Wednesday, April 27, 2011

He Can Shove The Scrims Up His Ass For All I Care...

"Hey A.J. Do you know what a 'scrim' is used for?"

I paused at this question. Not because I didn't know what a scrim was, but because I knew what was coming.

Having only met that morning, we were day players brought in to wrap out a set and oversee the return of all the gear to their respective rental places. Currently, we were counting scrims; piecing together complete sets whenever we could and making note of what was missing. Which, apparently, prompted the slightly past middle aged juicer to ask me the proposed question.

I stopped what I was doing and looked at him. I often get quizzed, especially by people who've never worked with me before and quite honestly, if I was sick of it before, it just plain pisses me off now. How many shows do I have to be on before I'm recognized as a capable addition to a crew? And how many years do I have to put into this industry to finally be taken seriously? How did they think I landed this gig to begin with? Did they just assume I fell off a turnip truck that was passing by the studio and decided to stroll in and start moving shit around because it looked fun? Did people really think I knew so little about this job??

But while most of these unwarranted pop quizzes were from guys who were looking for an easy ego trip, this guy at least seemed to be asking from a place of "helpfulness". To me, it was still a dick move to assume I didn't know what such as basic piece of gear was used for though, but just maybe a little less of a dick since he's been nice to me so far and genuinely thought he was doing me a favor.

"Yeah. Do you know what it's for?" I hoped my cadence would kind of make light of the situation while at the same time, signaling to him that it's an insulting question to ask me if he's serious. He didn't get it.

"Yeah. But I'm just making sure you know."

"It's to cut down the light," I replied as I got back to work. He nodded, putting a pause in the "conversation" while I silently pleaded that he move on and to let that be the end of it.

No such luck.

"And....?" he asked.

" 'And...?' " I was getting confused. I had answered his dumbass question. What else did he want from me?

"And... What else?"

I stopped what I was doing and looked at him again to see if he was serious. He was.

And what was even more frustrating was the way he posed the question. "And...?"?? What the fuck?? What do you mean "And...?"?? There's a million things I could've said to replace the ellipsis in his question.
"And... They usually come in sets of five*: two reds, a green, a half green and a half red."
"And... A red takes down a full stop of light; a green takes down half a stop."
"And... A red one is called a 'double'. A green is a 'single'. A half red is a 'half double'. A half green is a 'half single'."
"And... It reduces the intensity of the light without changing the color temperature."
"And... It's a pain in the ass to try to fit more than two of them in a blonde. But not as much of a pain in the ass as you are right now."

I could've fired back all that and more, but I didn't. If I did, I'd probably sound like a know it all, which personality wise, is just as bad as not knowing anything. And second of all, I didn't want to give him the satisfaction. If I answered him correctly and then some, he seemed like the type who'd sit there smugly with a nod that said, "Good girl" like I was some kind of pet he was proud of. No thank you.

"Listen, there's a lot of things I can say about a scrim." I didn't want to play his game anymore. Wait. Scratch that. I never wanted to play his game to begin with. "You're gonna have to give me a little more to go on about what specific answer you're looking for."

The guy looked at me. I couldn't tell if it was a "She's just covering up because she doesn't know the answer" look, a "Maybe my question is kinda ambiguous" look or something else entirely.

"And... It cuts down the light without softening it." He had answered his own question. There. Done.

It was a silly answer too, in my opinion. I never would have answered it that way because based on the design of a scrim, there's no way it could soften the light. Plus, that's why we have diffusion, which obviously softens (or "diffuses" if you will) the light. Set carts and equipment trucks generally have rolls of it in any kind of variation you could imagine. Pieces of the stuff are often pre-cut and ready to fly into set on a moments notice. Even if you didn't know what a scrim was, you'd have to be a moron to be in this business and not know what diffusion was for, and by that sense, one can safely assume that a scrim didn't diffuse the light simply because we have diffusion.

Even if I had gone on a five minute tirade and rattled off everything I could about a scrim in hopes of hitting on the one answer he was looking for, I probably wouldn't have gotten it. He might as well have said "And... They get really hot if left in a light." An answer so obvious that it wouldn't have crossed my mind.

But whatever. The question was done and answered. Can we get back to work now, please?

"So A.J...."

I cringed.

"Do you know why they call it a 'Source Four'?"


* Well, where I come from anyway.  :)


Nathan said...

How many shows do I have to be on before I'm recognized as a capable addition to a crew? And how many years do I have to put into this industry to finally be taken seriously?

The onus is on them to assume you know what you're doing until you offer evidence to the contrary. Period.

(And he shouldn't shove the scrims up his ass until he's at least up to sorting the sets for the baby 10k's.)

Michael Taylor said...

This is just embarrassing -- oblivious fools like that just make life harder on young juicers like you, who then can't help but view the rest of us with a little gray in our hair as the same variety of pedantic morons.

Nathan's right. When I get thrown in with young juicers, I assume they know full well what they're doing unless/until they say or do something boneheaded. And more often than not, I end up learning something from the kids.

Like why they call it a Source 4...

Nathan said...

This one has been bothering me and I think I've come up with a better response.

Douchebag Geezer: "Hey, A.J. Do you know what a scrim is for?"

A.J.: Uh...yeah. It cuts down the light. What do you think the consequences would have been for modern Europe if William the Conqueror had been defeated at Hastings?

D.G.: Uh...what?

A.J. Oh, I thought you were teaching me stuff. I just figured we might as well talk about something I don't know as much about.

Choose a different topic if you're already really well versed in European History. :)

A.J. said...

Nathan - That'd be an awesome response if I didn't already know everything there was to know about anything. :)

Michael - You're partially right. I don't assume everyone with "a little gray in their hair" is a pedantic moron, but I think I've gotten pretty decent at figuring out which ones are. I haven't been proven wrong yet... so far.

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