Home > Joe's Movies! > SRM part 3.5: The Water Truck…

SRM part 3.5: The Water Truck…

March 25, 2014

Part 3.5 of a series, going behind the scenes in the making of “Starring: Rachel Miller.” Here’s a blog (and video!) about the whole film, and here’s behind-the-scenes of part 1 (the theatre), part 2 (Rachel enters), and part 3 (the park).

The second half of the park scene is our “Singin’ in the Rain” homage, complete with actual rain. To get rain to our location in a public park, we used a water truck. Well, actually, we used a water tank trailer, which, it turns out is a very important distinction.

Our plan (which eventually, basically, worked out) was to have a water truck in the parking lot, and use long garden hoses to pump water to our location (downhill, using gravity as our friend). Then we’d split the hose into two separate hoses, one on each side of the dancers, and spray from two directions to give a better-than-one-hose look to the rain. It actually looks all right.

But getting there was a bit of a problem. I reserved a water truck with an equipment rental company for the weekend, and was told to show up at 5pm Friday to pick it up. The rental place closed at 5:30, so I showed up at 3pm, because of course something is going to go wrong, and there’s no time to solve the problem if the place closes in 30 minutes. I got there, they found my reservation, and then tell me that they don’t rent water trucks. Here’s what a water truck looks like:

Water Truck

What I could rent was a water tank trailer. The difference is that a water truck is a fully drive-able water tank, and a water tank trailer, which looks like this: water trailer… is not drivable. It needs a truck to haul it. What you’re supposed to do is rent a water tank trailer, drive it to your location, then a water truck comes by and fills you up. That way, you’re not hauling a ton of water to your location, and can use a smaller truck to pull it.

So someone there had taken a reservation for something that couldn’t be reserved, and now I needed a tank and a water fill. But there were a couple of problems. I actually had a truck we were using for the film that could pull the trailer, but a) the truck didn’t deliver on Saturday, when we were filming, and b) they didn’t have any tank trailers available.

So my first problem to solve was finding a trailer. The guy very kindly got on the phone for me and made a few quick calls, but no one had one available, and he gave me that look like “sorry, kid, I did what I could.” But of course, it was their fault – they shouldn’t have taken a reservation for something that couldn’t be reserved, and using that info I pulled out a trick that I reserve for moments like this, when I’m really screwed and it’s someone else’s fault.

I looked the guy in the eyes, and said (edited)… “I think you’re telling me that I’m f***ed. You took my reservation, but now I’m f***ed, but I need to hear it. I need you to tell me that I’m f***ed.”

The guy looked at me, sighed, then turned around and made another couple of phone calls. Five minutes later I had a water trailer.

I ran and got my truck and picked up the tank, then proceeded to fill it with a water hose from my apartment overnight and drove it to the location, hoping that no cops saw me. I have no idea if I was doing anything illegal pulling a completely full water trailer across town, but didn’t really want to find out.

Once we got on location, a very nice guy in the parking lot helped us figure out how to work the pump (after about 10 film guys spent better part of an hour on it), and we were set to go.

And that’s how we got rain for our Singin’ in the Rain section. Stay tuned (soon, I promise!) for tales from the Water Ballet.

%d bloggers like this: