Congrats to the all the cast and crew of Innocent Blood (formerly Innocence Blood) a film I worked on a while back as key grip / dolly grip which is going to Cannes! It’s not an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival but it is screening as part of Le Marché du Film, the festival’s film market.
The film is being represented by Striped Entertainment and it will be screening this Friday at 11:30 AM at Main Building Palais-Stand Lérins S6, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Check it out!
On December 26, 2005 I purchased a 1989 Toyota Corolla DX wagon from my good friend and former San Diego roommate, Cami. I was attending film school at the time and I needed something a little roomier than my Mazda Miata to carry equipment for film school projects. I remember laughing inside a few times thinking about how I was loading $100,000+ worth of equipment into this little old car. It already had well over 200,000 miles on the clock and I honestly only needed and expected it to last me a year or so to get me through film school. In the end it completely surprised me by continuing to run and run and run and I just couldn’t justify getting rid of a perfectly good car. I ended up keeping it for 7 and a half years and in all that time the only time it had ever left me stranded was in 2010 when the original (!!) radiator finally sprang a leak.
That is until the morning of February 22, 2013 when the transmission suddenly failed while I was driving southbound on I-5 just before the Fourth Street exit. The old and faithful Corolla which had lasted me this long with a bare minimum of maintenance had finally had the catastrophic failure that would have me contemplating whether it had truly reached the end of the road.
I worked on this music video a couple of months ago and the video just dropped today:
I was the key grip on the second day of the two day shoot for this video. Dwight Stone was the key grip on the first day and I used his rigging gear to do the car rigs for the shots with the camera mounted on the outside of the car looking in:
Here’s another Funny or Die video I worked on as best boy grip along with key grip Dwight Stone. Almost 200,000 views so far… It’s nice to have gotten to work on something that people have actually seen, haha.
Front Side We shot in the parking lot of Hollywood Park racetrack and casino in Inglewood.
Back Side 60x20 solid rag behind the green screen. Box truss frame. The sand bags are pretty much just for decoration.
Is the lens on the camera or the camera on the lens?
All credit for this 60′x20′ green screen rig goes to Key Grip Dwight Stone. He came up with the concept and design and led the execution of the thing. He drove the gradall… while flying the 60′x20′. The rest of us on the grip crew were really mostly only there to turn some wrenches and tie some knots.
I was told that this whole getup was for the intro sequence for the TV show “Fairly Legal” but I checked out the first few episodes of the new season and as it turns out, this show doesn’t have an intro sequence. : |
UPDATE: Season 2 Episode 4 has an intro sequence!!
Freakishly tall palm trees! I believe these trees were planted in the 1940's. I don't think they really thought they would grow this tall. Also that's a Red Epic-M on the hood of a car with questionable brakes. Koreatown, Los Angeles.
K-Town I know it's a racist and sexist thing to say but I gotta say it made me nervous hanging the camera so precariously close to so many Korean women drivers!! Meanwhile, the 2nd AC (and owner of the Jeep) nervously looks on from the chase vehicle. Ah, low budget filmmaking!
Koreatown, Los Angeles.
Me and my rig and the gaffer rigging lights in the car. The hilarious thing about the "safety cable" on the camera is that the door would fall off the car before the rig fell off the door. But even if somehow the camera fell off the rig, the camera would dent the crap out of the car. Then again, the camera is worth a lot more than the car, lol. 4 Aces Motel, Palmdale, California.
L-R: Director, DP, 1st AC, camera owner The one day the owner of the camera decided to show up to the shoot it happened to be the day I was hanging it on the end of a car lol.
These are some of the car rigs I did as key grip on the feature film Innocence Blood. The hostess tray rig is by Modern Studio Equipment, rented from good old Wooden Nickel Lighting. Wooden Nickel also rents the Matthew’s hostess tray but I prefer Modern’s design for being quicker and easier to work with.
The suction cup and 5/8″ rigging was rented from Dwight Stone a.k.a. “GripNerd” and it’s mostly made up of stuff he got from Modern Studio Equipment. That name sound familiar? Yeah. They’re awesome.
“We need to shoot a million pages in the lead actor’s tiny apartment in three days!!”
Working in the low budget indie world this actually wasn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with a situation like this.
One potential solution to speed things up a big is to hang a temporary lighting grid. Put everything on dimmers. Actors can go everywhere. No light stands to worry about when you turn around. And if you do it right, everything comes down without leaving a trace behind. It’s not perfect — You might not be able to make super fine tweaks and definitely don’t try to look up… but hey you’re trying to move quick so you gotta make some sacrifices somewhere :)
This particular case was on the set of Sun Kim and D.J. Holloway’s SAG ultra-low budget feature Innocence Blood, a film on which I had the great pleasure of serving as key grip along with gaffer Mike Jones and DP Francisco Bulgarelli. And yeah, we were really shooting in the lead actor’s apartment!