Thursday, June 14, 2007

Traveling & Film

While the posts here have been a bit sporadic, I will warn that the trend will continue for the next few weeks as I continue doing some traveling.

The last few days were spent in LA (mostly Santa Monica, but close enough).... Between checking out Hollywood (and watching stars go to the Nancy Drew premiere at Grohman's), Universal Studios, and wondering into a shooting for MONK, it was interesting to reflect on how the film and theatre industry compares. On one hand there is quite a bit of crossover - some stars, some personnel (Iatse), some construction materials, and even some effects and processes make the jump, yet there is a large divide. Though the technological side of film and television is exciting with what they can do, I am also concerned about how theatre is progressively becoming more like TV. There is a line that theatre must not cross, or the theatricality will be lost and even the most interactive film, or filming process will not be able to compensate. Plus there is a different culture, and perhaps value system that separates film and theatre. And while I fully endorse making theatre more accessible, and want to bring up younger generations in our tradition, making theatre more cinematographic to accomplish this might actually lead to a further demise of our traditional history. Nevertheless, theatrical tradition is always growing and adapting to society and culture, and there have many times in the centuries past where spectacle were important parts of the theatrical tradition - showing that while contemplation never hurts, perhaps the trend isn't as bad as it first appears.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Speaking of Moving Equipment

On the subject of hauling heavy pieces, I came across the following:
These furniture moving straps support 600 pounds, and they claim to make it 66 percent easier to move. While I am not quite sure how they quantify that number, the pictures in use seem to make it look like the straps would facilitate moving. I would be curious to hear from people who have used the straps and how they felt about them, as they look like they could be an plus to a scene shop or props shop.

Monday, June 4, 2007


While it isn't something we do everyday, I have had occasion to ship - or have shipped an item for a production. Where it be a large prop or rental scenic unit, or specialized equipment, there has always been a bit of a debate about how best to ship the item (Fed ex, as commercial freight and so forth). Add to those options a new one: Uship. basically the idea is that you put in a request and shippers bid on transporting your item. You can check feedback and choose based on their reputation and price. They can cut you a deal since they are primarily putting your package on a truck that has otherwise empty space.

The disadvantages that I see would be time: you may not be able to turn over the load quickly or get through the process quickly. The second would be dependant on how the organization deals with purchasing. i know some theatre I worked with that an unknown carrier would need to have some processes in accounting prior to being able to use them, which in a process like this could be a drawback.

The advantages would be cost, and potential time savings. If you deal through this company and didn't spend as much time dealing with calling around you could save time. You could however use their site to locate services, as they have thousands of transportation services listed.

So the next time there is something large to ship check out

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Used Books

I thought I would pass on a few tips that Ireceived about Internet book buying.
These are good first choices (though I often try early on as well). They look in multiple locations, as well as new and used prices from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powells, and others.
These are book liquidators. Many of the books are remainders. The books may have marks or wear on these, but the marks don't effect the readability of the books. These sites (I especially like the third site) offer great prices, and Edward Hamilton offers a flat rate shipping that is unbeatable.
These are specialty book sites.
Useful for used, out of print, antiquarian and collectible books.