NSFW – Not Safe for Working #3

Another hilariously dangerous week in the world of Entertainment!  As I get ready to head out to Fort Worth for this year’s USITT 2014 conference, another week of jaw-dropping dangerous situations appears to us all on the Not Safe for Working series on JimOnLight.com, brought to you in part by the Dodgy Technicians Facebook group!

Aaaaaaaaand we start out strong with some crispy 230V.  Nah, nothing wrong here.


“Hey Mark, how’s the insulation on that lead?”
“Well, it’s disintegrated.”


This…  this was at ProLight+Sound 2014.  How the — what the — isn’t this supposed to be a professional show?!


Television seating.


Cat5e.  Good for network traffic, and now, safety cabling.


Cable ties.  Apparently also good for load bearing.  WTF!


More from this year’s ProLight+Sound 2014.  WTF!


Reach Lars, REACH!  ACHTUNG!


This.  This is what my nightmares look like:


See this?  That’s fucking radio antenna truss.  See the ladder?  That’s a ladder.
I have no idea where this is, but these guys are about on the level of the idiots in North Carolina who thought that their work was completely up to snuff.  Another Bobby McLamb and L&N Productions job?  Haaa, who knows.


Two bends and some tape.  No, no, that’ll hold.

Holy shit.


I had to put my tape translation skills to the test on this one.  It says “phoned in.


Um, no.  No.  No, no, no, no, no.


Ladies and gentlemen, a forklift masterpiece!



Next week, we’ll see what happens when you use tape to hold up truss!

NSFW – Not Safe for Working #2

Another week of complete ridiculance in the world of hilariously unsafe BS in the industry across the world has passed, ladies and gentlemen!  Sometimes I see photos of things that literally make me laugh out loud.  Out loud.

Like this – what is that, a 1970’s porno par can bush?


This is called a Half-Cheese-Nelson.  Actually Bill Sapsis should weigh in on this, what is this called, Uncle Bill?


Angled roof truss. Haaaaaaaaa.


No, no, this is perfectly legit.  If it fits, right?  Oh my gods.


Roof Rigging with Bear Grylls – Ultimate Death Edition:


Come on, we got two chords on there!


Get ready for epic winning, gaff tape clamp style.


I call this “The Jesus Finder.”  You can find Jesus if you touch it.  You’ll actually have a nice luncheon with him right after you put a finger near this thing.


 Thanks in part to the Dodgy Technicians Facebook Group — check it out!

NSFW – Not Safe for Working

We’ve been wanting to to do this for some time, but here we go — we call this series NSFW – Not Safe for Working!

Images of absolutely horrific or otherwise ridiculous working environments within our industry all over the world — in partnership with the Dodgy Technicians Group on Facebook, we present to you some absolutely hilariously not cool images of ridiculance in Entertainment.

Check it out!










universe-in-a-litlelite-socketBut not all hope is lost, friends…



We Should Be Sick Of This Shit By Now – Thoughts on the Death of Sarah Jones


I have gotten two messages now asking me why I hadn’t commented on the death of Sarah Jones.  Sarah was the camera crewwoman struck by the train outside of Doctortown, Georgia on February 20 during the filming of Midnight Rider, and her death is opening up all kinds of those “oh, well holy shit, there weren’t permits” barrels of monkeys that you would assume would be opened when someone is tragically killed.


This is Joyce Gilliard, she was a hairdresser on the film.  She was almost killed in the train bridge, too.  She had her arm snapped in half by the train, and then fell onto some steel cables under the tressel.

Well folks, I have only one real answer to why.  It’s simple.  Researching death and disasters and accidents where people were ripped limb from limb or fell 100 feet onto a concrete floor or had thousands of pounds of rig fall on them from trim height at a fairthis kind of stuff makes me hurt inside.  I needed a break.  It sucks looking up these kinds of facts, learning about so-and-so-who-was-up-and-coming-in-their-field because the next time, it’s going to be another so-and-so-rising-star with a different name that will have an equally gut-wrenching, tear-pulling story.  This shit gets old, let me be the first to tell you.  Researching the disaster at the Indiana State Fair truly made me sob a few times, it’s hard to hear those stories and write those words.

Here is the part where I comment organizations like the Event Safety Alliance for doing what they do, which is trying to stop this nightmarish stuff from happening in the first place.

As a whole, we are an industry that waits until stuff gets really broken before we fix it, and usually the fix comes either after a death, series of deaths, or a majorly serious catastrophe like the Indiana State Fair disaster or the Radiohead stage collapse.  Suck it up, haters, it’s a fact.  Most industries are, ours is no different until we make it so.

Why is it though that people generally wait so long to act on potential items of aggravated disaster?  There are really too many questions that need answered here to be done in a human lifetime – why do companies who were previously denied access to film on a train bridge get caught filming on that bridge, ultimately causing deaths?  Why  Is it the cost of doing things safely?  You have to admit, we persist and thrive in a relatively dangerous environment with myriad variables all having a potential for a seriously negative outcome.  What we do in Entertainment can sometimes be one of the most potentially hazardous environments there is due to the nature of what we do and what we make — doesn’t that alone demand that we follow every procedure, every line item, every method possible, EVERY TIME to save the lives of our people, our brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives who make the stuff the producers and executives make shit tons of money selling?

Here’s what I know in my heart:  this stuff that we do, that we love, that we love to love and hate all at the same time — our work has ZERO worth when it has to be measured in the number of lives it took to make it.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to be concerned about your safety in this business.  I hope I’m not breaking the news to you now, but the people at the very top care about the money, not you.  There are more yous to do the job, ask any one of the thousands of unemployed entertainment techs out there.  Please though, remember that all of this is just entertainment, it’s just business.  When you get killed in an accident because you sacrificed yourself for the sake of the art, the people who paid for you to make the art are going to be sad for sure, but are still going to be sad all the way to the bank while they cash the checks you got for them with your life…

…and you won’t see a dime of that money because you’ll be dead.


I’m sorry everybody, but I just don’t wanna write about this one.  This article is the authority on the subject so far that I have seen.