HRSTT: The Amazing Mayonnaise Bridge

Hot Rats StoryTime Theater
John Wood Takes a Nap (or The Amazing Mayonnaise Bridge)
By Channing McCleod (Hot Rattus Emeritus)

At some point during our third year in the Architecture program at Georgia Tech, we ‘enjoyed’ yet another series of long days and nights to ‘finish’ projects that were without hope of completion or success. One of our merry cast (John Wood to name names) was having an exceptionally hard time getting his ‘banjo trusses’ and fabric sculpture roofing to morph into…..well, anything. Some of you may also remember that John was dealing with some depression during this episode….but I digress. After pulling his collective crap together, and staying up for 2 or 3 days straight, John pulled off his project and had something worth presenting to the jury…..with minutes to spare….
Continue reading HRSTT: The Amazing Mayonnaise Bridge

Lori Brown at Syracuse University

The following news blurb was stolen from the TECH TOPICS magazine in case you missed it.

LORI BROWN, Arch 91, has been named assistant professor of architecture at Syracuse University. Brown was an architect in New York City, working with Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, Gwathmey Seigel Associate Architects, Polshek and Partners. Her work has been exhibited in New World Art Center in New York City, the Lucas Gallery in Princeton, N.J., the Atlanta Photography Gallery and the Carolina Summer Gallery in Seneca, S.C. As a volunteer in New York, she helped educate children in designing and painting murals in elementary schools. She also was director of ArtStart, an art teaching program for elementary through high school students through the nonprofit organization New York Cares. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University and lives in Syracuse.

This of course means that all of your funny and embarrassing stories about Lori should be sent in for posting in The Hot Rat Story Time Theater as soon as possible….the young people matriculating under tutelage deserve no less!

Newest Nilsson

Baby Nilsson Good News! Magnus and his wife Ili have their first baby! Isabela Maria was born on January 11 and weighed 7 lbs. 1.8oz. The last time I talked to Magnus about his little girl he’d taken over 1000 photographs of her with his Nikon 100D. I haven’t yet seen lilttle miss Isabela in person, but I’ve already heard some fun stories. In this picture she looks as tired as Magnus after one of our charettes….

Where can I find out what productions are being filmed in my town?

I couldn’t begin to answer that question because it’s different for every state. I’d suggest that you begin by looking to see if your state has a website for their Film Commission then look for a telephone number which may (or may not) be labeled as a “hotline”. People in the state of Georgia should dial up the Film & Videotape Office hotline.

How much do extras make ?

The last time I checked an extra could earn anything from a hotdog and a slap on the butt (on the low end), up to $100/day and very polite treatment (on the high end). I don’t the going rate, and it varies from town to town, but don’t be surprised if it’s not all that much. Remember: you’re doing it for the experience.

Under no circumstances pay a company to teach you “how to be an extra”. I consider this unneccessary, and many would say unethical. I have firsthand experience with a company called “Reynolds” based in Atlanta who were offering (for a fee) to teach people “how to be an extra”. And if they found you work as an extra they would extract a portion of your daily earnings as an “agent’s fee”. I hope that they have discontinued this practice, but take them to task for having deployed the practice in the first place.

How can I be an extra?

First you’ll need to find out if there are any movies filming in your town, then you’ll need to call them to find out about casting calls for extras. Often there will be a separate telephone number for extras casting, and there will only be a recording on the other end of the phone. DON’T try to call the main number back and pester the person answering the phone because the word will spread that you’re a nuisance and you’ll never work in this town again.

What is a grip (gaffer, best boy, etc.)?

Not that you couldn’t find the answers anywhere else on the internet, but here’s a quick rundown:
DP = Director of Photography
Grip = they build camera rigs, create shadows and drink beer
Gaffer = Key Electric or Chief Lighting Technician
Best Boy = 1st Assistant to department head (grip or electric)
Dolly Grip = the grip who operates the camera dolly (not easy)
Key Grip = the Head of the Grip Department
Focus Puller = the person who focuses the camera during a shot
Loader = the person who loads (and unloads) film magazines
2nd 2nd = the assistant director usually in charge of basecamp

These answers have been simplified, every one of these jobs has many aspects that cannot be encapsulated and the interaction between departments adds yet another layer of depth that is constantly adaptive dependent upon the people filling the jobs.