ameliajudithyokel

Fast Set

In I Love My Job on July 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

This has been an interesting week. Partially because our shoot last weekend finished late Monday night and I couldn’t help but feel a degree of postpartum after we wrapped, said goodbye to everyone and all went our separate ways. Or maybe it was the heat stroke? Hard to say. Then there were the days on days spent sifting through footage. Finally, the week ended in a very unexpected place. I found myself up to my elbows in plaster.

For me, set days are the flashy fun part. It’s Saturday night, bright lights, high heels and red lipstick. Sunday morning when the party’s over you’ll mouse around the house in your pajamas. That’s when you open up your computer and look at all the pictures from last night. You giggle at the silly things that caught in candid moments and you begin the storytelling process all over again from the beginning. Yeah, you’re over the hump and now you can start taking all that hard-earned footage and dreaming it into a final product. The fact remains that you still need to finish that product. You are now in the post-production zone. One of my favorite zones. It’s here, in the land of ones and zeros, that my obsessive compulsiveness can shine in all it’s glory. I separate video tracks, sync audio and prepare sequences. Which, to be honest, is usually considered the boring part.

I didn’t always used to be so organized. Years of messy folders hidden away like secret graves in the hard drives of my youth would tell you the tale of the tangled web I wove.

Not anymore. These days I treat my editing like a giant game of memory. These days I take pride in the organization I bring to my projects and I can tell you that I’m a cleaner and faster editor for it. What I gain from sitting with the footage is an intricate knowledge of which story pieces I have and where I can find them. Even months later when I need to come back and look something up I am always grateful for taking the time to put it together clearly because I remember.

Most of this week I sat hunched over my computer, eating almonds, lining up footage and talking to myself. However, Sunday, something new and exciting rolled around. A couple of my friends were working with Carlos from CML stages. The job had two days allocated to double the size of both cycs and add the curves to connect them. By Sunday afternoon the sand in the hourglass was getting low. Luckily, I live around the corner and leaving to work on the stage was a much-needed break from working on the computer and hanging out with my cats. So I cruised over to Glendale and rolled my sleeves up. Duermo and Bagel Beast

I was immediately assigned to put the first two coats of compound on all the seams between the layers of luan and the floor. This involved first laying down a line of sheet rock tape and then preparing the compound in a small portable trough. The trick with this compound is two-fold; first you want to get the ratio of water to mix just right, secondly make sure that you get all the lumps out. As the master seem man Michael Cavanaugh told me, nobody want ugly pancakes. Once you’ve worked out the lumps in your mix you can take it to the wall. You’ll use a small scraper for the first layer. Apply it thickly enough to cover the tape and thinly enough so it will dry quickly and smooth out all the inconsistencies between the wall and the goo. This particular stuff dries in about forty minutes so once the first coat is down you’ll be safe to go back to the beginning and put down the second layer with a slightly larger scraper. Once both these layers are dry, Michael comes along and finesses all the joints into perfectly smooth lines, sands out any lumps and voila! The wall is ready for primer.

Drywall Photo

Trough, Scraper, Compound and Wall

Some of my fondest childhood memories are from the days when my father and I would play in his shop. Before I knew how to do anything useful, he’d put a piece of wood in the vice and give me a japanese handsaw. Yes, I was a five-year old with a saw. Yes, I was cutting scrap wood it into two pieces. So what? The simple act of pulling the saw through to watch a flutter of dust was magical. The smell of the cedar and my Dad working next to me built a respect for the camaraderie in teamwork and a love for the sense of accomplishment in manual labor. As we grew older the projects grew more complex and today I find peace in well-ordered lines in a vegetable bed that’s just been weeded, the satisfying mountain of rocks I spent all day moving or the smart ninety degree angle of a shelf that was just mounted on the wall. Or in this case, seeming up the floor to the new cyc wall.

What’s really lovely about the place I find myself in today is that I can start out my week rolling camera on a renegade shoot in 104 degree weather, spend all week glued to my computer and finish Sunday up to my neck in fast set lite 40 joint compound. #ilovemyjob

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