Today we’re shooting the music video for this episode, so I was on set all morning assisting. The afternoon looks like it will be very different, because one of the cast members is sick. She worked the morning, but I think they’ve sent her home for the afternoon.
Speaking of home, this is the apartment building that I live in. I’m on the top floor; that’s my bedroom balcony.
This is the view from the bedroom balcony. Not terribly exciting, and–aside from the van–it looks more rural than it is.
I moved yesterday into my new apartment. I should be here till the end of the year. It’s much closer to downtown and stores, which is nice. Some of the decor is…not to my taste, but the apartment itself is great.
This is my new bedroom, with amazing light. At least right now. The bed is actually two twins, instead of the queen size it appears to be, which makes it great for company. Hint, hint.
It has a very tiny kitchen which has deceptive ammounts of storage space. There are all these cabinets, but none of them can hold very much.
And the living room, with great windows and another fabulous sofa. You can’t see all it’s glory here, just trust me. I bought the print over the sideboard.
We went to see the late show of Bollywood/Hollywood last night. The previews had looked really good, but the movie was not. It just couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, and the pacing was dreadful. I wanted to like it, but it just didn’t happen.
They are letting us go early today. I was in this morning working a knee during this crazy shot where Pixel was tying his shoes. Yes. We’re still tying shoes. This was supposed to be shot as if the camera was on the ground looking up at the sky, but in reality–the camera pointed at the wall, and the puppeteer (Julie) had to tilt the puppet back to make it look like it was standing. I had to push its knee into the shot so that it appeared to be kneeling. Crazy.
I didn’t work after lunch at all, and they are letting us go already.
I think this week will be a week of cinema. We went to see “Spellbound” at the American Independent Film festival. It was really good, and I was on the edge of my seat much more than during the thriller last night. I don’t think you could do this in fiction, but there were essentially eight protaganists and you wanted them all to win.
On the way to the film we stopped at a grocery store to grab a bite to eat. This sign was in the window.
Do you need more to let you know that I’m in a different country?
Last night I went to see “The Bourne Supremecy” with Jodi, Sam, Sarah, Julie and Raymond. It was a lot of fun, though there was a bit of unintentional humor. One of the characters turns to another, at a very intense moment and says, “Can I speak with you privately?” Suddenly the lights come up and the film stops for the interval. Everyone filed out of the theater to the snack bar. So, I guess he needed a really private conversation.
I spent the afternoon turning a light on a remote control on and off. This was much, much harder than it sounds because I had to time it with the person who was hitting the button, but the timing was different with each touch. Surprisingly stressful.
I spent the morning on set as the live hands for Ziggy, played by Thor. Yes. Thor. I am in Iceland, remember? Anyway, I had to catch a football from a hike and then throw a lateral. You know how brilliant I am at sports. Fortunately it was a tight shot, so no one had to know where the ball landed.
I also got word that I’m moving on Wednesday. Actually, I’m moving in to my new place on Wednesday, I’m moving out of my current place tomorrow morning. I’ll spend tomorrow night at Julie’s.
I spent the day being fairly domestic. I did laundry, cooked, washed dishes. Went for a walk. Read. Napped on the eighties sofa. Nothing terribly exciting, though I’m looking forward to my clean laundry. There are no driers in Iceland, or at least there are very few. All the washers are frontloaders, and all the basements have rows of clotheslines strung across their width. At least, all the ones I’ve been into thus far.
The rest of the afternoon went very fast, afterall. I was called in to help with a periscope and football shot. Were we where trying to make it look like a football bounced off a periscope. Not easy. I also played in the puppet shop some, trying to make the Mayor’s half-body legs walk.
After work everyone went to Magnus’s house for a party and then to a concert. The interesting thing about Iceland is that things go pretty late. The party started about 9:30, and the concert was at midnight. It was a band, Studmenn that was hugely popular at one time, and have been around for twenty years or so. One of the men in it has been voted sexiest man in Iceland for eight years running. They are a dance band, so the concert experience was not a music hall. It was a converted gymnasium, with a lot of open floor space for people to jump, gyrating, up and down. Don’t get me wrong, there was a real sound system and stage, but it’s not really my scene. I’m glad I went, but I’ll ask more carefully what someone means when they say ‘concert’ next time.
I feel a bit cheated. We’re working on Saturday because everyone got an extra day off the week before I got here. There’s something not fair about that. On the other hand I spent more time in front of the camera this morning than I have since I got here. I was on set almost continously before lunch.
The first bit was pushing Sarah in on a rolly-cart because the shot was too low for her to move herself without her knees showing. So, that was really puppeteer manipulation, rather than puppet manipulation. Still fun to be working.
The next shot I did live hands for Sarah as she worked Trixie. We had to come in carrying a cable, give a thumbs up, turn up the volume on a turntable, have a bit of dialogue and dance. Because of a turn that we had to do, there was a moment where I was blind (couldn’t see a tv monitor). It’s funny, because on stage that would have been no issue, but with television puppetry I’m not manipulating the puppet on my hand so much as I am moving the image on the screen. So, it doesn’t matter if my muscle memory tells me where something is; it can still look wrong on screen.
After lunch has been a different story. We’ve been doing our usual waiting routine.
We started working as soon as we came in today. I did some right hands, but nothing terribly complicated. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but one of the reasons that I was hired is because the other puppeteers have fairly large hands and, in Jodi’s words, “they look freakish” when they do live hands for the puppets.
This is the green room, where we spend a lot of time. I wish I could take pictures on set, but I figure this way you’ll get to see all the backstage stuff; the show, you can watch on t.v. We’ve done a fair bit of work today, which is nice. The days when we’re here, just waiting, are excrutiatingly long.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]