With all the heat Anita Sarkeesian gets for her Tropes series, you’d think it was a new topic, but Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert had a discussion on a similar theme when they were talking about the influx of slasher movies on their show in 1980.
34 years later and this is STILL relevant
RIP to both of these great men.
This is why I’m glad there are people like Joss Whedon in Hollywood. But we need more women making movies.
The conversation has always been going on. So we keep pushing forward no matter what.
Anonymous said: I just got hired as an unpaid production intern (yay!). My question is: Will I be different to the PAs? If so, how? What is the general role of an intern?
You will be different. You will wear the red i of shame, and on set you will have to get everyone’s coffee order… but your OWN!
Interns are a tricky thing. Legally, it’s work we should be paying you for. Honestly, I started this business doing unpaid internships, and learning everything I could. You get out of it what you put in. Are you hired to just staple things and wash dishes in the office? Well that doesn’t teach you shit. Be honest with what you’re going in for and what you want to accomplish. Our last interns had to do office runs, and make sides. But after, or during, we’d pull them in to departments, find out what they wanted to do, or what they enjoyed, and got them in there, doing work. I love interns, and watching someone be able to kick butt at what they do, and learn from it is critical to developing your own skills and style. Just make sure you’re upfront with what you’re looking for as well. An internship is a chance to learn the industry, but it’s also the company getting your time and effort in return.
Be Excellent to each other.
Let me know your concerns. I will show you safety memos, explain the stunt we’re doing, and stand with you on set. Talk to your department head and Key Grip. If none of this helps, there’s always an app for that.
After a mind numbingly long shoot, I got a text message from my 3rd, exclaiming how much past her loved future her.
I had 0 clue what she had meant. But after staring at a barren fridge and a pile of laundry that I really should have done something with, more texts came. While she had essentially came home to the same environment, past her had taken these steps to ensure happiness:
HOW TO LOVE YOUR FUTURE YOU.
1. Food: We all love food. But when you’re gone for 6 months, whatever is in that fridge has gained life. And you will need to fight it to the death if you want to reclaim your kitchen. But you can freeze things. Pizza, bite sized dinners, Marie calender. Anything that your brain dead self can stick in a machine to almost burn and then consume. Because lets be honest, after a few months of catering, you can’t cook for yourself.
2. Comfort food: And that job was brutal. After all the yelling in the world, sometimes going brain dead with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is whats on your mind. Stock the goods and break out in case of crying yourself to sleep.
3. A clean bed: Not as drastic if you don’t have animals, but before you leave, clean sheets. Make the bed. That way, when you come back after how many months, you just walk over and fall down. Now if you have animals, you can either find a larger blanket to throw over, so it’s not covered in animal hair, or go the cheaper option and cover the bed in clothes you can push off when you get back.
4. Warm PJs: Make a stack of clean clothes and hide them somewhere that they won’t get messed with. For bonus points, put them in the dryer, so you can turn it on for 20 minutes and have warm PJs for bed.
5. Set up a distraction: Netflix que, movie marathon. Something nice and mindless that you can put on PJs, crawl into bed and just shut it all off to help re-adjust to life.
Future you will thank you.
And finally the other shoe drops.
Our 3rd exclaimed to us one night “Why the hell is everyone so mean to the AD department? Doesn’t the crew know being nicer to us is far better in the long run?”
It was a cute question but I actually did pause and put some thought into it. See, the AD department is the lightening rod for hate. It’s how I’ve been trained, it’s the sets I’ve worked on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out of my way to be an asshole, but you know when you sign up for this job, you have to get tough skin, because as the center for information, you will get everyone’s unfiltered thoughts, concerns, complaints and frustrations. And yet you need to smile and turn their problems into positive solutions.
And yet there are those crew members that will kill the messanger. Even before there’s a message. So, in case you as a crew or cast member don’t know, here’s the 5 benefits to being nice to the AD department.
1. We will actually listen to you. How much, is up to your attitude: Crew Member A from G&E has a rather minor issue of getting home because he drove the grip truck to set and it doesn’t have to leave location for a few more days. He let me know in the morning in between running cast, and gave me another helpful reminder after lunch. Cheerfully. At the end of a night he has a ride with one of the cute girls from set who’s more than happy to get back to his place.
