Friday, June 11, 2010


Everything was set, actors were in their places. The train moved a few minutes later, went down the tracks and stopped. We sat there, then went forward again. Stopped. We backed up to the station, went forward again, stopped.

During this time, I'm watching the camera crews outside, setting up cameras, moving them around, adjusting for angles. Virginia asking me questions the whole time. I explain to her that you can set up, think that it'll be a good angle, then find out that something affects the shot. So, you move the camera, get set up and try again. This was interesting, for about the first three times. After we had been up and down the same stretch of railroad tracks about a dozen times, she was getting bored with it all.

We took to looking for unusual landmarks, strange scenery, you know, stuff that's never going to be seen if you only go past it one time. Crew pissing against trees in the woods, stuff like that. It was very convenient, they fed us, put us on this train, then we find out that the toilets don't work. OK, it wasn't that they didn't work. They had been removed. Which tends to keep people from using them. As you might guess, this upset the ladies more than the gents. We just took to the woods. Still have to be careful, the city boys didn't know about the funny leaves. Which can give you a nice rash in a tender area. You have to be careful when going splishy-splashy on the side of that tree. It might get its revenge in a couple of days. Poison oak and poison ivy love to break out all over. Don't itch that rash, use a scrub brush on it! Hey, you didn’t really wipe with that leaf, did you? Your girlfriend is going to hate you.

After they had shot some exteriors, we were allowed to take a break and gnaw on some snacks. Which was nice of them, since it was only about 1PM. Yes, I know that it would only be 10AM in Hollywood, but lunchtime is lunchtime. Here, we call it ’dinner’ and some people eat at 11 AM. Which is normal if you work ’farm hours’. Try arguing with your stomach, it always wins. We did another three hours worth of 'work' before taking our lunch break, at 4 PM! You know that you're working for Yankees, most Southerners eat supper around 5.

They took the train back to the station and let us out. The lines at the porta-potties weren't long, but the expressions of relief were priceless. We all chowed down, wondering what was next, since we were only four hours late, according to the shooting schedule. Which as shooting schedules go, really isn’t too bad.

Before we headed in for lunch, a near fatal mishap occurred. The Star and some of the crew were engaged in what could only be termed as 'screwing around'. Someone had decided that they should throw rocks at a telephone pole, while waiting for the next camera set-up. Virginia and I sat in the train and watched this event.

The train was stopped near a trestle over a road, which was about 40 feet below us. The telephone pole was on the other side of the road, probably a good two hundred feet away.

Now, I don't care who you are, even with a rocket arm and throwing a perfectly round stone, you're going to have a hard time making the distance, much less hitting the telephone pole. It was like watching schoolboys, egging each other on. Virginia shook her head in amazement. The schoolteacher in her was probably screaming to discipline them. I watched for a while, head turned to look out the window behind me. It didn't take too long to get bored with the whole thing. So, I missed the most exciting event of the day.

One of the couples, who were truly a couple, some young married kids who both got hired to be on the film, were sitting across the aisle from Virginia and I. They had wandered outside, then came back in. She had gone forward to the platform between the cars and was watching George Clooney as he threw rocks at the telephone pole. She came rushing back to where we sat.

"He just fell down! He nearly slid down the embankment!" she exclaimed as she hurried towards us and her husband.

I looked over at Virginia and then back to the newlywed. "Who fell down?"

"George Clooney! I can't believe I saw it! He climbed back up, stood up and pulled his pants down. He's wearing blue underwear!"

I gave Virginia a surprised look, when the newlywed exclaimed, "Look, you can see where he tore his pants."

She was pointing out the window behind me. I swiveled around to see George Clooney standing there, explaining to the producer what had happened. His pants were soiled and torn at the right thigh. I looked back at the newlywed.

"Did you get a photo of it?"


"Did you get a picture! Do you know what a tabloid would pay for a photo of George Clooney dropping his pants on a movie set!"

She shook her head. She didn't have her cellphone out when it happened.

I dropped my head, shook it, then looked over at Virginia. "Another million dollar opportunity and me without a camera!" I could see the headlines in my head, ‘Clooney Moons Cast‘, ‘Clooney’s Undie Tips; On Monday, It‘s Blue Boxers‘, Clooney shows Choo-Choo Town His Good Side’, ‘Hey Baby, Have You Seen My Scar?’.

You don’t get chances like this everyday, more like once in a lifetime.

And me, without a camera!

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