5 For Friday April 19

Friday greetings!

Fabulous line-up to share today on the last day of this week.

Steph’s off this week.  She’s super busy and will be back soon with more tips and tricks to share with us!  Steph sends all of us her “hello”!

The stand-in for STEPHANIE’S CHIC ON THE CHEAP today is a fun blast-from-the-past read from the archives of Katiedid Langrock titled, “Twister Coming.”

I find the “Twister Coming” column amusing.  I did see “Twister” – the movie – but apparently I missed Helen Hunt’s wardrobe.  Perhaps, I need to give it another watch.  And then – bust out my white tank top and khakis and be in Ninja combat tornado mode!  It’s definitely tornado season around these parts.  Ha!

My favorite flower?  Hmmmm – that’s a tough one because all flowers are so pretty to me.  Including dandelions.  Yep, I just said dandelions.
I will say at first thought – sunflowers – especially the big, tall ones with their giant faces as big serving plates.  You?


Behind the scenes is a peek-a-boo to those who don’t or haven’t worked in the film business.  Teamsters aka TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT is a ya didn’t know — but now ya do — read.
Peter and I wrote this in our book years ago.  I ran it by my brother-in-law, Greg, (who worked Transportation in the Film Industry for years – as Coordinator and Captain) and I asked if what was written was correct.  He offered a few little changes to make – which I have.

Greg also added that depending on the size of the show — he was in charge of anywhere from 30, 60, 100 drivers/trucks — and orchestrated all trucks + equipment to get to where working crew needed them to be fast, so all crew could jump quickly on task for the next set-up/shots/plans for the day.
I assure you, PATIENT film production would be an oxymoron.

Comes from Justin, head caterer, on the set of Salem.
Imagine this — the caterers, as we all do, make it happen.
The caterers are no slackers — they cook, bake, make and present so many food offerings every day at breakfast-time and lunch-time for hundreds of people  (and they prepare all of the delish out of small trailers on location)  Think a buffet/smorgasbord on steroids, presenting their foods on multiple tables, draped in white table cloths, serving platters + steamers, etc … appetizers, bread, beef, chicken, fish, pasta, potatoes, veggies, salads, desserts set up in a dining area/catering tent.
And, we as Crew, grab a tray and multiple plates and pick and choose like royalty.   Absolutely fabulous!!  We’re talking china plates and silverware. Not paper plates and throw away eating utensils.
And when the crew is finished eating, Catering also takes care of washing the bazillion dishes + silverware.
They work long, hard hours and are masters of their craft.  Hat tip!

Anyway, I asked Justin this one particular day about the Japanese Steak Rolls and Rice and might he give me his recipe.  SOOOOOO outstanding!
Justin absolutely did.  He wrote the recipe on a yellow piece of legal pad paper – and downsized it for me to make at home – instead of a crowd size recipe – which they, of course, produce.

Justin wrote, “With just a few ingredients and quick cooking, this easy pair demonstrates simplicity and produces amazing results.”

So, there ya go.  Thanks, Justin!

Here we go.
Enjoy the read!


“Twister” came out when I was in junior high.  I loved that movie.  It had action, suspense and heart, and it defined my wardrobe for the next 18 months or so.  I became obsessed with Helen Hunt’s white tank top and baggy khaki cargo pants.  It was the epitome of independent adventurer, and I wore that outfit as many times as I could get away with each week, being told I looked uncool and was dressed in “the colors of an onion.”

What did they know?  Clearly, they hadn’t seen the magic that was “Twister.”

Besides fashion inspiration, I had three other major take-aways from that movie.

As the daughter of a psychologist, I thought the sex therapist’s relationship with her patients seemed highly unhealthy.  Two – Bill Paxton was my first man crush.  And three, tornadoes are awesome!

For years afterward, I wanted to be a storm chaser.  The thrill of getting to be in a tornado (possibly even having my house destroyed!) filled my imagination.  It was the same gleeful ignorance that makes all kids wish they could break an arm so friends could sign their sweet neon orange cast.

More often than not, it’s the movies that breed these absurd notions of awesome.  Basically every Disney movie made me wish for the early demise of my parents so I could go on some epic adventure.  The moment Clara learned to walk again in “Heidi,” I knew that my life would never be complete unless I became wheelchair bound.  Similarly, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Twister” made tornadoes a bucket list experience.

I went to college in Ohio, potential tornado country, and recall being disappointed when I graduated without a single raucous storm.

Perhaps this is why we were completely unprepared when just after putting our children to bed, my husband and I were greeted by an ear-piercing bull horn sound radiating from our phones.  “TORNADO WARNING,” the message read.

Huh.  OK, Good to know.  I clicked off the alarm, sat on the couch and turned on Netflix.

It took a full minute until I thought that perhaps a storm notification accompanied by an eardrum-bursting sound should be responded to with more than just a “huh.”

I took to Facebook.  It may be a hotbed of Russian-created propaganda, but it was the best place to see pics of circling skies headed directly toward your house.  I checked on the page of a neighborhood that is closer to downtown.  People reported hearing tornado sirens being blasted, something we can’t hear all the way out in the wild.

