Friday, September 01, 2006

Color me crabby

In case you haven't noticed, I've not been in the best mood lately.

The stench of absolutely mind-numbing stupidity is hanging over this show, and just like the vomit, we can't seem to pinpoint the exact cause. It's not us, it's not any of the other below the line departments, and the few producers I've met seem pretty sharp, so it can't be them. It's coming from somewhere up high though - and since shit does like to roll downhill we're catching the tail end of it.

Today, we had to rig a new stage but were forbidden by the production office from renting any new equipment. That meant we had to go into a standing set*, tear out the things we needed, make copious notes about what we'd taken and from where (because we have to put it all back next week), haul the stuff to the other stage and rig it. Then my boss got called upstairs (into the production office) for a talking-to about us not working fast enough ("Do you understand how valuable this company's time is worth? Do you?").


Stupidity and frustration are bedfellows - when people start having to work twice as hard because of a series of bad decisions by the folks wearing $800 suits, it starts to wear on the nerves.

Everyone on the show is cranky as hell - people are snapping at each other, constantly threatening to quit and today the first unit best boy yelled at my boss over, well, nothing (the first unit best boy's normally a really great guy - he's just closer to the stupid than we are, and it's turning him into Mr. Cranky Pants).

But it's not just production. There's something else going on, and I can't put my finger on it (of course, I'm on the bottom rung of the ladder so there's a lot that I don't hear about).

Maybe our stage is haunted. Maybe the layout of the furniture in the sets forms some satanic mandala that's making our footsteps churn out a constant cloud of acrimony.

You know what? I'm going with that theory. I blame set dressing - I bet they think it's funny. I can just picture them, driving away at night, snickering: "Hee hee... this one's going to give them all cold sores! Haw haw haw!!" (Please note that I really like our set dressers, even though I can totally picture them doing something like this).

They laid off the rigging crew on Tuesday (we're off on Monday anyway due to the holiday), so I took a call on another show for that day.

It'll be a nice break. I might even crack a smile.

* A standing set is one which is used very often, so it's never stripped out when we leave. It just, well, stands there when we're not using it.

Couch of the Day:



Sal said...

in your experience, is it worse on tiny no-budget indie productions where everyone's doing the work for love and a show reel, or in situations where people are working for a proper living? Right now I'm producing "love and a show reel" films but soon I hope to do "I'll pay you properly and feed you too" films.

I really enjoy reading your blog, its a great insight

Damon said...

I don't know if flattery from strangers helps, but I love reading your blog. Not that you were asking for it per se.

Derek728ia-X (Lost on Location) said...

Find another Show. Sounds like the stupidity is comming from the producers/UPM who is/are allowin them to pull stupid "Rig from a hot set not currently being used we will fix it later" attitude. the dbl labor alone will be more and going faster will most surely hurt someone possibly you. As in your earlier blog a string of 8's dont help any one.
I took an HW from 728 last week as I am living in the middle of the ocean now and found work in another field. the best thing I can say is so far the heaviest thing I have had to pick up had been my laptop. My back will still never be the same after 15+ years of 4 OT. Film work is a passion and Love but a times they are a changing and the business 10 years ago is not the same today. sorry to say there seem to be a downward spiral......Good Luck and dont stop till you get what you want.

Dan said...

Well, the fish does stink from the head on back. Just guessing here, but wouldn't it be cheaper to rent more lights than have a rigging crew keep coming back, the lighting crew re-focusing those same lights, then in the middle of a shot the DP saying to himself..."Hmmm, that key just doesn't feel right. Are we sure that will match everything we shot last week?"

My favorite suit story: I was an assistant editor at Canon years (and years) ago. I was sinking up sound and picture on some dailies when a suit called the editing room. "Are the dailies from "shit movie" in yet?" Me: "Yes, but I haven't finished sinking them yet" Suit: "What are you talking about?" Me: "Well the sound and picture come separately, and you have to match them up" Suit: "Who is this! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!"
Next thing I know the Post Supervisior is in my editing room; "What the hell did you tell the suit?" I explained. Post Super: "oh, shit. Don't tell them that. They don't know anything. Just tell them yes, and when the come down to look at it and it doesn't have any sound tell them "that's just the way it comes".

Anonymous said...

It looks to have fallen off the truck. Notice how it's perpendicular to the curb, unlike any other ones you've pictured.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Anonymous said...

You've found us out...

Pull out the desk drawer. Turn it over. See the pentagram and the "666"?

We've been doing this since time immemorial.

Every set we dress, we curse.

Anonymous said...

you must be working on "V*n*shed at Paramount. I thought things were settling down on that show.

Orhan Kahn said...

Dude, seriously, people are throwing away far too many sexable couches. It hurts to see this.