For the past two weeks I have been playing single Mom while my hubby goes to work on the Star Trek, Phase II production of Mind Sifter. He goes almost every June to hang out with our fellow Trekkies and make the magic that is Star Trek. For his first shoot, Blood and Fire, I was pregnant and I hung out in the green room for a few hours. Hubby read The Belly Button Book to my expanding tummy while Denise Crosby looked on and smiled. For his second shoot, Kitumba, the baby was running around getting into everything and I only visited briefly. Rob, however, did get to dress up like a Klingon and sit in the background for a scene. Primarily, he works on electrical stuff and lights.
For this shoot, Mind Sifter, he’s a regular member of the electrical crew. We used to dress up in costume to go to Science Fiction conventions… now he dresses up in clothespins. I even brought a bag full of tiny craft-size clothespins that we lovingly nicknamed 0.47’s. (If you check out the Wikipedia link, scroll down to see “Clothespins in film making.” It’s relevant.)
The best thing about this shoot is that I got to spend some time there, not just bringing brownies and hanging out in the green room (for which I am slowly making curtains, BTW) but I actually got to be helpful… on the set while they were filming!
See the picture? That’s me holding the slate. Yup, I was an official “slate operator” for a few scenes! Looking for spoilers? It says “Corridor Stock” as in generic footage of people in hallways to use in this or any other episode. I have a note over my badge; it says “Ask Me to Help” because I hate just sitting around while there’s stuff that needs to be done.
I loved the slate operator job. I have to write the correct numbers and information on the slate as well as the log that summarizes everything. After that all I have to do is stand in front of the camera holding the slate, then step out of the way (avoiding any actors who might be entering the scene) and I get to watch. All the scenes I did were soundless, meant to have other things dubbed over them later, so I didn’t have to worry about noise.
Hubby always feels guilty about going to the shoots. It’s a healthy kind of guilt. It is a strain for us financially, and it does leave me trying to take care of all my stuff and his and the kids for two whole weeks. He uses his vacation days from work. This time, he arranged for my parents to come up and stay with me while he’s gone. They’ve been a terrific help, especially for all those little times I just need to run out really quick and get or do something, and don’t want to make a production of taking the kids along. But having them here is sometimes more difficult when the kids decide they absolutely must have their grandparents’ undivided attention and Grandma & Grumpa are tired. That’s when I have to carry a screaming three year old or send a pouty 12 year old out of the room and away so their grandparents can have a break.
Today, I finally get my husband back. Or, at least I will after I can find out how many arms and legs it will cost me to have the Mom Van fixed. Of course, everything has to break or come due when he’s out of town, and last night the power brakes and power steering both went out rather suddenly. We were at my daughter’s track meet, and some inconsiderate person decided to designate their own parking spot directly behind me so I had to crank the steering wheel extra hard to try and get out. It took twenty minutes of back and forth to get the van out of that awkward position without power steering.
It’s been more than a couple hours and the service station still hasn’t called. Great. I have no idea whether it’s fixed or forgotten, affordable or eating our grocery money for the next two weeks. If you don’t hear from me on this blog again, it’ll be because I had to pawn my pseudonym.
Sorry ’bout that.
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