Sunday, September 16, 2012

Isn't It Supposed To Be The Other Way Around?

I'm sitting on an apple box at staging, chit-chatting with one of the regular juicers from my department while we wait for instructions from the Gaffer.

"I wonder how long we'll be at this set for," he wonders out loud.

"This scene is about a page long, and then we move into the bedroom set for a couple of scenes. They're long ones though, so we'll be here for a while," I rattle off, somewhat matter-of-factly.

"Oh... Do you think we'll go late?"

"Maybe. You're on location tomorrow doing a bunch of night scenes, so they can go pretty late if they wanted to right now without worrying about a short turn-around time."*

"Hm... Good to know." He sits there, thinking for a moment, then asks, "What location are we at tomorrow?"

"At some house in Monrovia."

"Ah. Okay, thanks."

"No problem... But wait a second. How do I know this stuff and you don't? You're here everyday and I'm only here once a week, if that!"

The guy just sits there and gives me a shrug before going back to Facebooking on his phone.

Ah... The life of a day-player... Where you give a shit more than your co-workers, and yet they still get hired over you.

* Despite what Producers may think, crew members need sleep to function properly and need a minimum number of hours between the time we wrap and our call time for the next day. If tomorrow's call time isn't until late in the day, we can techincally keep shooting late into the night and still have our minimum turn around.


JD said...

R.T.S. Rates the Same. More often than not, a Spark, Juicer, Set Electrician, soldier, will get paid the same whether he gives a shit or not (about shoot days, locations, shot lists, wrap, call times). At the end of the day, they will know when it's time to clean up when "wrap" is called. They will be instructed about tomorrow's call time and location. Some crew are very successful at being apathetic and just geting by, doing a minimum of thinking, just sitting around and waiting for instruction. It would bore me to tears.

A.J. said...

JD - The rate may be the same, but the amount on the check is not. The guys who can't be bothered to spend seven seconds skimming a callsheet make more for being there a full week while others get a day or two if they're lucky.

If I were to hire a crew, I'd prefer to hire thinkers and not just those who get by doing the bare minimum. But that's just me.

JD said...

A.J. - I don't disagree with you. I prefer to work with "thinkers" and "do'ers" as well. Deadwood on crews somehow continue to survive, whether they are the "friend of a friend" or someone's cousin who just graduated film school.

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