Friday, September 08, 2006

Sans Vie - The Drama Begins


So we start shooting tonight and we scouted the location for the next two weeks on Sunday. The space is perfect and Matt did a great job of waiting to find the right spot. It is in an old building down in George Town by Boeing field that is being renovated into affordable artist’s lofts. It’s really cool and funky. There is even a chopper shop down stairs. The location is perfect for the main action.
Except for one minor detail, there are no electrical outlets yet wired to the rooms we are going to be using. We discovered this on Sunday. But not to worry, Eric the juicer has the solution. There is an Electrical service box of about 125 amps that holds all the new breakers for the floor. We just need to get some distribution cable and connectors and tie right into the service. Or at least that’s what we would have done 15 years ago. Basically it works like this, in your electrical service there are 3 bus bars behind the breakers. The two outside bars are each carry 110 potential voltage and the middle one is known as the neutral. So your circuit goes from the neutral out to the wiring and back to the other Left or Right or rather in juicer parlance Red leg or blue leg. The white leg is neutral. So what you would do is take these clamp connectors and clamp one onto each of the busses. The connectors have a receiver about ¼ in in diameter that accepts a pin from the cable we called Banded. The image above is Banded but not the old style connectors this is using a cam lock connector. These came in 50 foot lengths of 3 4/0 cables with a male and a female end color coded Red Blue and white. You also had what were called 3fers that were one male pin that sprout 3 female pins in a sort of a Y. These were also color coded so you could tie into the service and run your power and split it off as needed. To get the 110 you needed in you added another cable called a 4 hole that connected in the same way that ended in a box about the size of a toaster that had two holes about 3” by 4” that accepted a male paddle that connected to a duplex box of regular Edison electrical outlets. Each side providing 110 power supply AC. There were also 2 hole cables for extending further and special ones that provided 220. Wire this all together and you had power anywhere you needed it limited only by the rating of the service. This was also more commonly used for hooking up to a big ass generator. Now I knew that the actual bits have changed since then due to changes in code. That is fine the theory is still the same but I needed to see the stuff to make the proper order from Pacific Grip and Electric.
This in mind I arrived at the day job at 6:30 AM to Leave at 3:30 in order to get to Seattle and finalize our grip / electric order and get a look at how the new bits fit together. Now I called Norbert to talk to him about it but he did not understand that my experience was all old school and I had left the trade just before these new distro bits had hit the streets, completely out of my experience. But He helped.
I also had to reaffirm our order was correct and after much go around with Matthew we agreed on the stuff we needed and I was going to call Stephan to make sure the stuff he said he was bringing was actually going to make it, C Stands and Flags.
So Off I go and I am making great time across the bridge and I get to MLK knowing full well that they have it torn up for the new light rail system but the traffic still flows and I did after all allow myself extra time. Then suddenly traffic comes to a standstill. So it turns out the light at Othello was out and they were having cops direct traffic. So I call Stephan and find out the grippy stuff he was bringing was actually another guys and the other guy was not going to show. So I had to adjust the order to PGL. And while I was in the middle of this discussion traffic starts to move and I start to move and my Jeep dies. Not to restart. I limp to the side of the road and Call AAA. Now all my plans are fuckered and I decided to move forward and call PGL to update and confirm the order.
THE POINT
So as I am talking to Ray at PGL I am explaining that I was coming down to see how all the new distro fit together and I started by mentioning the Clamp Adaptors. Guess what? Those have been illegal in the state for about 15 years. Now he only rents Bare Wire Tie in and to do that you need to attach a huge ass breaker to the service and then attach the bare wire tail to that. So now we are really fuckered. I have No good power supply for the lights. What to do? I tripled my Stinger (heavy duty extension Chords) order and hope like hell we can find at least 4 separate 15 amp circuits to run our lighting on Saturday.
What a great start.

9 Comments:

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous bob said...

You don't have any dryer or stove plug "cheaters?"

I keep meaning to make one of these for a project to keep me from building something really dangerous but every time I go to the Home Depot, I end up buying remodeling supplied for my basement :(

 
At 3:33 PM, Blogger Eric said...

No Bob it just came from my ignorance of the changes. The moral from now is is to check power supplies if the budget will not support a big ass Gennie for the shoot.

 
At 4:23 AM, Blogger Grish said...

Your sure getting alot of work. Busy busy busy...:P

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger Yasamin said...

i just want you to know that i am comptetely and utterly confused except for the fact that whatever solution you were going for is now scrapped. i have one word for you my friend.

McGyver.

hehehe ps get to reading.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Yasamin said...

ppss... does your wife have an agent for her writing? just curious. i think i remember you mentioning that she has finished a novel and was in the process of re-write... of am i completely wrong? i dream up alot of stuff these days hehe

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Iwanski said...

"Vicariously through Eric" is the answer.

The question is "How is Iwanski living his dreams?"

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger Morris said...

I wont give any spoilers. But I will say felt Happy that I could call Eric saying. Do you want the good news or the good news first.

 
At 4:47 AM, Blogger KidVideo said...

You can't use a generator? I know it represents a serious expense but could you get a smaller comapny who owns one to supply it at a discount or for free in exchange for a listing in the credits? I know you've A) probably already thought of that and B) hit a brick wall with it. Maybe you could put an add on Craig's list looking for somebody in the area with those clamps? Regardess, your project sounds very cool. I have absolute confidence you'll solve the issues. Good luck!

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Well Thanks for stopping by. Yeah the gennie goes for about 700 / day and you also have to rent a stake bed to move it and then have someone to drive it. We found enough power for the lights around the building and we only popped one circuit breaker sparking up the 2 K Baby Junior. But that was when the camera battery charger was plugged into the same circuit. We adapted.
Stay tuned as I will post some production stills and a run down on last weekends shooting later today

 

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