Friday, July 30, 2010

The other "LA"

NOLA's only real booming economy down here is the film industry. The state and city won over Hollywood years ago with nice tax deals to motion picture producers to move operations to New Orleans. My buddy Steve was telling me today on the ride in to work this morning. An ex cop pushing a Lincoln over the bridge at 4:00 am in the morning. Feeling safe, but at the same time feeling like I'm commuting into a video game.

With little traffic and a beautiful night time skyline, we're signing into wardrobe 10 minutes later. A decent breakfast with co-workers that I like. I don't even look at the carnage anymore. This morning we passed a half a dozen car wrecks, school buses and gasoline tankers involved. Large sets built to get demolished. The black night sky is blotted out by the artificial rented light.

As a former sign crane operator, I can tell you the cost and scale of this operation is equal to a bridge build. Cranes the size of dinosaurs that probably had been on call 24 hours a day for months, safely dangled a monstrous metal framed scrim diffuser over my head. Think of it as an artificial cloud. The day before we lost time waiting for cloud cover. We stood in the direct sun with a 110 heat index for 20 minutes. When some god who directs the wind does smile upon us with healing shade, we have to run at full speed towards a camera.

I am so impressed by the production people. I have never seen so many hard working people pushing together to complete a great project. Professionals with sincere love of the art doing their best, then in come the background extras. Upon seeing a jack knifed gasoline tanker I commented to myself, "Looks like an interesting day at the office today." Asked about my day I spoke into my phone, "Ahh, nuthin new, same ol. Yea, still getting chased by monsters. Dude, stunt chicks have the hottest bodies, yea."

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