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Movies and Chicken Gutz

… the most unexpected moment came right at the beginning on the first day. When we first walked in, my son dragged me over to meet the director. As I nervously stood there, Kris said, ” This is my father Randall Enos.”

“RANDALL ENOS? You’re the guy that draws Chicken Gutz in the Lampoon … hey, guys, come over here … this is the cartoonist that draws Chicken Gutz!”

It has been a long time since we had a post from our legendary CagleCartoonist, Randy Enos. We have a new one today!

INSIDE OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE, by Randy Enos

On a movie camera crew there is a cameraman, 1st assistant cameraman and a 2nd assistant cameraman. The 1st asst. (known in England as a focus puller) sits beside the main cameraman and controls the focusing knob on the side of the camera, adjusting it for the zoom in, zoom out and follow focus as the actors, vehicles etc. run around in front of the camera. The 2nd asst. (known in England as the clapper/loader) is the guy or girl who claps those sticks together and says “Take one”. He or she also loads the film on small crews or is the boss over a “loader” on the larger crews.

The second asst. camera or “2nd A.C.” is also in charge of the camera when it is not being operated and has to have the proper lenses ready and loaded onto the camera for every new shot. He or she is also in charge of keeping the time charts and everyone abreast of the shooting times from day to day. That’s what my eldest son, Kris does, he’s a “2nd A.C.”. Sometimes he works as a 1st and lately, sometimes, as a camera drone operator.

Back in 1999, he worked on the movie “Inside Providence”. He had to travel from New York City up to Providence, Rhode Island for a few weeks to shoot it. They put him up in a nice little apartment with a few bedrooms, kitchen, etc. so it was convenient for my wife and I and his wife and my two grandkids to go up there for a couple of days. I got to see what it’s like on a movie set.

While we were there, they were shooting on several set-ups inside a huge armory. They had built the interior of the hero’s house, a replica of the top of a Providence water tower (where the boys in the movie would get together to smoke dope) and several fake trees which were on wheels so they could be moved around.

We were able to mingle freely with the actors and crew and actually stand next to the camera during the shooting even inside the crowded house interior. They had already shot most of the exterior Providence street and water tower shots before we had arrived there.

After a while, it became apparent to me that the real star of this show was the “craft table”! It was a large table smack dab in the middle of everything fairly dripping with the most toothsome array of sinful delicacies and succulence one could ever imagine. It became apparent that the general corpulent girth exhibited by the majority of the crew was due in “large” to the tasty delectables before me. Arranged around a big pot of apples there sat dishes of fig newtons, jelly beans, candy bars, tootsie rolls, bananas, peanuts, cashews, doughnuts, potato chips, cheese, cookies, pies, brownies etc. and etc.. All this was nibbled on by all members of the crew whenever one of them came within grazing distance of the larder … in other words, all day, all the time. It was unavoidable and, unfortunately irresistible.
At lunch and dinner time we supped on another vast array of selections including chicken, beef, pork, fish and every kind of vegetable … all cooked in the back kitchen of the armory.

The biggest in expectation was the morning food truck parked just outside the armory door which offered every single breakfast choice known to Western Man from porridge to bagel, Wheaties to English muffin, pancakes and waffles to all manner of eggs with, of course bangers or crispy bacon.

I had always wondered about the film credit, “stand-by painter”. Well … there she was standing by and painting last minute emergency paint touch-ups.

Arranged around the perimeter of the sets were all the work stations, wardrobe, make-up, carpentry and so forth. I asked one fellow, who was standing next to racks of clothing, exactly what his title was. He said “clothes wrangler.” And on a movie set, the electricians are called “electrics” (I always liked that one).
My, now 30 yr. old grandson, Klay, who was only 9 at the time, went right over to the director, Michael, at one point to call attention to the fact that the shot they were about to make was problematic. They were shooting up at the actors assembled around the platform of the water tower model. Klay pointed out that some paraphernalia on the armory balcony behind would, most likely, be in the shot. The director said, “Y’know, nobody else on the crew noticed that!”

Klay is now a painter living in the Bronx and is an amazing film connoisseur.

All in all, it was an amazing experience being on a movie set. While it was full of surprises, the most unexpected moment came right at the beginning on the first day. When we first walked in, my son dragged me over to meet the director. As I nervously stood there, Kris said, ” This is my father Randall Enos.”

“RANDALL ENOS? You’re the guy that draws Chicken Gutz in the Lampoon … hey, guys, come over here … this is the cartoonist that draws Chicken Gutz!”

Read many more of Randy’s cartooning memories:

Never Put Words in Your Pictures

Explosion In A Blue Jeans Factory

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Happy Times in the Morgue

I was the Green Canary

Born in a Volcano

When I was a Famous Chinese Watercolorist

My Most Unusual Art Job

A Duck Goes Into a Grocery Store

A Day With Jonathan Winters and Carol Burnett

Illustrating the Sea

Why I Started Drawing

The Fastest Illustrator in the World!

Me and the GhostBusters

The Bohemian Bohemian

Take it Off … Take it ALL Off!

I Eat Standing Up

The Funniest Cartoon I’ve Ever Seen

The Beatles had a Few Good Tunes

Andy Warhol Meets King Kong

Jacques and the Cowboy

The Gray Lady (The New York Times)

The BIG Eye

Historic Max’s

The Real Moby Dick

The Norman Conquests

Man’s Achievements in an Ever Expanding Universe

How to Murder Your Wife

I Yam What I Yam

The Smallest Cartoon Characters in the World

Chicken Gutz

Brought to You in Living Black and White

The Hooker and the Rabbit

Art School Days in the Whorehouse

The Card Trick that Caused a Divorce

The Mysterious Mr. Quist

Monty Python Comes to Town

Riding the Rails

The Pyramid of Success

The Day I Chased the Bus

The Other Ol’ Blue Eyes

8th Grade and Harold von Schmidt

Rembrandt of the Skies

The Funniest Man I’ve Ever Known

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part One”

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part Two”

Famous Artists Visit the Famous Artists School

Randy Remembers Tomi Ungerer

Randy’s Overnight Parade

The Bullpen

Famous Artists Schools

Dik Browne: Hot Golfer

Randy and the National Lampoon

Randy’s Only Great Idea

A Brief Visit to Outer Space

Enos, Love and Westport

Randy Remembers the NCS


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By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.