I asked whether this means we have to go to a basement.  In a matter of seconds, about a dozen responded simply, “Yes!”

Huh, OK.  Good to know.

But now, what to do?

Perhaps it was because of my love for Bill Paxton and for Helen Hunt’s fashion choices that I had never prepared for a tornado despite moved to tornado country.  When I lived in L.A., my house was as earthquake-ready as one could be.  Everything was fastened to the walls.  I kept sneakers next to the bed.  I had an earthquake kit in every room and had mapped out endless escape routes and hiding places.  But for a tornado?  I dunno.  Isn’t there something about a bathtub?

We reluctantly woke the kids and took them down into our scary unfinished basement, which is known for mice, spiders and snakes.

You know that moment in every slasher film when the good guys are running from the machete wielding maniac and they somehow find themselves in a shed full of more machetes?  That’s kind of what this felt like.  Boxes strewn about, blocking every path.  The floor covered in shattered glass.  Creepy-crawlies lurking in every corner.  The kids were definitely not going back to sleep.

We did our best.  I found an old portable crib and put both kids inside.  We tried to turn it into a game.  Huddled together, at the bottom of the basement stairs, we waited for the swirling winds to pass.  And they did, with zero damage.

I think I’m over my desire to be in a tornado now.  But I am absolutely busting out my white tank top and cargo pants.  I have earned them,


5 For Friday April 19
5 For Friday April 19
5 For Friday April 19
5 For Friday April 19



Who’s Who on the Film Crew and What We Do

The men and women who work in this department are responsible for moving everything on highway-rated wheels used in the making of a Motion Picture Production.  Everything.

Their backgrounds range from O-T-R 18 wheel pilots to die hard backyard motor heads.  These are the people who sported skin art before it was cool.

Just like the Circus coming to town this department moves in and sets up and breaks down and moves on in the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the night.

Their hours are long.  They are the first to arrive and theirs are the last tail lights seen slipping down the highway at the end of the work day.

On shooting days requiring a company move (meaning multiple locations in a day), Transportation is charged with devising a strategy to move Base Camp and Working trucks as quickly as possible and setting back up at location #2 – #3, etc …

No easy task.

Transportation is so much more than driving trucks.

It is exactly what the name implies.

On a location shoot – well thought out logistics are implemented – working with all departments.  Good coordination and organization save Production a great deal of time and money.  No crew really appreciates a good Transportation department until they’ve worked with a bad one.

These professional drivers are a tight knit group who are extraordinary networkers; they have the low-down on just about everything.

Looking for the finest steak dinner in town? … ask Transportation.

Need to find a garage to work on your car but don’t have a lot of cash to spend?  … ask Transportation.

Dying for a couple of tickets to a concert that’s been sold out for a month?  … ask Transportation.

Heads this enormous department and his/her job is HUGE which is why he/she delegates many responsibilities and works in tandem with:
TRANSPORTATION CAPTAIN who is always on Set/Locations/Scouts
Their job descriptions include but not limited to:

  • Script breakdown for Locations and vehicles
  • Locating specific Picture Cars (and doubles)
  • Modifying Picture Vehicles (paint, accessories, etc …)
  • Production Office to Set runs/Airport/Hotel runs
  • Logistically support Equipment Trucks for all departments
  • Pick-up, delivery and return of add on equipment
  • Parking Base Camp trucks
  • Parking Working trucks
  • Parking Catering trucks
  • Parking Craft Service truck/trailer
  • Ensuring adequate lift gate space (for working trucks + base camp trucks)
  • Leveling, operating and servicing mobile generators
  • Personnel shuttle
  • Actors transportation
  • Rental cars
  • Company moves
  • Liaison with all departments


  • Picture car coordinator
  • Picture car mechanic
  • Honey Wagon driver/operator (aka the trailer with several restrooms)
  • Generator operator
  • Mechanic(s)
  • Prop truck driver
  • Art Department truck driver
  • Set Decorating truck driver
  • Construction truck  driver
  • Camera truck driver
  • Wardrobe truck driver
  • Production Van (aka Set Lighting) truck driver
  • Cast Trailer(s) truck driver(s)
  • Hair and Make-up truck trailer driver
  • SPFX truck driver
  • Fuel truck driver
  • Waterwagon driver(s)
  • Car carrier trailer truck driver
  • Cast drivers
  • Maxi-Van drivers
  • Stake Bed drivers
  • Office dispatcher

Last but not least — ((smart/savvy crew members in all departments know this – or should))
Repeat … Never piss off a Teamster.
Should you arrive at a location and find your equipment truck parked a half mile from Set – someone in your department has broken this rule.
There exist certain essentials in the world of Motion Picture production and this is one of the biggies!

Tips, Tricks and Secrets for Success from Motion Picture Professionals
by Peter and Cheryl Clarson


Makes 16 Steak Rolls
Total time:  45 Minutes With Rice


  1. 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  2. 16 – 8″ asparagus spears, trimmed
  3.  16 – 8″ pieces scallion, trimmed (think green onions)
  4.  6 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
  5.  6 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
  6.  4 tsp sugar
  7.  1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

Across the grain into 16 strips, 1/4-1/2″ thick.  Pound each piece to about 1/8″ thick between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin.  Take pieces out from between the plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper.


