A Typical Day On The Road

My day starts around anywhere from around 6am to 9am, depending on whether my bladder wakes me up or the bus pulls into the next site. Most likely it's around 9 and the first thing I usually see is the view through the windshield of some non descript part of the days venue.

I wander in through the loading dock and either look for a bathroom or catering depending on which is the more pressing urge. With those processes done it's now around 10am. Paulie & Mike have found out where we are going to build the system, place cameras how and where screens are going to hang as well as where the projectors are going to go. Now it's wait around until 11:00 to 11:30am when our truck gets dumped.

Gear gets pushed to the relevant positions and we start working. I start by placing the rack cases in a way so that Paulie and I can work easiest within the space allotted. Next I pull all the lids off of the cases and put them out of the way. At this time I try and find out were the house electrician has tied in our tails, they usually go in when lighting and sound put theirs in, run cam lock cable to the distro and hook in the stab line, throw the switch and meter power and hope there are no problems. Next I wire the system for power and bring everything on line.

Out comes the video mults and I tie the racks together video wise. Paulie and I build the switcher control panel table and then install the C.P. I hook up the Remote Control Panels for the CCUs and hook up the router at the video control position. The Aladdin monitor keyboard and mouse get placed on the switcher table and hooked up. 2 intercom belt packs and head sets get placed at mine and Paulie's positions. By this time the equipment is warm enough to check timing, levels and signal routing path. This is also when I find out if I hooked up everything right of if something has broken during last nights trucking. Camera cables are starting to make there way back to me and are plugged in and powered up as I get them. Projector signal and power cable is being brought back by local hands. I or Mike will plug those in. Since they already have a signal on them Mike can take the WFM 90 and check levels out at the projector positions. Since we have equalizing DA's in line we can compensate for the long runs of cable. After all the cameras are built I will check or "Fax" them (check intercom, back focus, iris range, tally, and returns) with the camera guys.

Now it's around 1:30pm and everything is working fine. At this point I will pull out any broken gear and attempt to fix it, so far I've had good luck. Other things I do include, help hanging screens, working on the web site, wander around and take pictures of the venue, and wait around until sound check and or dinner whichever comes first. Usually sound check. I make sure I have an audio feed and then it's dinner time.

At around 5 to 6:30pm the doors open. I try to get a white balance with house spotlights, if I remember. At around 7:30 to 8pm the opening band, Kenny Wayne Shepperd goes on. If it's to bright outside we don't shoot the show (Can't see the screens in the light). Then comes the set change.

At around 8:40pm Jimmy Page and The Black Crowe go on and we work for around 2 hours. It's now 11pm and the end of the show. We bring in the screens so they don't get damaged by wind during the night. Then we shut everything down for the night and make for the bus, where we wait to go to the hotel for the night.

All in all about a 13 1/2 hour day with about 6 hours of real work.

The next day we have a 12:00pm bus call, actually the bus leaves by 12 so you have to be checked out by 11:45 or so and on the bus or you will be oil spotted. We get to site power up everything and head for catering for lunch. After lunch I check timing , signal path and make sure that nothing has croaked during the night. It's now 2:30 to 3pm and it's hurry up and wait. The rest of the day flows just like yesterday except at the end of The Who's show we strike!

It's 11pm do you know where your local crew is? Good, give them to Mike so he can get his gear down and put away. The camera guys put there cameras away and start pulling back their triax cable. I start putting away all the the loose stuff and then pull all the cables. Finally putting the switcher head in it's case and putting the case lids on. Now we push all the cases to the truck. Mike and the camera guys are bringing in the screens and packing the up. Skip calls the load and Paulie and I push the cases into line where loaders then push them on the truck. By the time all the cases are on the truck the screens are down and headed towards the truck. It's now around 12 to 12:15 am trucks done and it's time for some bus food and beer followed by a shower.

Now we wait for lighting and sound to finish striking and loading followed by showering. At around 1:30am the buses and the last of the trucks pull out and head for the next venue. Relax and calm down from the show for a little while longer and then blessed sleep.

Around 6 hours of work.

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