Saturday, June 16, 2007

That's a Wrap

On any shoot when "Wrap," is called you want to finish and get out of there as soon as possible. When working on the road or on a longer project and it finally finishes, the urgency to be done is five-fold.

A few years ago we were shooting at Microsoft's England headquarters in Reading, England. We were there for several days, the work was good, but hard and we were staying in what was called a bed and breakfast, but more accurately was a boarding house. There was a glass shower in our rooms that was so narrow you could not wash the bottom of your feet. The bathroom was one big co-ed room with five or six individual stalls next to each other. It was a little awkward, but I guess we could encourage each other along after the mandatory heavy English breakfast we had each morning. Our reward for four days of this work was three nights in London at a nice hotel for some r&r.

When we wrapped we really beat it out of there. Reading is about 60 miles from London, it was rush hour and we had expensive gear we needed to return. Our vehicle was packed to the gills, with just enough room for Jim, me and our driver. As we were about to pull away, our client, who is also a friend and had made possible the London r&r, asked us a favor- could we take her friend and her son to London with us because they have theater tickets. Feeling guilty we re-packed the car and crammed mom and the kid into the car and headed off to London.

For the next two hours, the kid pointed out every, EVERY double decker bus we saw. He complained there was no air conditioning in the car. He sang show tunes (they were going to see Les Mis or some Andrew Lloyd Weber thing.) He felt the need to try to explain to every other car that they were driving on the wrong side of the road. And this is the edited list.

As we approached London and hundreds more double decker busses, "There's another one!" I can still hear him shout, the driver told us that the theater and the equipment rental house were on opposite sides of town and asked where should we go first. Before we could answer the mom spoke up, "We have a 7:30 curtain we can't miss." So we drove through central London to the West End, passing our hotel, so she and the kid could see their damn show. (More double decker buses, add your own sound FX here.)

We dropped them off, beat it back across London, passed our hotel again, and got to the rental house just as they were closing. We turned back around, crossed London once more and got to our hotel, where I crawled into a giant martini.

No lesson here except, when in London I never take the bus and always take the tube. Mind the gap.


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