Getting Reel: A SolidLine Intern Blog
By John Courchane, SolidLine Production Intern

So for those of you not aware, it’s been hot these last few weeks. Not “have a glass of ice water and you’re good” hot, but “Oh look, the powers out again for the third time this week” hot. So when it gets unbearably warm, where does the SolidLine crew go? On a tour of plants and mills owned and operated by US Corrugated. In the South. In July.

All joking aside, this is something I enjoy about this internship. When else would I get to go inside a cardboard corrugated box plant? Boxes are something that I’ve always taken for granted, and it honestly gave me a whole new respect for them to see all the steps that went into creating one. Same holds true for any other project I’ve worked on this summer. Film crews get to see sides of things not many people are privy to, or even take the time to consider.

Shooting in a factory or plant posses a lot of challenges. On a stage or any other controlled setting, you can manipulate light and sound relatively easy. Shooting on a busy factory floor with people trying to do their jobs and dangerous machinery running at high temperatures takes a little more skill. Everyone we worked with was nothing but friendly and flexible, but it still took some patience and creativity from everyone.

Of the three locations we stopped at, the paper mill in Cowpens, South Carolina left the most lasting impression. Much of the machinery was up on a second level, so we had to use the Canon 7D camera instead of our XDCAM. It was also the single hottest place I’ve ever been in my life. At one point, under careful supervision, we were allowed to climb a 50 foot ladder up to a catwalk above the main paper making machine. We were told the temperature was around 140, but in my professionally amateur opinion it was closer to 140,000,000. So now I can add “Film paper being made” to my list of things I’ve done at 140 degrees. Its number 2, right behind making beef jerky. To be fair, when we got back to Chicago, the 95 degree days didn’t seem so bad.

So my trip down south was full of humidity, corrugated boxes, and some characters. While we only spent a few days there, I’d like to think somewhere between meeting folks named Bodean and Hambone and trying my first pimento cheese sandwich (amazing, by the way) I’ll remember the trip as not only a valuable film experience, but also my first Southern experience.

JC

Copyright 2011 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

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