Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 27, 2010

That’s enough poop-scooping

  • My scoop is half full of horse poop.

    It’s the end of the line for my new movie career; I’m okay with that.

  • The final day of shooting turned out to be 14 hours long; it was a hot one in the desert.
  • The cloudy skies didn’t please the director (it creates a lack of continuity with previously-shot scenes on sunny days) so things kept getting delayed until the cloud cover moved out at lunchtime.
  • We never knew what was going on or how many takes the director would want. I felt sorry for the poor cavalrymen and Indians who had to fall off their horses over and over and over again… getting shot, fake blood, etc., — then the costume people would have to come and give them a non-bloody costume for each retake. Tough life actors have.
  • Horses that are bored act a lot like teenagers who are bored; they don’t have good behavior, get into mischief, act out. They also were getting as tired as the humans were, by the umpteenth retake.
  • The food services people took really good care of everyone. Hot and cold beverages were always re-stocked. In the hot afternoon, a rubbermaid tub full of ice cream bars appeared.
  • The union requires every set member to be paid $30 for every half hour they are deprived of a meal after six hours on set. So, if they eat breakfast at 0700, they MUST break for lunch by 1 pm OR pay every last human being the equivalent of a dollar per minute of ‘overtime.’ That adds up fast. They respect meal times. 30 minutes from the time the last individual sits down is required.
  • The saying “It’s not my job” seems to roll off of everyone’s lips. With so many departments trying to dovetail, you’d think there could be a small amount of camaraderie; no such luck. At the day’s end, everyone departed quickly after the final shots, leaving the Locations director and me to pick up every water bottle thrown on the sand, all the paper/plastic scraps, a left-behind personal camera, sandbags, signs, etc, etc. I was appalled at the lack of teamwork.
  • The crew and 30 horses exhibited zero interest in preserving the fragile cryptobiotic soil crust. Well, not that I expected the horses to, but the crew I had hoped would know better! The local land manager had a talking-to with the director, who then appeared before us all to make a contrite statement about how it was our duty to walk only where the flagged trails were, etc.  This lasted about 90 minutes before everyone quit caring again. I mean, let’s get our movie made.
  • Still… scooping poop is a reasonable job. I collected five garbage bags full of it Wednesday, one bucket at a time. I smiled at each person who looked at me with pity in his/her eyes, saying out loud with humble sincerity to no one in particular, “I love my job, oh, I love my job.” That always made them smile. I did enjoy it. I got pretty good at it, too.

And now on to whatever comes next.

Kathryn, the Poop Scooper at Onion Creek, demonstrating effective technique

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