Many of you know what my dad does for a living. Some of you may not. My dad has one of those awesome jobs that everyone dreams of having, or at least dreams of knowing someone who has it. My dad is a very multi-talented Cinematographer…. in short, he films movies. Look him up on IMBD. He is there! Over the course of his career he has won a few Emmys, saved a life, been to hundreds of countries, met countless celebrities, filmed movies underwater, in helicopters, airplanes and trains. I wish that I had time to tell you some of his stories. He really really really needs to write a book.
Right now, Dad works for the Church Motion Picture Studio. Although he only works about 4o minutes away from where I live, I don’t get to see him at work very often. Between my schedule with the kids and his work schedule and out of town shoots, we don’t get down to the studio often. In fact, I think that I was pregnant with Toad the last time we were down there.
Well, a week or so ago, I had to go down to Provo to run an errand. I thought that if we had time, we would call and see if we could drop some cookies off at my dad’s work for him. I had made a ridiculous amount of chocolate chip cookies, and my dad loves them. Little did I know that not only could we drop off the cookies, we just happened to drop by at a time that was convenient for him to give us a little mini tour. I was thrilled that we caught him at a good time, but bummed that I didn’t bring my nice camera. So, here is the pictorial of my dad’s work as depicted on my nearly dead cell phone. Excuse the blurs!
First things first. Dad showed the kiddos and I his office. He really has one of the coolest offices that I have ever been in. It is not like the typical corner office that you might see. It is COVERED with memorabilia from so many of his shoots. His walls are covered with photos and collages of the movies, TV shows and documentaries that he has done. He has pictures with former presidents, both of the country and of the Church and of uncountable encounters with celebrities.
He has one desk dedicated to some pictures that are really close to his heart. He has pictures of his parents, of his children and his grand children. He has a picture of he and I as we hiked the Subway. It is my favorite picture of the two of us. We are sitting in one of the hot pools along the way and for some reason we are pretending to be dragon…. yes, I was 26 at the time.
My dad also collects little odds and ends and keeps them in his office. Here he is treating Toady to a shrink wrapped Sponge Bob wash cloth.
Here is a random sampling of some of the amazing pictures that he has on his walls. I need to talk him into letting me scan all of those pictures and let me write down the story to each one of them and put them into a book! It would definitely be a best seller.
As well as odds and ends, he also collects hats (I didn’t know that we had that in common.) This was one of my favorites.
Nena was intrigued by all of the photos on the wall. She had dad explaining what several of them were. I really could sit for hours and listen to him tell about those pictures.Next Dad took us on a tour of one of the studios. This is the catwalk above one of the studios. Needless to say, it kind of freaked Toad out a little bit.
The studio below the catwalk in the previous picture.
He then took us to meet some of the people that he worked with. They had just returned from Guam and were shortly leaving to go to Illinois. They are working on a movie called “Preach My Gospel” for the missionary department.
Oh, the famous green screen. Gotta love them. Bear was enchanted with this sight. It still surpasses his comprehension that movies are not completely real. He loved the make up chairs the most though.
We then went outside where Dad piled everyone into one of the electric cars for a tour around the outside sets. Oh, were the kids ever thrilled about this. Move over Disneyland, we have the motion picture studio electric cars. They were squealing when we hit 15 mph! Don’t worry, they were seat belted in!
First stop was at one of the studios Semi trucks. I have never been inside one before so this was new for me too. They take this semi along with them on all of their in country shoots. Apparently it carries a mini van, an electric car, a couple of generators, a crane type of thing and a few other items that I can’t remember.
I get all caught up in my dad just being my dad. I know that he is good at what he does and that his job is amazing, but I rarely get to see him in action. When we were in the truck, he had to take a phone call from someone in the studio. They briefly discussed what they needed for their upcoming shoot and it was a total foreign language. He was so official talking about cameras and other equipment that I now know costs hundreds of thousands of dollars…. each!
He showed us this trailer too. This is called a Honey Truck. Each one of those doors is an individual dressing room. The first two (not pictured) are larger and have full bathrooms in them. SOOOOO COOL!
We started driving around the lot and saw a lot of discarded props. We all hopped out to take a few pictures. This headless thing (I have no idea what it used to be) looks so sturdy and stone like. However, when Dad put Toad up on top, I realized by its movement that it is made of foam rubber. Notice who is smiling for the camera and who is doing the bunny ears! Yes, and we wonder where my kids get it from!
This studio has everything. Look at this cute river and bridge. We even saw a baby deer run by.
This barn of sorts holds all sorts of antique and AUTHENTIC horse drawn buggies. They are all genuine, not reproductions.
The surrey with a fringe on top!
This shot is in the middle of one of the little villages on the property. Everything is made to look absolutely authentic. It is really interesting to look at. For this picture, I was looking forward to having a sweet picture of my dad and the kids. However, with my temperamental phone and Toad, that seems to be impossible. I counted, “one, two,” and on three, Toad jumped into his ninja pose. Then, the camera died, so this is the only one that I have.
Dad took us to the wardrobe department. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture, but this is just one rack of clothes. The wardrobe department is as big as my house!!!!
This is one of the prop hallways. The camera wouldn’t stay on long enough for me to get any good shots. It is amazing what they have. For example, radios. They have every single radio from every single era that you could possibly imagine. They have cannons, real cannons. They have thousands of chairs, rugs, baskets, boxes, trunks, carpets, tables, etc. EVERYTHING you can imagine.
To end up our tour, we went outside again to say goodbye and saw some more of the costume designers hard at work. Here, they are antiquing some of helmets that they are going to be using for a movie about the New Testament (I think.) They were so nice and let the kids try them on.
I think that Toad looks like Marvin the Martian.
Kyra REALLY wanted to try them on, but didn’t dare ask. They were really cute and put one right on her head. She was thrilled!