Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Music At Work

Working as a production assistant for television, I don’t often get to hear a lot of music on the job, as quiet is the name of the game. But sometimes the sound guy or someone else will have music playing on his cart during lighting mode. Today it was the camera guys who had a bit of music playing as we were getting ready before crew call. A little Clash to start the day: “Police & Thieves.” Nice. It’s amazing what just a little bit of music at the start of the day can do to put me in a good mood. As long as it’s the right music, of course. Later in the day during a set-up, the camera crew played Steely Dan, which didn’t work as well for me. I like the band’s name (which comes from a William S. Burroughs book), but that’s all I like about them.

Music plays in my head for a good portion of each day anyway.  Yesterday it was a Helen Reddy song that wouldn’t leave my noggin – “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress).” Today it was “I Love Paris,” the version by Myriam Phiro off of her new album. And it's not just me with music playing in his head. The set dresser was singing a James Gang song at one point today. And for like two years after Kill Bill came out, you’d hear crew members whistling that theme. And usually at least once a day someone would sing a line or two of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (in response to the first AD calling out, “Turning around”), but that doesn’t happen as much anymore.

Every once in a while, music will be a key part of a scene. On Hart Of Dixie, there were a couple of musical numbers, and once on George Lopez, War performed. That was pretty awesome. Usually when there is music on sets, it’s playback, not performed live. But the best music-related moment for me on any set was that day on Almost Famous when Peter Frampton did a short set for the entire cast and crew. It was fantastic, although I was discouraged by some of the younger folks working as extras, as they asked me, “Who is this?

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