Saturday, June 30, 2012

D 'round 2 - week 2... through.

after a solid week one (with lots-o-talking), I took to the weekend as a heroin addict takes to methadone... wait... what?

every morning; during the drive to our studios, we'd pass the Natural History Museum, and their sign promoting the current exhibition of "hollywood costumes"

thought it'd be an easy way to lazily kill a sunday-afternoon, having spent the saturday resting/recovering

The exhibition promised costumes from Star Wars, Star Trek, Indiana Jones and MANY MORE... (they REALLY know their audience)

Suit from Star Wars (1977) combined with a stunt helmet from Empire (1980).

Lightsaber from the original, again juxtaposed with a stunt piece from Empire (the "hand")

Stormtrooper Helmet and Blaster from Star Wars, possibly re-used on Empire... (or maybe they mean the blaster is from Empire, and the helmet from the original - did they re-use props?)

the most Giggle-worthy exhibit in the entire museum "it's an orange jumpsuit", no additional props/costume pieces... just the jumpsuit. Interestingly enough - there was a fairly large rip in the chest pocket, right where I, as a boom operator; would want to pass a lavalliere mic cable through... hmmmm

the infamous nipple-bat-suit, as worn by Clooney

Various props and Costumes from the Indiana Jones series (jacket and whip NOT from raiders)

stunt costumes from Terminator 2. the Bullet hits have lost a little of the gloss from the original chroming process. (blew my young mind when I found out that they were for the most part, a practical effect; as I'd simply assumed that all the hits were computer generated... ahhh to be young and naive)

Arnie's jacket from the original Terminator (love the distressing to make it look like it's been shot several times)

ding-dong the witch is dead... (too soon?)

only place in the world you'll see a ghost-busters uniform sitting next to some reflective pyjamas from the original Tron

in Honour of the upcoming Canada Day celebrations... I present... a Beaver!

...and a Moose

bobcat (or should I say bob-kitty... he's so cute...)

always thought a weasel would be bigger...

baby black bear... wait, did they kill it to stuff it for an exhibit? or is it completely made from scratch? oh god, the horror of dioramas has just washed over me...

weekly WTF...

seriously, WTF is THAT! (really wishing that I didn't frame-out the title card of the exhibit now)

entrance to the costume exhibit - shows some of the "toys" and memorabilia collected by nerdy fans over the years.

walking back home, I stopped in via the public (botanical) gardens

Favorite shot of the week

The local Mega-Super-Store (where I got my Tim Tams last week) has decided to celebrate canada day by hanging various flag of the world around their entrance... is this a sign? am I destined to shop here?

Frequency response chart of a Sanken Cos 11 (our body-mic of choice) - beautifully modelled by sound mixer Zan. (I find it fairly ironic, given that this particular show allows from a greater amount of Booming than normal, though we DO need to throw up a whole bunch of wires for the inevitable wide+tight situations)

well that's another week done and dusted.

this weekend is a long one = celebrating "dominion day" (re-named into canada day in 1982 via suspicious circumstances... seriously, look it up - the politicians basically pulled a sneaky vote to change the name).

should be a good one for photos...

If I'm not too tired.

see you all next week

Saturday, June 23, 2012


...Kilometers, 4 flights and over 30+ hrs later, I've moved (literally) halfway around the world.

We start with a quick re-pack at the BNE Qantas check-in counter, when it is discovered that my bags are overweight. Not completely unanticipated, as I was bringing a fair bit of stuff with me.

What WAS unanticipated - they now weigh carry-on as well as being zero-tolerance on less than a kilo over the maximum 32kg weight. $585.00 AUD later, and I made it to the check-in area on-time.

Land in Sydney, catch the shuttle from the domestic area to international departures.

Check in with Air Canada, who try to re-charge me for the excess baggage... then attempt to keep my original Qantas baggage-receipt. Wait for a staff member to find a photocopier... clear customs and security, walk straight onto the plane, as it's now boarding...

Flying over the pacific is fairly mundane... with the occasional pocket of turbulence to keep things interesting.

15 hrs later, we land in Vancouver, where I need to collect my bags, and "apply" for my temporary work visa... (no temporary visas are actually issued outside of canada - you "think" it'll all be ok, but you never "know" until you land, and find out)

Knowing it will take some time for the bags to get off my plane, I decided to try and get the visa first.

For some reason, Canada Immigrations computer system is not working at 0730 on a saturday morning... so I'm advised to return once picking up my bags.

45 minutes later, I'm finally able to pick-up the boom poles.

The immigration computers STILL aren't working, and the officers are acting like it's a national holiday... but I can't officially enter the country without getting my work visa - so it's decided that we'll fill one out manually ( we go...) it's ok though - any passenger boarding announcements "should" be able to be heard here (...right...)

Triplicate carbonless forms are filled-out, stamps are located - another 45 mins later, I'm $150 poorer - and one work visa richer.

