The Faux Press :: Film Crew Legends - First in the Series

I've been hearing this particular legend repeated since joining the happy misfits who make movies happen sixteen years ago.

True? You decide. My guess is that this version of the story is true, if only based upon the discomfort of the first fellow who declined to tell the tale on camera.

Names withheld to protect everybody.

I love to provide y'all these loving glimpses into our respective strange and wonderful media-making worlds; to bridge videobloggers and film makers. Nomenclator Michael Meiser has aptly named the phenom 'bridge vlog'. Yeah.

One of the things I particularly enjoy about the film business is that a facility with poetry is an asset many have mastered. Poetry? Well, stay with me now...

The sun's going down. At sunset the work day ends. Everybody's moving fast as they can to help make it happen before it's too late. In any case, the camera will roll soon, ready or not. In moments like these, many small , important communications happen and it is my contention that these communiques are poetry: the essence of need.

Manhattan. Near dusk. Half a block away, a watermain breaks. There's a small flood.

The camera operator needs to ask the set dresser to clock the picture so it doesn't glint in the lens, but the set dresser's busy moving a small mountain of furniture for video village because when the shot changed, the village was in the frame.

The boom operator needs a six-step ladder from the grips because a last-minute reflector board has been set exactly where he or she needed to stand, but all the grips are hastily moving all their carts out of the new foot-deep gutter river that's lately sprung up.

The sound utility person needs access to the lead actor's spike heels to put some click-dampening rubber on the bottom, but Wardbobe's frantically hand-sewing a faux seam in the shirt that ripped during the fight scene's wide shot and unbeknownst to the AD's, the lead actor shivers shirtless in a room a block away.

The First AD needs to release the background extras because they go into meal penalties in 30 seconds, but the 2nd 2nd AD's walkie battery just died. The Sound Mixer needs the First AD to ask locations to find and quell the jackhammer that's just started to dig down to the watermain break on the corner. Locations is out and about trying to find and the 3 store owners who've turned on their lights and have 'em turned off. Because the scene takes place during the day, the stores' lights on will break the afternoon illusion.

Everybody's moving their gear out of the gushing water from the watermain break. Lots of folks' feet are soaked through in process; they're gushing.

The DP asks for metal light-reducing screens in all the daylight-balanced HMI lights that make the afternoon last longer. Electricians scramble.

Communicating in chaos. It happens all the time.

It's in moments like these that the most extreme compromises are reached. Despite not being ready, we shoot. We compromise and shoot because we must. Maybe it will work. We cross our fingers.

"Clock left. Hold."


I admire the capacity to communicate in essence.

While I've essentially stopped writing poetry, a poet I remain.

Click HERE to download the Quicktime version.



  1. Yay! I loved the poem!! I hope kidnapped is going well and that you had a happy turkey day!


  2. :) Thanks, Meg. Hope you also had a happy thanksgiving.


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