Saturday, November 14, 2009

"You Better Get Used To It."

It's no secret that a film crew, especially in the grip and set lighting departments, is composed primarily of males. And despite this modern day world of political correctness and work place etiquette, a film crew is often exempt from such rules. In other words, if you throw a bunch of guys in a room for 16 hours a day, don't be surprised if you hear phrases that would make even a sailor blush. And don't think that the HR department (if there is one) gives a rats ass about it either.

That means that any woman working on a film crew would be crazy not to expect a slew of sexual innuendos, "your mom" jokes, and the ever popular "That's what she said." I mean, for Pete's sake, we handle equipment with names like "butt plug" and "bull prick". You'd have a hard time working in g/e if you have no appreciation for the occasional dirty joke or two.*

So if it's common knowledge that stepping into the back of a grip truck can be like stepping into a guys locker room, why is it that EVERY crew I work with has at least one guy who thinks I was expecting it to be as wholesome as an episode of Full House??

It never fails. Someone one will say something like, "Yeah, that stand's pretty fucked up. You just gotta force it like a prom date..." And whoever is standing closest to me will inevitably give me a look and say "Yeah, we tell a lot of dirty jokes. You better get used to it."

Yeah, no shit Sherlock.

Grip 1: "We need a new can of Pledge. I had to keep shaking the hell out of it before anything came out."
Grip 2: "Yeah, I'll bet you're good at that."
Grip 3: (to me) "You better get used to it."

Juicer 1: "Damn. If only that stinger was just three inches longer..."
Juicer 2: "Funny. That's what your girlfriend told me the other day."
Juicer 3: (to me) "You better get used to it."

Best Boy: "[Some lame joke about laying cable that I don't even remember because 1) it wasn't even very funny, 2) it was kind of a stretch, and 3) come on, a "laying cable" joke from an electrician? I'd like to think we can be a bit more creative than that.]"
Juicer: (to me) "You better get used to it if you want to work on a film set."

Even when I'm working with someone who's trying to be more of a gentleman, the conversation usually ends up something like this:

Grip 1: "There's not enough room here. We'll just have to go in from the back. It might be a tight fit though."
Grip 2: "Ha. You sound just like my date from last night... Oh, oops! Sorry A.J.! I didn't see you there."
Grip 1: "Eh, she's gotta get used to it eventually."


I think I've been on way too many shows to still be encountering crap like that. And keep in mind that it's not like I have a look of horror on my face every time someone makes a penis joke either. The weird thing is that I still get the "You better get used to it" line even when I'm laughing at the joke. Seriously.

So please, believe me when I say I'M USED TO IT. In fact, once I get settled into a crew, the raunchiest innuendo will probably come from me. So shut the fuck up about how I "need to get used to the jokes" already and give me a good one.

Or rather, that's what she said.

*And I'm not talking about lewd comments directed towards you (like, say, a highly inappropriate suggestion that involves you, his girlfriend, and tub of Cool Whip) but more along the lines of things meant to lighten the mood and make the day go by quicker ("That stand's not open all the way. Spread the legs more." "Yeah, that's what she said!").

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