Saturday, January 30, 2010
Isolation On Set.
Cell phones are awesome. They fit perfectly in your pocket, you can carry them wherever you go, they're great in case of an emergency and you can instantly Google the answer to something the next time you're caught in an "I wonder...." type of conversation.
But when are they not so great? When you're on set.
And I don't mean because they'll go off during a take (ironically, it's usually the AD or Sound Guy's phone that does that) but because it kind of sucks when you're the only one on a crew without a Smartphone. While your co-workers are checking their e-mail and updating their Facebook status, you're left out with nothing to do and no one to socialize with. It's like lunch time in the cafeteria all over again.
There's also nothing that makes you question the state of your generation more than looking up and seeing all your peers, with their faces illuminated by the ghostly blue glow of a tiny screen, eagerly typing away with their thumbs, oblivious to the fact that they're sitting just inches away from another person. Why have a real conversation with an actual human being when you can have one in 160 characters or less? Why should you get to know the people you work with when you can play a game of solitaire in the palm of your hand? Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by people, but essentially alone, which is a shitty feeling.
Same with iPods. Everyone loves music. It's a passion for some. I get it. But to have it playing in your ear the whole time you're at work? That, I don't get. Not only do you end up missing calls over the walkie with music blasting in your ear, but sometimes the sound bleeds into your own mic and suddenly the whole crew has to listen to Coldplay while you tell them your 20.
I'm not saying that I haven't been guilty of sending the occasional text from my phone while at work, but I usually save it for when I'm by myself babysitting a light, or during a take when you can't talk anyway. And I understand the need to be on the phone for professional reasons, like booking your next job, calling rental companies, looking up manuals and the like, but in my opinion, there's also such a thing as overdoing it.
Call me old fashioned, but sometimes I yearn for the days when cell phones weren't so prevalent. I miss the days when time between takes was filled with conversations with your fellow crew members. When you got to know more about your colleagues than if they're Blackberry or iPhone people.