Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"I Am Paying Attention."


I'm on set, watching everyone mill around, trying to get their own jobs done, when I see the Special FX guy roll in with a fan. Knowing what's coming, I already have a hot stinger waiting for him before he even lands.

But before that stinger even hits the ground, a Camera Operator taps me on the shoulder and asks if I can scooch one of our lights over a little so it's out of her shot.

I go over to where she's pointing to see which light she's referring to when the Gaffer sees me and asks me to adjust a different light.

I do so while simultaneously telling him about the Camera Operator's request.

When I'm done with the adjustment, he sends me over to the offending light to move it out of her shot.

While I'm there, the DP rounds the corner and asks me to dim the light next to it down a little, which I do no less than three times, as he squints and hems and haws with each touch of the dial.

Finally, it's to his liking and he returns to his seat at Video Village... just as another Special FX guy shows up with another fan that needs to be plugged in.

Sigh...

Eventually, everyone that needs power has power, and all the lights are in the appropriate positions and at the appropriate intensity levels.

Seeing as how everything seemed settled and we're about to do a take, I figured it'd be the perfect time to sneak off the stage and hit the crafty trailer.

I head over to our staging area where I find the rest of my department doing exactly what I figured they were doing while I was running around the set alone: scrolling through their phones.

I approach the closest colleague and ask him if he could cover me while I stepped out for a minute.

He looked up from his screen, confused.

"Cover you? Sure... Were you standing by the DP in place of the Gaffer?"
"No..."
"So what do you mean 'cover you'?"
"I meant like, pay attention to the set and stuff."
"Okay...," he looked at me like I'm an idiot. "I am 'paying attention'. So you can go ahead and take your break if you need to."
"Look dude, I didn't mean to insult you. I didn't mean to imply that you weren't paying attention. But I just adjusted several lights and ran a handful of stingers to various departments all while you were sitting at staging 'paying attention.' It's not like the tasks were so difficult I needed a hand with them, but if you were paying attention you'd notice that there was work to be done while you're sitting here, scrolling through Instagram."

...at least, that's what I wanted to say. But I'm alas, I'm just a day player on this crew, aka: a guest on their stage. And stirring up a fight with this guy would in no way be productive to crew morale, or my pay check. So instead, I just starred at him for a second at a loss for words while I held my tongue, and shook my head and walked away...


Previously.

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