Saturday, September 20, 2008

"I build spaceships"

This is how Mr E Man described his job when I had my first proper conversation with him. On closer interrogation he turned out to be a carpenter on movie sets, and had just finished building the X Jet and other cool stuff for X2*.

My husband built this! But somehow I still don't have the shoe rack he promised me 3 years ago

A word of advice: if you ever meet one of these people, it is not considered cool to squeal "oooooh, just like Harrison Ford!". Even if said carpenter is hunky and has Harrison Ford-esque scars on his lip and eyebrow.

Luckily he forgave me this transgression, and even the subsequent one, a question that I have heard pretty much every new acquaintance ask him in the almost 6 years since that fateful night:

"Do you get to meet all the stars?"

His answer is always that he sees them from time to time, but that if everyone on the crew tried to meet them, the movie would never get made. So, not really. Although he did make my trekkie Mum very happy with a story about Patrick Stewart buying iced coffees for the whole X2 crew on a hot day. ("Oh, I knew he'd be a nice man. He seems like a nice man. Doesn't he seem nice? I'm glad he's a nice man"). However his attempt to get her Patrick Stewart's autograph on X3 was thwarted, because there was never a good time to break professional ranks and stroll over with a pen in hand.

Mr E Man's job has many benefits for me**:

  • Free swag (they mostly hand out t-shirts and jackets in the size that fits the actual crew member, but I have been promised a Night at the Museum 2 jacket in my size. I also have a metal water bottle from the same movie and a very nice leather portfolio binder thingy from a TV show called the Dead Zone)
  • Occasional visits to look at sets (soooo cool. I thought they'd look all two dimensional, with clever lighting and camera work making them look real, but standing in the main set for the original Night at the Museum was like standing in an actual natural history museum. The curving staircase looked like real marble, but when I touched it I realised it was actually made of styrofoam. Ditto the authentic-looking Egyptian temple carvings)
  • Reflected glory (especially when we took our 5 and 7 year old nephews to see NATM and the 5 year old loudly said "thank you for making this movie, Uncle Mark" at the quietest point in the film)
  • Tickets to cast and crew premieres, a day or two before general release (I love these; the extras shout "there I am!" at random moments, and everyone stays for the credits and cheers when they see their own name)
  • Wrap parties

I am under strict instructions to "be cool" at these latter events. Yes, even if Hugh Jackman is there (which he never is, sadly). My resolve to follow this advice is very rarely tested however; I've had a director or two pointed out to me, but I've only been to one wrap party with any recognisably famous actors.

It's a good story though. I'd spotted Ben Stiller chatting away to various people and thought "oh, look, it's Ben Stiller" (as you do), and then resumed my conversation with one of Mr E Man's buddies. I love these conversations because everyone always tells me what a great carpenter my husband is - the art director even came up to me once and said "this man saved the movie!".

And then... as we were talking... a tall blond guy strolled by, and very definitely looked at my boobs.

I was, of course, completely outraged. I mean, I wasn't even wearing a name tag! How dare he! But as he passed by, I suddenly realised that it was Owen Wilson.

Mr E Man came back from the (OPEN!!) bar, and I immediately told him that some guy had been checking me out.

"Oh yeah, who?"
"Owen Wilson"
(Quizzical look of the "...and?" variety)
"Pretty cool, eh?!" I said proudly.

I think Mr E Man was quite relieved that I wasn't all scandalised and outraged. Giving one of the movie's biggest stars the old tap on the shoulder would definitely count as breaking professional ranks AND being decidedly uncool.

My point?

NATM II wrap party tonight, baby!! w00t! I will report back... if I survive the (OPEN!!!!) bar.

___________________________________

*he even got a credit! This is a very rare occurrence for most people in the construction department, which is a real shame because they contribute so much to the movie. I've sat through the credits of a lot of terrible movies (all of them with awesome sets, obviously - Chronicles of Riddick being a prime example), just to be disappointed when Mr E Man's name doesn't get listed.