Sprint to the check-in counter for domestic transfers (3 levels up via elevator)... my flight has boarded, sorry! (thanks Immigration, you're awesome)

we CAN put you on another flight to Toronto, it will get you in about an hour late, which will miss your original flight to Halifax, but we can re-book another one and you'll arrive in Hali at around 2230...ish.

ok, sounds good - lets do it.

so how many bags are you checking in today?

ummmm, what?

even more confusion and attempts to re-charge then keep original receipts... AGAIN we wait for someone to "find" a photocopier...

clear another security area (belt and shoes off this time, even though they were fine through the last two screenings?)

arrive at the gate JUST in time to board... Welcome to Canada.

5 hr flight to Toronto... Luckily I don't need to re-collect my gear, as there's just enough time to grab a burger, then re-board.

3 hrs later, and I'm now on the eastern coast of Canada, collecting my gear. Oversize baggage? what's that? we'll just throw these big pole-things on the conveyor belt and hope it doesn't fall-off...

Ian's life in 5 bags-or-less (notice the distinct lack of other passengers... it's late, and they didn't need to wait for some boom poles...)

Thankfully, our production co-ordinator was very happy to take my call on a saturday morning (post immigrations debacle), and able to re-schedule the airport pick-up to meet me at the correct time; so at least I don't have to hang-around forever after landing.

I'm staying in the same building as last-year, only one floor higher (same corner, so same view - which is nice)

I unpack, and finally lose my battle with sleep at around 0230.

Wake up 15+hrs later... grab some groceries, and organise to meet for our prep-day on monday.

Social Insurance Number cards are only valid for as long as you're legal in Canada, so when I activated my work visa in 2010 the card was issued to match the visa.

it expired in January, and since I'm here on a temp worker visa, I need to renew the card (it's something to do with tax and getting paid - so; fairly important), as I'll be working every weekday till september, it seemed like a good idea to get sorted now.

the nearest Service Canada office is across the harbour in Dartmouth, so my mixer drops me over; and we organise to meet in Halifax after i get stuff sorted and catch the ferry back

Bureaucracies are awesome. They allow people to totally switch off their brains, tick boxes, follow scripts, and ignore any form of self-judgement and reasoning.

Services Canada is the highest form of Bureaucracy there is...

3 hrs after first entering and I am walking out, tired, cranky, and with more questions than answers...

basically, they won't recognise my work-visa, and I need the "official, security-enabled print-out one"

you should have seen the confusion on the face of my "case worker", she was absolutely stumped by the hand-filled triplicate-form - never seen one, just flat-out couldn't comprehend what it was.

We tried calling supervisors, looking through manuals, then finally attempted to call immigrations... sorry; I was allowed to use a public access phone to call immigrations (Service Canada can't call Canadian Immigrations - that'd be too logical) this resulted in a most-amusing circular automated phone-bank thingy spewing advice on how to apply for a temporary work visa...

eventually we made it to the point of being "transferred" to a consultant... before being advised that they were all busy, and to call back when they weren't (apparently tuesdays and thursdays are good), it then disconnected the call... so I gave up.

ok... I've ranted enough about my immigration woes, it's all in the past now.

Time for more photos.

travelling across the harbour on the ferry

looking at Halifax

fantastic advice

sailboats in the harbour

nice day for it actually

it's Theodore the Tug

'Weekly WTF' = the local 'atlantic superstore' stocks Tim Tams, and they're almost as cheap as in australia - has the entire world gone mad?

lunchtime nap in our new studio

it's another curling-rink; Bigger, and no where near as hot as the last one, thankfully. However it's also much more reverberant... (solid brick walls with less insulation) so it doesn't sound as nice.

Super-Boom = this year we're using my all-time favorite mic, the CMIT from Schoeps.
We have a new Cinela mount; and I'm using my new Panamic super-maxi pole, with a Lectrosonics HM transmitter mounted at the mic end. About as happy as a boom op can get.

The show is going really well. Almost everyone from the first season is back (cast and crew) - so it's like re-connecting with old-friends.

Week one started with some studio work = 9 speaking parts and several 3 minute scenes per day... hopefully it'll get a little easier? (at least it got me up to speed quickly - as there 'aint no time to f*ck around on this one!)

thinking i'll do the whole weekly re-cap thing - depending on my mood, and energy levels - so I guess I'll see you all next week


Friday, June 15, 2012

Story Bridge Adventure...


For the past 3 years, I've been lucky enough to work as a Tour Guide, Leading climbers around the local Iconic bridge in Brisbane

Now that I'm safely in Halifax, it's time to look back with some photos taken during my last photographic climb-lead/assist.

council safety meeting? (more likely a Yungaba apartment inspection)

Customs house

Water rats... Brisbane style

gone fishin'

bustin' out the lens flares... woo hoo!

looking SW

BNE airport control-tower (bonus plane lining up for a landing)

Random birds flocking

Mt Beerwah sillhouetted brilliantly by the setting skylight...

dueling city cats




another city cat


pretty sky

QLD pride

Bent handrail

Mt Coot-tha

Bridge lights #2

Base, this is the 1620 ready to depart Top Platform West, over...


still peak-hour

council walkway

the not-quite-a-supermoon.

random city building detail.

Final shot of the city.

...well, that's it for the moment. I'll always love my time spent on the bridge; and hopefully, when I find myself back in Brisbane - I'll be able to return.

Next up = re-cap of the 30+hr trip I took to go halfway around the globe.

(should be good, it includes excess baggage charges, delayed visas, and missed flights)