Thursday, September 02, 2010

Where's The Little Guy With The Fucking Dishwasher Gloves!


In between my slacker days at the video store and moving to the Island where I found my destiny I put some time in in the film industry. For a couple of years I worked on some serious cinematic gems ... Vivid, Mario's Wedding, Red Blooded American Girl. We're talking some quality films.

Lots of stories from those days. Lots of characters. Good times. We'd work like dogs, six days, two off, it wasn't a union shop and we were all kids trying to learn the ropes so we were taken advantage of. We knew it. A few films with these guys and then you could get on with the unuon because we could do shit that you would never get to do on a legitimate shoot. My first film I was a trainee, next one I was a second assistant and on my third shoot I actually shot some brief footage. Now we were paid peanuts - during one shoot we worked out that we were paid ~ two and a quarter an hour. Thats two dollars and twenty five cents. On a union shoot after eight hours you got overtime and the rate kept going up incrementally the longer you worked. When your day was done you got ten hours turnaround at home. On our shoots we got ten hours if we were lucky when we wrapped but you had to stow your gear and do your paperwork and then get home and then get back, all within that time.

It was bullshit and we knew it but it was good times. We were mostly kids on our way up and most guys did a shoot or two and then moved on to the big time and on a shoot or two you got some guys come in as a favour. I made some good friends. hanging out with the other camera guys and the grips mostly. The grips were all long hair and sinew, hauling kit here and there (btw the key grip is the chief grip, the gaffer runs the lighting crew, just in case you were wondering, I used to) and then lazing about while the lighting guys ran around getting things ready for the next shot. Hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait. At the end of the day we'd drink a couple of beers and maybe we'd get high and then we'd get home and pass out and then we'd get up a few hours later and do it again.

I enjoyed it but it wasn't for me. You'd go on a shoot for a month and you wouldn't see your buddies or your girlfriend. Your two days off were spent sleeping and running errands. There's a term for the wives or girlfriends of movie folk - film widows. I was in my late twenties when I got into it and I soon knew that I couldn't do it and have a family. A great job for a kid. There was one guy who'd work for eight or nine months and then fuck off for the winter, go to Cuba or Australia or wherever he could get to. He was flush and hadn't a care in the world. Nice gig for a young fellow.

The guy who gave me a break was an Austrian by the name of Edgar Eggar. I kid you not. I got his name from a guy whose name I got from a friend's boyfriend who played hockey with the first guy. I harassed the Eddie basically, calling him daily, going to his voicemail every time, and finally he called me in and I asked him for a shot and he was a camera guy and so he said I could come on as a trainee. No pay for three weeks. I worked for food basically.

Eddie was a wild man in his early forties. Long graying hair and gaunt and invariably exhausted looking and profane, he had that ability to tell a story that bordered on genius, the way he hit the punchline, the mad and wonderful tangents. He had a slight accent, not heavy at all but a crazy inflection which I wish I could convey. After we wrapped he'd get roll a joint and pass it around (Hey lets smoke a fucking fatty, eh, come on now, time for a fatty) and we'd bullshit. We got along well, he and I, he could get agitated pretty easily and he'd start yelling and for some reason I'd snap right back at him and after a couple of times he didn't bother me anymore and actually liked me all the better for it.

Fucking McLean, you know this fucking guy, he fucking drove me crazy, he'd call and call, leaving me all of these messages and finally I just said enough and I fucking called him so he'd stop fucking bugging me. Jesus Christ, fucking McLean, you fucking kill me. I love this guy he'll tell me to fuck off, he's a gutsy little fucker, you don't take any fucking shit eh you little curly haired fucker.

Eddie was a fun fucking guy unless you were on a lighting crew that came our way from Kitchener for one shoot. The gang that we'd had previously had all moved along to big paychecks and so somehow the producers found a crew of four hosers. I don't know if any of them had any experience, I guess Doug the gaffer must have but the rest of these poor guys must have wondered what hit them. One guy was a little fellow who wore yellow rubber gloves, the type you use for cleaning or doing dishes. (I never figured out why). I was a veteran by now, having worked on two shoots and so I sat with the grips and the other camera guys and we laughed as these poor bastards raced around as Eddie screamed instructions at them.

Dougie! Dougie! You guys are fucking killing me. That light's fucking terrible. That's not what I asked for, holy fuck, we're going to lose this beautiful light and I'm going to have to fucking kill somebody. Dougie you're killing me. Where's the little guy with the fucking dishwasher gloves? Where is that fucking guy!?!??!??! Holy fuck!!!!! Dougiiieeeeeee!

And on and on in a rambling, high pitched, insane monologue, often for an hour or more, until finally he had his light, we shot for ten minutes, got our twenty seconds of film and then they tore it down and did it all over again for the closeup.

One time we finished a day and we sat around with our beers, exhausted and burnt and Eddie asked me if I missed the video store or if I hated it and I told him that I hadn't minded it, the only shitty thing (other than the money and the lack of a future ;) ) was the odd customer being a jackass, working with the public could be taxing. And he took a drag and passed me the joint and exhaled and said:

Yeah, Joe Public, what an asshole.

