This past Friday I drove out to the set of the untitled Chris Robinson project (formerly “Jellybeans”) to record an interview with On-Set Medic, Stan Swofford about his tricked-out on-set cart, his tricked-out trailer and about his experience of being an on-set medic.
The film, in its last few weeks of shooting, will be camped out at a roller skating rink just outside I-285 on the west side of Atlanta for most of the remaining fortnight. It was obvious that the crew had already settled into the impermanent kind of residence that only other nomadic peoples can truly understand. The night before my visit the production had hosted well over 400 extras for a long, mag-emptying steadicam shot that began on a crane and ended inside the bustling roller rink. It was obvious that key security agent Atlanta PD officer Larry Gilbert was still in hard-ass mode and some of the new-to-the-business crew folk were grumbling about his perceived “attitude” while riding back and forth to basecamp in the vans. I’d like to see them put on a police uniform in that part of town and have untold carloads of unscreened people aimed at them; I’m sure that they might understand Larry’s attitude a bit differently once they understood his job. And if you want to be a good filmmaker, you should learn the challenges that every department faces… like the medic. Turn up your volume now and join me on set to interview Stan Swofford, On-Set Medic! (click “read this article” to see more (and larger) photos of Stan’s on-set cart and transport trailer).
Stan has modified his EZ-GO ST480 cart well beyond the stock model he first started with back in 2001. From giant gnarly tires to hardened, coated protective grillwork around the emergency flashers, this ride is built for action. Most work carts have simple controls; a keyed ignition, a forward/reverse lever, a brake pedal and a gas pedal. Stan’s cart, on the other hand, is festooned with instrumentation… the kind of work cart that an F-16 pilot might use. When traveling from location to location Stan uses a specially outfitted trailer to transport his on-set cart. Like his cart, the trailer has been heavily modified. From the cherry-paneled clubroom in the nose of the trailer to the museum-like interior of the transport bay, it’s first class all the way for Stan Swofford and Production Medical Services. Be sure to ask for him the next time you visit a film set in the southeast!