Security desk, showed ID and received our day passes. We headed up to the 17th floor and were shown to the Media/Conference room we had been scheduled to shoot for the next two days.

We figured out our plan of attack for set design & camera direction, the guys went to collect the packages we’d shipped from the mail room, and I sat down in the first quiet place I had been in since my hotel room to make a few, what I was considering, follow-up and just making sure-zies everything was lined up phone calls.

Balls began to drop, they fell out of the sky from every direction. There were balls falling that I didn’t even know we were juggling.

#2 Backdrop Fabric
In preparation for our shoot, we had secured the rental of a huge white curtain, something like 10 by 40 feet, and black velor curtains, four at 8 by 10 feet, from a theater product distribution company in New Jersey. That went completely smooth, the securing the curtain part, but we did that from Oregon.

This afternoon, when I called to check on our back drop curtain rental, you know to check on arrival time, to make sure they knew to ask for me at the security desk, to make sure they had my cell number as a contact, I learned a little something of consequence, they didn’t deliver.

Why then did they ask for the address where we were shooting? Oh wait, I get it, is that what is meant by the line on the bill that states – delivery, no charge? It’s not, no charge for them to deliver, it’s no charge because they don’t deliver.

Sweet. Raise your hand, who wants to secure a delivery service in New York at 3 o’clock, for delivery to a first time client (me) that afternoon or early the next morning? No one? Really? Alright. I’ll do it, not a problem, consider it done.

#3 Craft service
“I need food.” It was true. We were all hungry. A bit stressed, but hungry on top of it, and hungry mixed with any other emotion is bad. We headed down the street to the Metro cafe. After a sweet lunch we ordered breakfast and lunch for the crew for the next day. It was all working out. A little pricer than I had budgeted, but we were all arriving at location at 6 AM and we thought it was only fair to keep 'em feed and keep 'em happy all day, not just at lunch.

So, back to #2, we had to secure a courier service to pick up the huge yellow bags, at 35 lbs a piece, from New Jersey and deliver them to the offices in Manhattan on 42 and Park. The rule in New York is, if you want to travel to or from Manhattan from anywhere it’s going to cost extra, a lot extra. But, this wasn’t the problem…I mean, when you have to have something, you have to have it, it doesn’t matter how much it’s going to cost (okay within reason, but this was an integral part of our “set” and we had to get it.)

No the trouble came in securing a courier service, and in collecting all the information we needed to be a “deliverable vendor”, which was all back in Oregon. Our faithful guy holding down the fort in Oregon was on the job, working on getting all the pieces together. I was on the phone with multiple courier services, trying to save a little money by calling around, comparing, you know, doing my job…when another brewing storm hit…

Friday, June 6, 2008

Taxi Love

New York, New shananagins

(a taste of taxi shots and behind
the scenes photos on location in NY)

Arrival at the airport brought more than just a new smell, it brought visual masterpieces and experiences that have to be written down.

When we finished getting all of our luggage off the belt, we realized there was no way we were getting everything out on our own so we "hired" a guy to help us with our luggage. He brought over a huge cart to help us get all out stuff up to ground the line for a taxi.

As we exited the doors it took me back to Indonesia, there were people everywhere, holding signs with people's name on them, pushing and pulling on the cart, yelling at us, "you need a car? you need a ride? I have a car? Where you going?" and on and on and on and on. We crossed the street and I stood in line for 45 minutes while the guys stood with our pile of luggage.

We eventually made it into the back of a taxi van and the ride we expected to be a quick and painless one was everything but...

Our cabby was...not an english speaker. When I walked up to the driver's side door to ask him to open the trunk for us he only reacted when I motioned to the trunk and then over to the guys standing by our ten huge bages, boxes, and cases...and when I say he, "reacted" what I mean is, he reached down began buttoning his pants. Yeah. These were the kind of jeans without a zipper, just like, 4 or 5 buttons, so when I say he began buttoning his pants, I don't mean like, oh he ate too much and undid the top button, I mean his pants were completely open as much as they possibly could be, ya...I sat in back, Phil sat up front.

On our way to the hotel the cab began to vear it's way into Manhattan, and although we would have loved to stay in Manhattan, we were actually going to Long Island. So after a little adjustment, we were on our way to Long Island...and ended up going the wrong way down one way streets again and again and again until we eventually landed at the hotel, safe and sound at two in the morning.

The view from my 7th floor window

I love it. For real.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

takin it a day at a time...

New York, New York!!

So. I'm here, in New York and first thing I want to mention is that Bella you will never believe what I saw on the street tonight... 5 for $10 (!!) you were right!

I'd love to say that I bought all you you I heart NY t-shirts, but even at 2 bucks a piece...that's a lot of cotton.

I'm attempting to convey a day by day diary of sorts for ya'll and myself. Hope you enjoy!

Day 1 : Travel

We left Eugene, cold, rainy, and early and arrived in Portland around 8:30 am. Just before we pulled into Phil's (our sound tech) driveway, we received notice that our flight was delayed. Not to worry, it was only 25 minutes...but then when I called back the phone number we were a bit concerned. You see, the plane had been delayed do to some mechanical problems and I just don't think those kind of things get fixed within 25 minutes.

Eventually, after multiple texts from the airline saying the flight was delayed more and more, they canceled the flight altogether.

But not to fear! Instead of flying out at 11:30a.m in coach, we flew out at 1:35p.m in First Class.

Free drinks, at a barely reasonable drinking hour? not bad.

To our shagrin though, that put us arriving at JFK at 12:45 am EST. driver shinanigans when we continue
good night and good marrow.