Saturday, March 01, 2008
Back to Work!
Farewell for a while!
Well, now that the Writer's Strike has reached a successful conclusion, (Strike Officially Over - Contract Ratified With 93.6% Approval), it's time once again, for me to put down the "pen" and pick up the "hammer". In short, I am going back to work.
I am scheduled to begin at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn a week from Monday. I understand it's another Disney job. I say, "I understand", because when you've been doing this as long as I have all you need to know is the when and where. People ask me, "What are you working on?" I tell them, "A picture."
"Well, who's in it?"
"I don't know." "
What's it called?"
"I don't know."
"Do you know what it's about"
"Well, what do you know?"
"Where and when."
Anyway, to give the curious a better idea of what it is exactly, that I do, I have posted a few pictures from my last job for Disney, "Enchanted"
Enjoy. See you in a couple of months!
Yours truly, preparing to so some millwork on a Delta 10" cabinet table saw. One of the most useful tools in the shop, it is also the most dangerous. Your fingers are so close to the blade any distraction while operating it can earn you a nickname like 'Stubby"or "Digits" A friend of mine earned the nickname "Keyway" on one of these. He cut a perfect 1/8" grove through his thumb - hence keyway. Delta makes a fine machine, (I own three of them). They run almost continuously, 12 hours a day when in use and rarely fail.
A view of Stage 3 from the grid. The grid is exactly that, a "grid" just below the ceiling of the stage from which scenery and lightsw are hung. Note the steel cables attached to the tops of the walls on the Ballroom set below. The stages at Steiner are huge, with a floor to grid clearance of some 50' To give you an idea of the size, the white topped table in the center of the set is 6 feet wide by 10 feet long.
The Grand Staircase in the Grand Ballroom under construction. On the left is my buddy "Indy", who laid out the staircase and led the charge in it's construction. Barely visible on the right side is "one of the kids", Drew, a crazy bastard who jumps off of buildings, bridges and towers with a tiny parachute in his spare time. He's been trying to get me and Indy to join him. No thanks, kid, at my age you no longer bounce!
Not only did this staircase "fan" at the bottom, each tread grew in width as you progress down, from top to bottom. Tricky layout.
Riser detail on the completed staircase. Risers are the parts of a step at the back of the tread. This view is from the floor looking up to the mezzanine.
Yes, that's real 24 k gold leaf.
Close-up of the riser detail.
One of the newel posts is installed. We make everything, the newel posts, the handrail, everything. The mezzanine is coming along nicely also.
The newel posts are in and sceniced, (painted, although that hardly does justice to the work our Scenic Artists are capable of, more on that later.). Note the curved handrail, courtesy of yours truly, hand made, of course, from scratch. The steel framework for the metal cutout panels is in place under the handrail. The floor of the Ballroom is finished, as are the stairs themselves, so we have covered them to protect them.
This is another view from the grid. The mezzanine is well under way, as is the staircase. The floor has been "painted" and now only needs it's final finish.
The completed Grand Ballroom looking from the bottom of the Grand Staircase towards the Bandstand.
The mezzanine, dressed and ready for camera. The canopy is one of two over the "elevators". Note the filigree, again, hand cut and built.
The Pizza Oven from the pizza parlor. This oven was hand sculpted and painted by our fantastic Scenic Artists from United Scenic Artists, Local 829, a part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
This oven could fire a "pizza" 50 feet across the room, thanks to the SFX crew!
The veranda outside Robert and Morgan's apartment. The night city-scape to the left is actually a "translite". Imagine a 35 mm slide 30 feet tall and 100 feet wide, lit from behind, that's a translite and that's what you're looking at.
Most features will try to build everything in a studio for the control factor. No extraneous noise and since it's scenery, we can remove walls or ceilings or whatever, to allow the Director to film the shot he needs.
Well, there you have it. I have hundreds of pictures like these. Some are available for viewing in my photo album at Any Which Way. I've often thought of doing a photo-blog and linking it here, but, let me tell you, I had such a hard time editing just these few with bloggers editor that the effort is hardly worth it. It's a bitch to do multiple photos with blogger, half the time the editor just doesn't seem to respond, the other half it does what it wants, like deleting photo's etc. I'm a nut for layout and it is extremely difficult to format the layouts I want with this software. The preview is worthless, it can't take into account the template you're using and so I only know what this looks like on my machine using Firefox. I have no idea how it looks to you.
Anyway, just a short, visual journey into my world. I love it and honestly can't wait to get back. I have to be one of the luckiest people in the world. Imagine, folks are actually willing to pay me huge sums of money to do what I would do anyway!
Oh, and yes, I do take on private residential jobs. Along with my buddy, Young Ed Ferraro, I built Tom Fontana's house in New York City. The New York Times featured the completed renovation of the 19th century New York Public Library Tom bought in it's Sunday Magazine when it was finished. (Tom is the Creator, Producer and Showrunner for OZ and many other wonderful shows, many of which I have had the privilege of working on.)
So if you want work done, shoot me an e-mail, but you'd better want something totally out of the ordinary and you'd better have deep pockets - I don't negotiate and I won't "bid". Either you want my work or you don't. (Although I have been known to help out my friends for seriously discounted rates, or even for free from time to time. Hey, they're my friends...)
Have fun, love each other and take care of each other. I'll do updates from time to time. See you soon!