So anytime you can work in a production friendly environment that helps.
But, there are a number of unfriendly aspects to filming downtown. Tight spaces, very expensive parking and permits, not overly safe, and Rats!
On Day 4, I pulled my car in front of the building we were filming in so I could load my stuff at the end of the night (which was really early morning). I then proceeded to watch a colony (well, maybe 3 -- but I thought it was a colony) run under my car and look out at me as I went to get in my car and drive away. Now, I have had friends with pet rats and I love animals. But there's something about seeing city rats run across the street and sit and stare at you from under your car that is very disturbing.
I had to bring my sound mixer Jordi (who rocks by the way; he's a wonderfully talented Spaniard -- yes, we flew him in from Spain or Luxembourg or somewhere from afar so we could have him) with me to my car so he could help me ward them off should they come out and attack. I'm sure Jordi thought I was nuts but I needed the company. I was convinced the rats would jump in my car as soon as I opened the door. As soon as I started my car, the rats went running and I hightailed it out of there.
That was Day 4. On Day 5, we had quite an incident at the hotel we were filming in.
About 3/4 of the way through a very successful filming day, my other producing partner and I were called to set. We were powwowing off set at the time. Now, when all the producers are called to the set, you know there's a problem. A big one. Upon our arrival, we found a resident of the building on the floor, complaining that he tripped on one of our cords and was suffering from back pain.
Immediately, two of my crew members said they saw him successfully step over the cord and then proceed to "fake" a fall, in their opinion. One also said he saw him swaggering around drunk earlier. But you can't ignore the fact that this person is lying on the floor complaining of injuries, even if you believe the incident is fraudulent.
As we were evaluating the situation, the resident took a cell phone out of his pocket and called 911. Emergency responders came and he requested an ambulance ride to the hospital. The ambulance came and took him. We compiled witness statements and noted everyone who responded to the scene. I also took pictures of the hallway. A note of the incident will go on our production report and I am providing our insurance company with all of the information.
We then finished our day.
Needless to say, the set on Day 5 went very quickly from a calm, smooth shoot to a bit of chaos. All in a day's work!
We are not filming in downtown LA today. We are off to South Pasadena tonight, filming all night. We even get to hire a port o potty. More to come...