Release Story

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Martin Hash
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Release Story

Post by Martin Hash » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:08 am

In the final days of our CG work on the movie "Telepresence", Will Pickering's (our sysop) wisdom teeth became impacted and he had to make an appointment to get them pulled. He asked me about the schedule, and though it was frantic and we needed him every minute, we decided that he should make the appointment with the dentist a month from that day. Will's teeth hadn't gotten really painful yet, so he thought he could make it.

As the month progressed, and Will's teeth started really hurting, we made and broke at least a dozen appointments with the sound studio who was waiting on the CG to finish the picture. In fact, they became exasperated, then surly, and finally threatened to cancel their obligation if we didn't deliver on the exact day Will had his appointment.

On the crucial delivery day, things were going okay. Will had been up for 50 hours straight recording the finished CG frames to tape, and there was only about another hour to go before everything was done, when he had to go get his teeth pulled. He showed Steve Sappington what he was doing so that Steve could babysit the last frames, then he waved goodbye and headed off to be in miserable pain and agony - not to mention be was dead tired.

Things went smoothly for a half hour or so. The sound studio had hired a delivery driver to pick the finished tape up and take it to Seattle, and he showed up. I apologized, and told him it would be a few more minutes and could he please be patient and wait. I left him in the front room and walked upstairs to where Steve was working.

The power went out.

"Steve," I asked. "Did the power just go out?"

"It went out," Steve replied.

"The power is out everywhere...", I ventured.

"The power is out everywhere."

We sat looking at each other. Finally, I picked up the phone and dialed Will's personal cellular number - only to be called in dire emergency. The phone rang a long, long time. Just as I was about to give up, a voice answered. "This is Doctor Lucid."

"Uhhh..." I said. "Is Will Pickering there?"

"Can this wait?"

"Uhhh... No. This is important."

I heard some thumping around and the sound of one of those suction hoses slurping away. Finally, "Yeah?"



"Uhhh... The power went out... And the guy from the studio is sitting on the couch."

There was a long pause. Will doesn't talk much, and he certainly doesn't cuss at all, but I knew what he was thinking. "Awl eee wite ere," Will finally said.

I hung up, looking at Steve. "He's coming," I said. "Let's take your truck!"

"Where are we going?"

I didn't answer, I just smiled & waved at the delivery guy on our way out, and walked through the door as if everything was hunky dorry. We raced over to "G.I. Joes" where I bought a 7500 Watt gas-powered generator. On the way back I bought gas.

Networks are complicated things. Our network had a 30 minute battery backup on the server, because if the server went down it took hours to reboot and "CHKDSK" all the gigabytes of hard drives. It was 25 minutes and counting when Steve threw an extension cord out the upstairs window and I pulled the rip cord on the generator. The 7500 Watts went back up the extension cord, into our building, and the lights came on - hurray! Will showed up about then; finished the tape; we gave it to the anxious delivery guy who must have wondered what all the damn commotion was about; and Will went back to the dentist.

We didn't see Will for a long time after that.