Saturday, July 31, 2010


That kind of hurt.

I got a call from a friend:

Friend: "Hey, are you free to work today? A couple guys I know are looking for juicers. Call time is in about half an hour."
Me: "Maybe. What's the rate and location?"
Friend: "I don't know. But the Gaffer is a guy named [Juicer 1] and his Best Boy is [Juicer 2]. Do you want their numbers?"

What my friend didn't know is that I've worked with Juicer 1 and Juicer 2 on a number of other shows, one even as recently as a couple of weeks ago. I already have their numbers and they definitely have mine. So for them to be scrambling for crew at the last minute to the point where they're calling other people to help search for them, and neither of them calls to see if I'm available...?



JD said...

As "Blood, sweat and tears", recently said in his blog, work is work. I completely agree. Whatever the reason that they didn't think of call you first, doesn't matter if the result is another days pay. I work plenty of last minute jobs, the lack of pre-planning by Producers and Directors is their problem, I don't allow them to make it mine.

Michael Taylor said...

It's always disappointing to be an afterthought on a job call from somebody you know and have worked with (esp. recently). You work hard, always trying to build and bolster your reputation, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to matter -- they still call everyone else in town before finally getting around to you.

It helps to remember just how ephemeral the memory banks can be in this town. Back when I had a very busy work life gaffing commercials and the occasional (and highly detested) music video, my best boy would occasionally bring new people onto jobs when we needed extra help. If they were good, I'd tell them at the end of the job to call me every two or three weeks, just to keep their names fresh in my mind. Otherwise, I'd forget -- and so would my best boy. Until you've worked your way onto a crew as a solid Number One call -- really, a member of the core crew -- you're just one of many competent grip-tricians on the list.

One way to help make that happen is to hire those people who hire you whenever you have the chance -- a mutual back-scratching exercise that's as old as Hollywood itself. The thing is, it works. For those without family in the biz -- meaning all of us who came from outside -- that's how the tribal alliances so crucial to sustaining any kind of success below-the-line are formed and maintained. You help me and I help you -- and together we pull each other up through the ranks.

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