Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Great Mystery Resolved

                                    Well, maybe...

Regular readers of The Anonymous Production Assistant blog haven’t had much to chew on lately. For whatever reason (hopefully, the collective responsible for that site has been too busy working to have time for posting on the blog), the elusive authors of TAPA have put up only a few posts over the past couple of months. However, he/she/they do update the site’s twitter feed from time to time.

Here in the dark and musty recesses of my Luddite cave, I have yet to embrace the digital hula-hoop of Twitter. I just don’t see the point. Yeah, I know, the Arab Spring uprisings that recently overthrew at least two despotic Middle Eastern regimes were in part fueled by Twitter (and hey, good for them), and young thumb-talkers the world over seem to be hopelessly addicted to the modern ritual of texting and tweeting 24/7 -- but being that I’m no longer a hedonistic twenty-something hell-bent on checking out every trendy new restaurant, bar, and after-hours club while tapping out up-to-the-minute digital missives to all the friends and followers I don’t have on the portable personal communicator I do not own, Twitter isn’t for me.

Old dogs, new tricks – you know the deal. I stand against the incoming tide here, but maybe that’s what slightly older people (ahem...) are for -- to question the storm-surge of “new” that is constantly pounding on and inundating our cultural shores.*

 Not that it does any good, mind you. Sometimes resistance really is futile.

Anyway... I noticed something in the TAPA’s Twitter feed about a long-standing mystery finally being solved, and indeed, if a recent comment on a four-year old post is to be believed, perhaps we now know why the prop department has long been saddled with the responsibility of supplying and wrangling the vast array of director’s chairs every show keeps on stage. If you’re still in school or haven’t yet had a chance to spend time on a television show or movie set, you wouldn’t believe how many of those fucking things clutter up the aisles of the average production. Since these chairs are used mostly by the legions of producers/writers/hangers-on, you might think dealing with them would be a job for the set PA.  That's what I thought at first, but it turns out those chairs fall under the aegis of the prop department. I’ve asked numerous prop people over the years why and how this came about, but despite their unanimous eye-rolling irritation at having to do directors-chair duty, none could explain.

 Until now.


 * Well, that and dog food. In the bleak, zero-sum dystopia that awaits us all, once you young whippersnappers finally get sick of our endless carping about new-fangled techno-crap, you’ll start throwing every whining gray-haired geezer you can catch into the nearest chipper, then hauling our freshly-minced corpses off to the Alpo factory... 

** Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the “comments” section.


JB Bruno said...

One less mystery in our life, and, like most in this business, just a touch apocryphal. This one definitely has the aroma of truth. My favorite apocryphal story is the "MOS" origin being Germans who came to Hollywood who would say "Mit Out Sound." When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

Michael Taylor said...

JB --

Ah yes, the signature quote from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" -- it was true then, and true now.

Penny said...

Wow, Michael! I do believe you've unearthed the ONLY thing not complicated on my show. Our Prop Master goes as far printing up the backs for each Guest Director, but when push comes to shove (haha) it's all in the hands of our Stage PA.

The Grip Works said...

Thats a great story ... I find it bewildering that the Prop Master needs to carry chairs for the Director and his/her Mob.
Could never figure that one out.