Crew member B: Found me in the middle of getting actors to make up and loudly proclaimed how stupid were were to pick this location and we need to get their car reparked or they’re not going to head to set. Crew member B’s car was never attended to, they were late to set, and had to explain their reasoning to producers. Producers told them to arrive earlier and walked away.
2: We are your advocates: I know how long each actor takes in make up. I know how long your lighting set ups go, I know why you take so long getting out of your trailer. I can be the person who defends, and gives you more time, or I can not give a shit. Respect is a two way street, and often we’re in front of the producers or Director, telling them why something’s taking so long. It can be as simple as “Hey, she’s got her period, so we’re going to set a slower pace today, and I know a few ways we can pick up some inserts later.” or “Yeah I don’t know what that guy’s issue is. He’s just slow.” I’ve sat with producers and explained to them why make up takes so long on 20 detailed monsters with prosthetics. I don’t do this for the people who see fit to walk on me.
3: We cover for you: See above period issues. Also apply illnesses, family drama, better job offers, or even getting to the bank. We have lives here and the AD department understands that. It’s the difference in between asking to run to the bank at lunch and someone covering for you when you’re late, to sitting with all the crew on set, waiting for you because you didn’t inform anyone you’d be missing.
4.We recommend good crew: We love getting along with the people on set. A crew in step is a great thing. And we’re probably one of the first people hired. So Directors and producers are asking our opinions during the hiring process. I’ve always said I’ll take a difficult/ talented person over a nice/ green person. But there’s a line, and I know what crew members work and which don’t.
5. We’re in charge of your safety: I’ll never compromise on this, but man, don’t make me imagine the ways your foot could get caught in the lift gate. I’d rather be happy you got home safe, than dread seeing you in the morning.
PS: Reason 6; most of us are really really really ridiculously good looking, great conversationalist, and great date planners. We’re organized and thorough people, in all areas. Just saying. You should be nice to us.
Crew members, like Bryce Dion of “Cops,” are often abused, injured, or worse (and unable to pay for treatment).
I worked my last reality job a couple years back. Insane hours, so much abuse coming from the office, and a producer died a year later from a heart attack. No show is worth it, and it’s about time these ones unionized.
We all have issues. Depression started being one of mine because of various reasons. But being on the road or away from friends, family or internet and things will start to set in. Especially when fatigue starts to really tear you down. But I’ve compiled a list of things to help:
Skype or Facetime: You’ve got loved ones and luckily we live in an age where communication is even faster, and the internet has ways of hitting all areas. Facetime, skype, and Google hang outs are all perfect ways to keep in contact with friends and loved ones. Elect that friend who’s not on the same job, but knows what you’re going through, and just take an hour to decompress about how your 1st called everyone in an hour early and then had them sit. Or about that extra who just won’t stop believing they’re the star. Just having someone to listen to you helps. Find that person.
Writing or blogging: Keep a blog of your experiences and get it out in writing. The cheap form of therapy.
Find your thing: Everyone has a thing. Everyone on set gets known for a thing. Some people send funny pictures to the crew, some sound men have all the new bands. Hell, even I put QoTD on the callsheet, or funny t-shirt day as dictated by the grips. Find your thing and bond with the team you’re stuck with for the next however many days.
Food: Lunches, dinners, breakfasts. Whatever you do, make time to just sit down with people and talk. Doesn’t have to be talking about work, or what’s up next. Just enjoying food with people is the biggest detox. Just please, make sure to chew your food. I know everyone has work to get back to. It’ll still be there. Enjoy your time. If you live in a hotel, try to gather up friends or crew for relax dinners.
Exercise! Being completely full of starches and junk food saps your energy. Sitting all day or standing in the sun isn’t movement and exercise! If there’s a gym at the hotel, or a cheap place to join, or hell, even a highschool running track. Get out and move!
6. And of course, sleep: Restful, UN-interupted rest. Good luck with that.