Wait a second maybe that's John Q.'s brother?

I keed. I keed.

---------------------------

Two weeks until camp and just wanted to take a look at the Oilers really quickly here. For all of you Summit folks hopefully we will get game five up here this weekend.

Anyhow the last Oilers' post elicited a comment from a fellow named John Q Public who complained that I never had a good thing to say about our beloved Oilers. Now I know he isn't back because why would you read something that you think is shitty, right? Even if its free. But I did want to link to this to give some background on the history of this site and why for some odd reason I've got some issues with management but also to show that I used to be all puppy dogs and roses and pretty red haired girl next door sunbathing in her bikini when it came to our hockey club. Shiny happy person, to paraphrase Michael Stipe.

I stick with these fuckers and I'm looking forward to hockey's return. I want to see how the new kids do and I hope that Horcoff rebounds and Cogliano too and I can't wait to see Hemsky and Gilbert play, among others. But the team is going to be poor again. The long list of things that have to go right in order for this club to be competitive is an almost impossible one. Essentially they need everyone to stay healthy, including three guys who have had tough luck with injuries the past while - Khabibulin, Hemsky and Horcoff - and they need all three of those guys to rebound with terrific years. They need Gagner to take a step forward and Brule to at least maintain and Cogliano to find himself. They need Gilbert and Whitney to be a legitimate top pair and Smid and Foster to be a legitimate second pair. And even if Khabibulin is healthy they need someone to give them twenty five or more solid games as a backup.

And they need the PK to be far far better and they need to learn how to win draws and they probably need at least two of the kids to be very good. And Colin Fraser, fifth best centre in Chicago, has to be much more than that.

And that would be to be a competitive team. As much as I like a good story and I dare to dream you know and I know that this scenario is unlikely.

Still it should be an interesting year to see which of the kids have it and at the end of it we will likely add another stud to the stable of young talent. Which is fine, rebuild you know.

Not long now.

11 comments:

Lowetide said...

Beauty as always. What does the best boy do? And I'd like a straight answer, perv. :-)

David S said...

The thing is, there's a lot of really young posters on the boards these days. They get hard-ons for AHL call-ups and 18 year old rookies about the same age as them who they figure will absolutely rip it up first year in the bigs. They're the ones who demand a scorched-earth rebuild laden with prospects and have no regard for the fact that this is the NHL for real, not the X-Box 2010 version. Just throw all the young punks in and they'll rip the cover off the ball.

It just doesn't work like that.

David S said...

I think LT is talking about a "fluffer".

Black Dog said...

I think LT is talking about the stunt dick.

Best boy was the assistant to the gaffer and the key grip so you had one in each department.

Why for you call me a perv? ;)

David - yeah its going to be tough listening to the calls to dump Hemsky and Penner once the season starts. Looking forward to watching the kids but its going to take time.

Coach pb9617 said...

They get hard-ons for AHL call-ups and 18 year old rookies about the same age as them who they figure will absolutely rip it up first year in the bigs.

To be fair, they've got the pavlovian boner because Kevin Lowe has conditioned them to do as he does.

macaotim said...

I tried to leave a comment encouraging you to smoke a big bag of BC dope and write some of your olde tyme positive shit, but the Chinese Government seemed to censor that comment. I love the communists...why'd they gotta go and do that?

Bruce said...

Speaking of guys who have struggled with injuries - which is seemingly every important Oiler for the last four fucking years or so - Matty writes today that Souray is coming to camp.

"Here's a possible scenario with Souray. He comes to camp, starts the season as part of the Oilers top four on the blue-line, and a couple of months into the season, if he's still unhappy [and not injured, knock on wood] or the Oilers see a trade out there, they can move him."

On the one hand it's a toxic situation, but on the other, WTF are you gonna do? If somehow the 2008-09 Souray emerges that changes the equation very substantially.

Downright Fierce said...

David:

Your point is strong enough on its own without the shaking of your fist at the kids on your lawn.

"You're not wrong, Walter. You're just an asshole."

Cheers!

PS: Great yarn, BD. And congrats on the new addition! Dollars to donuts that this just turns into a LOLcat blog over the course of the season.

Black Dog said...

lol macotim, well back in the saddle with the yarns my friend I have some that I'll put on 'paper' soon enough

thanks DF - yeah I'm sure the new addition will lead to new tales, I already have one and she has been with us for less than a day

Bruce - if Souray is on this team and is healthy then this is a better team, he and Smid or Foster as the 3-4 and then the odd man out with Vandy in the bottom pair makes the D look a little more palatable

Hard to imagine that happening but with the contracts being signed now its easy to see why they can't move him.

Ribs said...

You sons of bitches are going to make me have to use the damned twitter device, aren't you. Don't tell me LT is on there twittering away as well. The end is near when crap like that starts happening.

Did the rubber gloves give the guy better grip? I've seen football receivers use some pretty strange gloves trying to get the best grip.

Black Dog said...

Ribs - it was cold, I can't remember the month but i remember some snow, may have been November. I know a lot of guys had gloves but work gloves had to come off when you got at it. So maybe he got a little more feel with those (enough to work) and figured something was better than bare hands. That's my only guess.