Place one asparagus spear and one scallion across the short end of a strip of beef.  Roll beef around vegetables and secure with a toothpick.
Place rolled up steak/veggie pieces on a shallow baking pan in a single layer – toothpick side down.

Seasoned rice vinegar (found in most grocery stores)
Low-Sodium soy sauce
Toasted sesame oil (also found in most grocery stores)
Whisk together in a small bowl.

Drizzle with a small measuring cup the liquid mixture little-by-little over the 16 rolled up steak/veggie pieces.
Let “marinate” for about 10 minutes.

Recipe below.

Steak rolls about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to another shallow pan or big plate.  Tent with aluminum foil.

Pour marinade from baking sheet into a small sauce pan.

Marinade on the stove for about 5 minutes until it’s kinda syrupy, stirring frequently.

Over each of the steak/veggie roll-ups and serve with a small bowl of Garlic Lime Rice on the side.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp lime zest minced

Oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic, saute 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Stir in rice; saute 2 minutes.

Water, lime juice and salt; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In cilantro and lime zest when rice is finished cooking.




8 replies
  1. Carol says:

    Such a packed issue! Loved the Specktickles cartoons!

    Favorite flower? I could never decide. Sunflowers, of course. Magnolias, of course. Bluebonnets, of course. Ahhh! Like you, I find all flowers beautiful – from the weeds/wildflowers in my yard, to the drifts of primroses along the highways, to elegant floral arrangements. Love the colors, scents, shapes, designs – the whole package. A feast for the soul!

    I am loving Film Crew 101!!! Until today I didn’t even know films had their own transportation departments. How cool! And what a HUGE part of movie production they are. The logistics are mind boggling. I’m beginning to understand why movies take so long to come to fruition.

    I also never knew about meals being catered to the crew. Somehow I envisioned stale donuts, pizza, cellophane wrapped sandwiches…how fantastic that delicious meals (feasts) are made available for the crew.

    Thank you Film Crew 101. You are revealing a whole other world. . .

    But going back a couple of weeks – Steph had wonderfully creative ideas for using overripe bananas and banana peels. I haven’t managed to get to the overripe stage yet but do have banana peels infusing their minerals into a jar of water. Can’t wait to see how my plants thrive when I “bless” them with this healthy liquid 😉 Look forward to more great tips in the future.

    Happy weekend!

    • Cheryl Clarson says:

      Love your favorite flower answer, Carol. Indeed, a feast for the soul!

      So happy you enjoyed the Film Crew 101 column.

      Working in the film industry is quite extraordinary. So many “players” involved. It’s huge. Especially to people looking in from the outside. When working on a show, we kinda don’t actually “see the number” of people we work with every day because it just is.

      Stay tuned for more Behind-the-Scenes stories from Film Crew 101. 2nd or 3rd Friday every month!

      And super Yay! re: banana peels infusing in a jar of water via Steph’s tips. Lucky plants in your home.

      Thank ya sooooo much for reading + commenting. We are grateful.

      Happy Weekend!

  2. J says:

    Love the behind the scenes of Transportation — my hubby was the Transportation capt❤️

    Thank you Cheryl for introducing us ❤️❤️

    • Cheryl Clarson says:

      Delighted you enjoyed the read, J.

      You’re welcome for the introduction to Greg. He, too, has thanked me for introducing you to him. It’s just so sweet.

      Appreciate ya reading + commenting!

  3. Marty says:

    I’m with Carol.

    It’s mind boggling how many people and equipment it takes to make a movie for TV or for movie theater goers – (you know those, like my family, that must get there early for the hot buttered popcorn and soda!)

    Thanks Film Crew for the information. I learned a lot.

    My question is with so much coordinating going on AND generally very long hours, how are people managed that have a tendency to “fly off the handle” and others simple go “berserk if they don’t get their beauty rest?” Just how are they handled short of a straitjacket and patty wagon?

    • Cheryl Clarson says:

      Good question, Marty —

      Money – as in a really good wage + health and welfare hours paid by Production for insurance and 401k through individual union contracts generally keep people happy regardless of the long hours and hard work. That, and the camaraderie Crew feels toward one another. We’re all in this together sort of thing. People who work in the Industry are generally tough stock and always have been so they’re able to adapt to the crazy hours without whining with their “outside voices.” Ha

      However, people who have a tendency to “fly off the handle” are weeded out in individual departments by department heads and not invited back the next day (in the film business – on a show we’re all daily hires – so departments can fire hot heads that have revealed themselves on their crews). However, “hot heads” Above the Line (as in Directors, Producers, Directors of Photography, 1st AD) just have to be endured because they’re not going anywhere. They’re the elite hires of the show and we just have to take it and count the days until the show wraps and remember every Friday a paycheck awaits. I will say that in my 27 years in the business – I can only recall a mere handful of painful, mean people that we had to endure. And survived to tell the story. Ha

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Valuable!

      Wishing you a fun-filled weekend.


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