Monday, April 30, 2012

Fight The Power.

While the rest of Hollywood is lining up at Window E right about now, I've been (to my surprise) riding the latest wave of work to the bitter end. In other words, I've been too busy lately to do any serious posting around here. That'll probably change very soon, but until then, this blog might be a bit quiet.

Meanwhile, out there in the union world, things aren't so quiet. As you may or may not know, the I.A.T.S.E. and the AMPTP came to an agreement on a new contract a few weeks ago and soon it will be up to the membership to vote "yes" or "no" on the new terms. While the I.A. is happily patting itself on the back for what they feel is a job well done, there's been outraged mumblings on set. From what I could gather, below-the-liners aren't too happy with the deal.

I could ramble on and on about the specifics of the deal and where I think they could stick them, but what really irks me is how the I.A. keeps trying to put a positive spin on everything, as if we're walking away from the table with exactly what we wanted. We're not idiots. Stop trying to sell us a polished turd.

Case in point: an e-mail from 728 about the new contract found its way into my inbox and parts of it are pure bullshit. From the e-mail:

What are some of the gains achieved in this contract?
    - There are many. We were able to prevent the employers from attacking any of the conditions of the Local Union agreements. This means no changes to staffing, no reductions to overtime or meal penalties or any other conditions in the Local contracts.
    - A three year contract (through July of 2015) that will provide for employment stability as this challenging economy continues.
    - Wage increases of 2% in each year, compounded. 

I'm sorry, but WTF??? How is having no changes to any of the conditions established in previous contracts gaining anything? For as long as I've known of the I.A. existing, the contract terms have been for three years. Again, how is keeping a three year contract a gain? And a 2% increase in wages? Didn't it used to be 3%? I definitely don't see that one as a "gain." Did I miss something here?

And don't even get me started on the health plan and the extension of the studio zone.

Instead, I'll direct you to this website. And tell you to take a look at these pages. And if you're a union member, I definitely suggest you take a gander at this.

And if you want to hear the point of view from someone who's weathered the years in this business and can do it more eloquently than I can, please take a moment to read this guy.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I was going through some old notes I had for possible topics to discuss on this blog when I came across this:

As I'm sure many have said before, if you're new on a crew (or in the industry, for that matter), it's best to just shut your mouth and f-

I have no idea what the rest of that sentence is or what exactly sparked that comment, but I like to think my thought was bluntly interrupted by a nice piece of chocolate cake (though in reality, it's more likely my laundry was done).

Either way, the lesson is a good one: If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, keep your mouth shut and just

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"#967 Illegal Naps."

The blog 1000 Awesome Things is coming to and end, and although I'll admit I haven't been an avid follower of the site, I give credit to Neil Pasricha for reminding us to take pleasure in the simple things in life... Like "illegal naps."

I remember back when I was in college and, like most college students, wasn't getting enough sleep. Between churning out term papers, all night study sessions, extra curricular activities* and going to classes, I was often a walking zombie on campus.

Then one day, in my zombified state, I found myself with some time to kill between classes. It was a significant enough amount of time that I could take a leisurely stroll or enjoy a relaxed lunch, but not long enough for me to go home and make it back in time for European History. And as I sat there pondering my options with precious time ticking away, I realized that what I really really wanted to do was take a nap. The problem was there wasn't really any good napping places. It was in the middle of the day and by then all the "good" tables (read: comfy and dark) tables in the library were taken and it was too hot and noisy to lay down in the grass outside.

So I napped in the only place I could nap: in my car.

And I'm sure I'm not the first person to have ever done this, but it was definitely new to me. After I had put up my Hello Kitty sunshade and snuggled up to my sweatshirt-turned-pillow, I remember grinning to myself and thinking, "Ah, college. The one time when sleeping in your car in the middle of the day is perfectly acceptable and understood." I remember thinking to myself that this was one of those "uniquely college" experiences that would never repeat itself in the real world, and I smiled at that thought.

Oh, how little did I know then.

Years later, after graduation, after the late night study sessions, and long after the last term paper was due, I still find myself sleeping in my car in the middle of the day, and even more so than I did then. Sometimes, between the long hours, far away locations, and short turnarounds, all I want to do is sneak off during my lunch hour and take a nap. And if I can't find a quiet place on set to curl up and close my eyes for a few minutes, I often find myself back a crew parking. I'll throw my sunshade up, recline the seat back all the way, pull out the blanket and pillow that I now keep permanently stashed in the trunk of my car, snuggle up and take a gloooorious nap.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this and it's definitely not a new ritual for me anymore, but I still grin every time I do it...

* Take that as you will.  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crazy Comment Corner!

It's pilot season out here on the West Coast right now, which means the town is kinda busy. Which also means that this gal is busy making money to pay the billz while there's still money to be made. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for me to really write any posts for this blog.

But I have gotten a couple of interesting comments left on various posts lately. Most of which is blatant spam (even though I decided to keep using word verification for comments, despite how annoying they may be), but one in particular has got me scratching my head. It seems to be part spam, part human and 100% WTF??

Either way, I just thought it was too crazy no to share:

Thorozine said...
Are any of your stories actually true? Because as I have read about four of them, I am totally lost to the fact as to what point you have this blog. Is it a rant Blogger?
Don't call me jealous of you for asking such questions, I would be the last to feel such feelings toward a P.A. As I own many Motion Picture Companies in the valley. But just for cause, Just Cause... Why the tags? Rant & personal blah blah blabbing online to vent your reality of job hunts? I don't hire as many pa's as jobs you claim to obtain so often. How could it be you work as a PA everyday? Impossible. You should consider a writer's job instead. Fiction Xenical,Xanax,Thorozine,Diazepam,Co-Codamol, Prozac, Lithium.

Now, in case this is a serious comment from a treasured reader of this blog, I'll gladly address his or her concerns.

1) Don't worry. I'm not jealous of you asking questions.
2) I'm not a P.A.
3) What tags?
4) It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to. You would rant too if this happened to you.
5) If I get more jobs than you have P.A. positions, then I'm wondering exactly how many of your Motion Picture Companies in the valley are actually shooting anything.
6) I'm not a P.A.
7) I never said I work every day.
8) I'm sure there are some P.A.s that do.
9) I'm glad you think I'm a talented writer.
10) Thanks. I'll look into them.

I hope everyone's enjoying the busy season! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Cannot Wait...

... For the day when I'm old and wrinkly so I can finally eat a banana from crafty without getting an inappropriate comment.

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