**However I don't appreciate the occasional spoilers that come my way, e.g. on X3:
Me: "so what are you working on right now?"
Mr E Man: "Xavier's tombstone."
Me: "WHAT??!! Noooooooooooo! Don't tell me that!"

16 comments:

  1. A shoe rack!! Cath, you clearly have your priorities in order. My hat's off to you!

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  2. so would OW be the famousest guy that ever stared at your boobs?

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  3. Just admit it, hypoglycemiagirl. You're jealous.

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  4. No, no, wait a minute... it's the other way around, SHE is the most accomplished blogger whose boobs OW ever got to stare at...

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  5. yes bob, I guess a couple of famous evolutionary biologists doesn't really compare....

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  6. Isis, thank you! Although it is clearly not one of my husband's priorities.

    HG, he is the most famous person that I know to have had a look. It's possible that David Lane did once, but I really wasn't paying attention, being more concerned about not tripping him up or inadvertently kissing him on the lips. And I'm sure that David Lane is more famous than Owen Wilson in some circles...

    LOL @ Bob and Okham!

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  7. How freakin' awesome! I get (abnormally, I'm told) excited when I get science conference swag, so I'm not sure how I'd contain myself if I got movie schwag. Geez....if only I could convince N.A. to find a new career....

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  8. Super cool! I can't wait to hear about the party.

    My dad was a plasterer and our house always had holes in the walls. You'll never get your shoe rack. Although, Mr E Man does seem to be a pretty attentive husband, what with the iPhone and all, so maybe you'll get the most spectacular shoe rack evah! In due time.

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  9. Wow! If only Dr. Man had such a cool job. The only free swag that I get is the occasional coffee cup with a drug company name on it. Your swag is so much better!

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  10. UR, me too - I'd always come back with loads of free crap that I'd never use (except for the pens). Funnily enough Mr E Man has been known to wear his Nature t-shirt, and one with my former company's logo on, to work, where they always attract lots of comments!

    Eco, I think you're probably right that the shoe rack is a lost cause. He's also promised me a book case (just last week)... I 'll keep you posted!

    Amanda, I was talking to a friend in the same job as me last night, and we agreed that our jobs have NO perks at all. We don't even get to go to conferences and stay in nice hotels, unless they're in Vancouver. So a coffee mug is better than nothing!

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  11. Damn, if he can make sets like that one, it would have to be quite a shoe rack! If you ever get it, I want pictures. And you must write about the fabulous party!

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  12. He offered to make a table and chairs once, but it turned out the only chairs he'd ever made before were designed to collapse when someone a) sat on them or b) hit them across someone's back. So, yeah, it might be a very interesting shoe rack.

    Party post is up!

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  13. haha, "the tombstone..." :) after all, you asked.

    The innocence... maybe that is once and after that it's kind of "babe, we need to talk about rules. BIG things in a movie plot wise - don't tell me..." or something.

    Gosh, I almost dread to ask - has he worked on the BSG set anytime?? *drooling a little*

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  14. Yeah, I did ask... although usually he says something like "a desk" or "a rocket ship" that doesn't give anything away! And the X Men movies are really the only ones he's been on that I really care about in any non-set construction kinda way.

    I believe he was on BSG at one point, but not for long. Here's a list from memory, not necessarily complete:

    Movies:
    13th Warrior
    Never Ending Story 3 (or maybe 2)
    X2 and X3
    Chronicles of Riddick
    Fantastic Four
    The Watchmen
    Something about an animated rabbit in a biotech lab - I think it was called Mimsy?
    NATM I and II
    The Santa Clause II
    AVP II

    TV
    X-Files (only briefly)
    Stargate and Stargate Atlantis
    Smallville
    Dead Zone
    Men in Trees

    Can't talk about his current project, although it sounds absolutely terrible.

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  15. awww.... he was on BSG.... imagine that... ;)

    *drools and walks into lab dreaming*

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