Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Indonesian Job - Day 1 - Greetings, Blessings - and Where's the Grip Truck?

"Camera truck's comin' in....We're about two blocks away...Where do we park?...Excuse me, where do we park?...Anybody know where the camera truck can park?...No."
Opening of Living In Oblivion

Crew Call for Day 1 on Terjebak Nostalgia* was 5:30AM. Neither Brian, my AD, nor I have a fondness for unnecessarily early call times, but there was a dawn scene included, and we needed to get there early to get it.

I got there a half hour early, at production call, and the Indonesian crew and Brian were already there. I emerged from my cab with gifts for our Indonesian counterparts.

Reza, the producer, was a huge New York Knicks' fan. Earlier in the week, I contacted the Knicks' PR department and told them I had a guest from Indonesia who was a big fan. They immediately (and kindly) sent over a large bag of swag that I presented, last, to Reza when we met.

My first gift, for all of the Indonesian cast and crew, were NY Mets' baseball caps. My beloved Mets had made it to the playoffs, and I thought it was a timely and slightly different gift. The result: a number of Indonesian crew (not to mention Brian and I) wearing Mets' caps.  (see pic above)

We had some fun with that, especially when a passerby, after being told they were from Indonesia, said she didn't realize Indonesians were Mets' fans. At least temporarily, they were.

What wasn't fun was the grip truck, which had camera as well, being 55 minutes late. We had hired a PA who we did not know very well to drive it (none of our regulars were available). When I confronted him with why he was late, and had not even bothered to contact anyone, his answer was "Hey, it was a long drive from the parking garage."

I let him go on the spot. Things can happen. Alarms can be missed. But simply ignoring the amount of time the trip would take (it was a Saturday morning with no traffic) and then having no remorse for not at least calling to inform us was inexcusable.

My company was the production company in New York, and after going out of my way to greet them properly, and after my team had done an amazing job of putting it all together, this was a total embarrassment. Fortunately, the Indonesians were very understanding.

Due to Reza's quick thinking and Brian's usual ability to make things happen, we got the opening dawn scene, but not before Rako and Reza offered a brief prayer for good fortune with all of us gathered around. It was a very touching moment.

Although they had originally said we would not need a hair person in addition to our makeup artist, I thought it would be best to have one first day to make sure we could establish Raisa's look here, and further, to make a woman who was a pop star in her country feel comfortable here. Rachel, that stylist, is pictured far right above, in front of Monda, a PA we hired who spoke both English and Indonesian as well as an additional translator. He wound up being crucial to the camera department and is now working with them on their next feature!

I was relieved when we made the day. The notes on the production report are below.
G&E Truck 55 minutes Late, PK (name deleted) the driver did not inform anyone he would be late, he was let go.
STJ (name deleted) was hired as PA but informed us at call that he is no longer on this production and did not show up.
Breakfast was 30 minutes late to set up due to us not being let into the location until 5:20am.
Sound reported Walkie frequencies are interfering with sound.

*Pictured above, from left to right, are Eric, our glidecam operator, and Hani and Reza (DP and Director, respectively) with Brian behind them in his own Mets' cap, and their AC in front of him. Reza, the producer, is wearing the Knicks' scarf.

**While I referred to it previously as Letters for Raisa, which is what we called it, the Indonesian name for it  was always Terjebak Nostagia. One is not a translation for the other. As it has now been released with the Indonesian name, that is what I will use.

1 comment:

Kangas said...

It's always fun to read about movies that have an actual crew, and a crew that knows its job. Hey, a guy can dream, right? :)