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    October 30, 2005

    Safety Diver For The Movie “The Marrying God”

    I worked as a “Safety Diver” for the American Film Institute’s student production of The Marrying God.

    Instructor John asked if I wanted to work on a student film as a “safety diver.”

    It paid $150 for the day and I would get experience working in movies; I agreed.

    The French Cottage Motel

    The movie was being filmed at this run down, tweaker and hooker motel off of Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

    We were suppose to supervise the filming of a pool scene that was to be shot above the water and below.

    The Dirty Pool At The French Cottage Motel

    Someone in the crew had the brilliant idea of throwing leaves and dirt in the pool to make the underwater scenes “seem murky and dark.”

    That really screwed up their visibility.

    Having taken pictures underwater myself, just the fact that you’re filming through water makes in “murkier.”

    John later told me that there’s a powder that the movie studios use to throw in water to give the water a denser look, but it settles quickly and won’t ruin the visibility long term.

    We had our doubts from the beginning that they would even get the shot that they wanted because the visibility in the pool was only one or two feet.

    The Assistant camerawoman was “Natasha” who was a certified SCUBA diver and filmed the underwater portions; she was young and hot and a little bitchy towards us until she figured out we were there to help her and not give her advice or direct.

    The Lighting Director With The rip in her pants.

    The Lighting Engineer had a rip in the butt of her pants which was added entertainment; as my brother later put it, “That’s how she’s going to keep her job.”

    Me, the Production Director behind me wonders why we have time to take pictures.

    The Production Director was a busy man yelling all the time and trying to keep the filming on schedule.

    There was always something to delay the filming in one way or another.

    Filming the pool scenes.

    They started to film the pool scenes just before lunch.

    John made sure the actresses and crew didn’t drowned, I made sure the tanks stayed filled with air and provided any other needed support, equipment placement in the pool, underwater equipment recovery, etc.

    Filming the pool scene

    The pool was filthy and the water was cold.

    I really felt sorry for the actresses who were very young and had no protective clothing – except one had a short wetsuit that was custom cut to fit under her costume.

    We took a lunch break for an hour – catered with Mexican food.

    “Wow!” I thought, “I get $150 and a free lunch. Isn’t Hollywood great?”

    Me on Sunset Blvd in full SCUBA gear… nobody even looked.

    Me on Sunset Blvd in full SCUBA gear… nobody even looked.

    After lunch, some of the crew that was working in the pool refused to go back into the water.

    “Union rules state that we have to let our food digest for one hour after eating before touching water again,” one of the crew informed the Production Director.

    John had to explain that the thing about eating, swimming within the hour, succumbing to cramps and dieing is all a wives’ tale.

    The crew finished their smokes and it was back to work.

    The Marrying God

    The youngest of the actresses wasn’t very cooperative.

    She was cold, in dirty water and didn’t want to go very deep to hold her breath for the underwater scenes.

    Most underwater scenes were filmed in four feet of water; she almost freaked out when she had to do a surface scene over the deep end.

    “They should have heated the pool and not thrown all that dirt in,” John said.

    Just finishing the pool scene before the sunset.

    They finished the pool scenes just as the sun was going down.

    John and I packed up as the crew worked in to the night.

    Great experience, but my brother’s stories of dealing with Hollywood have scared me away.

    Here’s a write up on “The Marrying God” at the Internet Movie Database:

    The movie website is here:

    September 24, 2005

    Safety Worker For The Cabrillo Museum’s Annual Chocolate Lobster Dive

    Safety Worker For The Cabrillo Museum’s Annual Chocolate Lobster Dive

    Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, CA

    The Cabrillo Museum Chocolate Lobster Dive!

    Steve and Laurie from American Diving, Instructor John and many of the traditional event crew all participated as support staff for this event.

    I worked as a safety diver for the “Chocolate Lobster Dive.”

    It was a charity event to benefit the Cabrillo Marine Museum.

    Early in the morning, John and I took a bag each of numbered cement lobster tails out in kayaks and seeded the lagoon.

    Each tail was worth a prize or raffle ticket.

    About 150 divers participated.

    Pacific Wilderness handled the contest border; American Diving (our group) handled the Kayaks.

    Once the contest started, the divers entered the water with their game bags and searched for these cement lobster tails in what was probably 1-2 foot visibility.

    The waves breaking on shore made the event even more challenging for all involved.

    One of the Dive Masters stopped a buddy team from entering the water tied to each other!

    There was a group of bubbles that we watched go way out of the boundary and back.

    Two women surfaced near my kayak; they were obviously exhausted.

    I offered them a tow; they declined at first until I told them that that was my job.

    I really wish another kayak was near my area.

    I started towing the both of them, and they were REALLY heavy with drag.

    Soon, a lifeguard jet ski came over the assist, towed them the rest of the way to waiting shore support — I bet they never counted on that much attention!

    Steve was yelling over at me, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying over the surf.

    I paddled over and was pushed by the waves onshore.

    Steve said, “We have a lost buddy who answers to the nickname of ‘Sarge.'”

    Steve followed with a description and also told the fact that his buddy didn’t know his real name.

    I put on a great show trying to get back out through the surf in the kayak.

    I must have wiped out almost a dozen times and later found out that a Daily Breeze photographer was taking pictures of my attempts.

    At one point I got dumped, stood up and the kayak, riding a shore swell knocked my feet right out from underneath me.

    I looked really hard the next day, and thankfully there were no pictures of me!

    Steve begged me, “Please make sure we don’t have to rescue one of our safety divers.”

    I eventually made it back out to deliver the message to the rest of the crew about the missing diver.

    ‘Sarge’ was later found already on shore.

    At the end of the event, John and I wiped out again coming in on the kayaks.

    I hit my head, but thankfully not too hard.

    All in all, a hard, but successful, event!

    Our group performed four rescues and countless assists.

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