Monday, March 23, 2020


So... I'm guessing I don't need to update anyone with what's going on in the world right now. Our industry essentially shut down across the country a little over a week ago, and shortly after that, the state of California closed down all non-essential businesses and ordered everyone to stay home.

No one's happy, some people are freaked out, and there was a line running down the entire length of Target the other day, just minutes after they opened, of people trying to get a pack of toilet paper. It's madness out there.

There's also a lot of people who aren't taking this seriously. I'm one of those people who believe there's no reason to panic, but it's also not the time to behave as if things are normal.

I could go into a rant about how self absorbed or selfish you are if you decide the rules of social distancing don't apply to you. Or about how this isn't about the government trying to "take away your freedom," but about the health and safety of your country, community, friends and neighbors.

But instead, I'm going to leave you with a couple videos. I've seen a lot of news reports, articles and explanations about the spread of this stupid virus over the last several days because I'm unemployed forever, stuck inside, and bored. These are the ones that I found the most calm, yet informative and explain things in ways that anyone can understand. Take a few minutes (and I know you have the time to spare) if you haven't watched them already, and pass them on to those in your life who just don't get it.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. And for the love of everyone, stay home. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020


Dear Gaffer,

We've known each other for a while now. In fact, you're one of the first people I met when I started in this business. I think we work together fairly well and understand each others working styles. I'm not sure if you've realized it or not, but are you aware that I've been on every show you've gaffed for almost a decade?

In the beginning, I was just a day player to you. Which was fine. I was just getting my feet wet. I was paying my dues.

Then you started "cleaning house". Every show you did brought in a new assortment of regulars. It seemed like I was the only constant throughout all the changeovers. Yet I was always a bridesmaid, but never the bride. You never felt like I was "regular" crew material and I was always overlooked whenever you were putting together the core crew for your next job.

As frustrating as it was, I didn't quit you. I enjoyed the projects we did, albeit from a day player standpoint, and I liked your work. You put me on the sidelines, but I was just happy to still be on the team. I waited patiently for my moment. 

Finally, that moment came and you asked me to be a full time crew member on your next show. I said sure, and honestly, I probably did a happy dance after getting off the phone with you. After years of waiting for a spot on the crew, I finally had it!

And I think we can both agree that it was great. I rocked your sets. I had studied you for long enough to know what you were going for with each light you called. I was attentive on set and anticipated your needs. We even had various talks where you mentioned what you were looking for in a lighting technician and I made sure to hit all those marks. We got along so well that we even developed a non-verbal way of communicating. I could tell by the way you were looking at something whether you liked it or not and why. I would often bring you what you wanted before you even called for it. 

Eventually, I went from being your last call to your first call whenever you had a job coming up. Soon, it was just understood by everyone on our team that I'd be with you on every job. It was non-negotiable. 

I was loyal to you. I turned down job offers that would've placed me higher up on the food chain to stay on your shows. In anticipation of your next jobs, I turned down offers for full time spots with other Gaffers who saw my worth in far less time than you did. I irrevocably burned a couple of bridges with other Gaffers just to stay in your pocket because we had an agreement that was both implied and explicit that assured my future in this business with you. I have no regrets in the decisions I made because I felt good about our working relationship and where it was taking me.

Your jobs, though good when you had them, were often intermittent like much of this industry. And after a while, you hit a dry spell. That's nothing new. It happens to everyone.

What I didn't expect though was when you eventually did get on a show again, that I wouldn't hear the news from you. Instead, I heard it from everyone else.

Because you, dear Gaffer, had called everyone but me to find a crew. Because you not only didn't call me, but you called every one of the guys I introduced you to over the years. You called everyone that I had ever recommended to you, and then some, but not once did you call me.

And I have no idea why.

But here's what I do know. I know who you're working with and none of them would've vetoed me out. I know the job you're on and that it's a good one, so you're not sparing me from a shit job or rate. I know that, based on you trying to hire all my friends, you could've brought on whoever you wanted. So I know that the choice to not hire me was entirely yours.

I know we ended our last job on a high note. I know it wasn't too long before that where we actually sat down and discussed giving me the opportunity for me to play a more active role in your future projects, and that meeting had ended on a positive note. I know your dry spell meant that we haven't spoken regularly for a while, but I know we were on civil enough terms to at least reach out to each other during the holidays not too long ago.

I know I have spent the last several years of my career being nothing but loyal to you. But I guess that doesn't mean much these days.

I also know that despite part of me wishing I knew why I'm suddenly getting the cold shoulder, I harbor no ill will towards you. I really do hope that you get more good jobs in the future and that you do find that one show or DP that you can sail into retirement with. 

I enjoyed our time working together. I would be lying if I said otherwise. I learned a lot from you. I had a lot of fun. I got a lot of much needed paychecks.

But I guess it's time to move on. In a way, it's somewhat freeing to no longer be bound by our former working arrangement. I can take the jobs that I want without the stipulation that you come first. It's a great feeling, to know that the only one I have to be loyal to now is myself. 

To sum it up, thanks for the memories, boss.

I'll see ya around.


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