Friday, November 6, 2015

"What's The Problem?"





Does anyone else think it's fucked up when at the end of the night, there's about a half dozen guys milling around the truck, backpacks on, just itching to go home while there's still one person on set wrapping?

I've had that happen to me too many times. All too often, I'll return to the truck at the end of the night, discovering that everyone else was gathering their stuff or even taking off for home while I was still cleaning up the mess of cable or lights that was left behind, leaving me to scramble for my things so we can lock up for the night.

All too often, I wonder how I ended up loading the last of the carts on to the truck by myself at the end of the day while everyone else is already headed for their cars. We're still all on the clock, so why am I the only one still working?

I got super frustrated with this the other night when I was filling in as the Best Boy. One by one, six guys came up to me at the truck some time after they called wrap, asking me what else needed to be done before we can all finally go home. And to each one, I asked, "Is everything all cleaned up and left as we found it?" Six yeses were my answer.

So some minutes later, everyone gathered around the truck, backpacks on and the next day's callsheet in hand. I did a head count before dismissing them all for the night just to make sure I wasn't forgetting anyone. No man gets left behind, right?

"One, two, three, for, five, six... Wait, where's Juicer 7?" I asked.

"Oh, he's still wrapping cable inside."

Um... What?

Since when does having unwrapped cable left count as being "cleaned up"?

And when did it become okay for SIX guys to be standing around the truck, begging to leave for the night when one was still working?!

That's when I started to get pissed off and sent a few guys back in to help him.

Meanwhile, one of the other guys looked at me and said, "What's the problem?"

What's the problem?

 WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?!?

The problem is that apparently, everyone thinks it's okay for one of their fellow colleagues to continue working on their own while everyone else got to go home and collect the same pay.

The problem is that while I'm thinking or camaraderie and teamwork, everyone else is apparently thinking it's every man for himself.

The problem is that when I ask SIX PEOPLE if every thing's cleaned up and in order, and get SIX YESES, I find that those SIX YESES ARE LIES.

"What's the problem?"

Fuck you.

That's the problem. 


5 comments :

AID said...

So often having been Spark 7 myself, I completely empathise.

The thing is, often this general sentiment of team vs self, manifests itself during the shoot. Often there are times when everyone is standing around at the staging area, chatting - bonding.

If I'm lucky, it'll be myself and one other still working. Prepping kit, watching the floor; basically being prepared. In my head, I'm making sure that as a team we look good. That at the end of the day/week/shoot, the Gaffer and DP think we are awesome.

But this comes at the loss of that time spent 'getting along' with the other sparks, and therefore cutting off potential avenues to other jobs, even maybe going towards the other end of the scale. You are working, you are intentionally alienating yourself, trying to impress the bosses. When it is not that at all - you just want THE TEAM to be good.

Basically, is it enough to generally get along with everyone, and let your work do the talking for you?

A funny grey area I've observed.

Michael Taylor said...

Sounds like you got stuck with a crappy crew who haven't yet learned that being a pro on set means doing the job -- not waiting for somebody else on the crew to do it for you. And that sucks...

As for AID's comment: you don't have to make a choice. Do both -- get along with the crew AND let your work talk for you. You're not going the extra mile on set to "impress the bosses," but because that's your job. And if those other members of your crew yak it up at the carts while you do the work -- in other words, if they can't even be shamed into doing THEIR fucking job -- then you don't want to work with them anyway. Guys like that are unlikely to get the good jobs in the future, so it's no loss for you. Believe me, Best Boys and Gaffers notice who's doing the work.

JD said...

"...shamed into doing their job....", why after more than one day of this nonsense are they still on the crew? Who hired them and doesn't the Gaffer and or BB realize that this was a mistake? If I were BB or subbing for BB, no call sheets until I say my department is wrapped. We work as a team or YOU don't work for me. Might not make any friends, but it will build a team where everyone know that they can rely on one another.

JD said...

That same sort of work ethic causes equipment damage as everyone is in a hurry to leave. Don't pack carefully, organize, coil cables, tie stingers...., we'll straighten it out tomorrow. Don't be gentle, it's a rental!

Armstrong Grip said...

I just stumbled upon this blog today and it is perfect timing!!

Just started a show and a few of the team have their panties in a bunch because they don't like it when dailies come out and show them up. My philosophy is team is team. Daily or weekly or show call. There is a job to be done and shouldn't everyone take part to the best of their ability?? I'm done with the crabs in the bucket mind set that so many techs have. I have been trying to figure out how to fix the situation and I just did. To quote JD, "We work as a team or YOU don't work for me".

Time to clean house.

Thanks all!!!

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