×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local Hero: Kevin Hudson Makes Sure Sony Locations Are Sound

Sony’s stage manager is ready for anything — whether it’s the Bat Cave, a leak or an unruly client

JOB DESCRIPTION

Kevin Hudson, one of two stage managers at Sony Studios, mans all 18 of the lot’s stages and checks every morning to see if there are any flaws or potential problems. His day starts at 7 a.m. — sometimes earlier if there’s a location shoot — and he’s on the job well into the evening, keeping things running smoothly. If there is anything that interferes with the shoot, be it an intrusive
animal, bird or structural problem on a soundstage, Hudson is on it. “I’m the person they call for anything,” he says. “If anybody here has a leak, they’ll call me and I’ll help.” In the past year or so, he’s worked on “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Jeopardy!” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Just Go With It.”

SPECIAL CHALLENGES

“I’ve had to come back here many different times in the middle of the night because of rain leaks,” Hudson says. When “Iron Man 2” was shooting on the lot, Hudson recalls, there was one night when it was pouring and the crew was scheduled to shoot until around 4 a.m. A leak would have spelled doom for that day’s shoot of the sci-fi actioner, so Hudson was called to go in at midnight to build a trough to protect the Tony Stark set. Clients, he adds, can at times be as demanding as the elements. “Sometimes you get people who want to move things that are just out of our control,” he notes. So Hudson says he has become well versed in the art of damage control and saying, “No.”

BACKGROUND

Right out of high school, Hudson bagged a job in Sony’s mailroom and worked there for the better part of three years. He met a producer on “The King of Queens,” not knowing her occupation at the time. That same producer offered Hudson a P.A. job, and he took it, “even though it was a pay cut.” Then, slowly but surely, he climbed the ladder to grip to assistant stage manager to where he is now.

READY FOR ANYTHING

Hudson sometimes handles the logistics for preems, valet lines and red carpets. Gigs he’s done include the MTV Awards and the AFIs. But he’s proudest of the union card he still holds as a grip. As Hudson’s tenure as a P.A. for “King of Queens” was coming to a close, the producers asked him what he wanted to do next. His response: grip work. As Hudson notes, it’s tough to snag a spot in IATSE as a grip, because there’s no dearth of those trying to notch the required 30 days on a unionized show. Hudson nailed down his apprenticeship on “King of Queens,” working for a year as a grip on the show before it ended. On top of manning the stages, Hudson also moonlights as somewhat of a tour guide, showing the soundstages to the lot’s potential clients. “I love not knowing what my next day is going to be,” he says. “One day I’m in the Bat Cave, the other, I could be in New York.”

STATS

NAME: Kevin Hudson
TITLE: Stage manager, Sony Studios
FUNCTION: Hudson manages 18 stages, meets with potential clients and oversees location shoots, all to make sure production on the lot runs smoothly.
DOMAIN: Sony’s soundstages
SPACE: 44.5 acres
YEARS ON THE JOB: 5, but started in the mailroom in 2002
MONTHS IT TOOK TO BUILD THE BAT CAVE AND TEAR IT DOWN:
DAYS SPENT SHOOTING IN THE BAT CAVE: 3
SITE TOURS: 400+
LOCATION SHOOTS: 150+

(Local Hero is a tribute to the people who are invisible but invaluable: They’re not in the spotlight, but the biz couldn’t function without them.)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Aracne

    Sanfic Standout ‘Aracne’ Filmmakers Discuss the State of Chilean Genre

    A key project at this year’s Santiago Lab, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival industry forum for promising Latin American projects, Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne” is representative of a push from the next generation of Chilean filmmakers into genre cinema and the themes it can explore. “Aracne” turns on Beatriz, a young journalist at a small Santiago [...]

  • Eduardo Machuca

    Chile’s Eduardo Machuca Unveils Machuca Films Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Eduardo Machuca, the former film co-ordinator of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has launched his own production company, Machuca Films. “After 25 years at the ministry, I felt I needed to tap my creative side,” said Machuca, who is also tying the knot on Saturday (Aug. 25) with a former Sanfic staffer, [...]

  • Robert Downey Jr. Disney Legends Ceremony,

    Robert Downey Jr. Reveals He Was Busted for Smoking Pot at Disneyland

    Robert Downey Jr. celebrated his Disney Legend status by sharing the endearing tale of how the first time he visited Disneyland, he was arrested. The Iron Man actor was being honored in Anaheim at Disney’s biennial D23 convention. After a brief introduction by Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger, Downey felt he had to come [...]

  • Thandie Newton Reminiscence

    Thandie Newton Reteams With 'Westworld's' Lisa Joy on 'Reminiscence' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following her Emmy win for her performance on “Westworld,” Thandie Newton is joining the feature directorial debut of the show’s co-creator. Sources tell Variety that Newton is set to join Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson in Warner Bros.’ “Reminiscence,” directed by “Westworld’s” Lisa Joy. WB acquired the rights to the package after this year’s Berlin [...]

  • Ming-Na Wen poses at the Disney

    Original 'Mulan' Star Ming-Na Wen Weighs in on Remake's Controversy

    Ming-Na Wen, who played the leading voice role in the original 1998 version of “Mulan,” has spoken out about the recent controversy surrounding Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake, which has been co-opted by China’s authoritarian regime to attack Hong Kong protestors. “We are living in a world right now where there’s so much change and confusion [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Lion King' film premiere,

    Jon Favreau 'Holding Out Hope' for Spider-Man to Remain in the MCU

    Spider-Man’s potential exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe could throw a wrench in Happy and Aunt May’s relationship, but Jon Favreau is “optimistic” the love affair will continue amid Sony’s dispute with Disney. “You never know what’s going to happen. I’m holding out hope and being optimistic that this isn’t the final chapter of the [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content