Happy Friday! I’m going to be straight up with you now, this will be a rant. I’ll try and keep some comedy in there because honestly laughter will get you through almost anything. I love laughing and as of the last 7-8 years I love to smile too. I know that sounds odd, you might be thinking.. doesn’t everyone smile? They do but for most people a smile is not their go to face. It definitely wasn’t mine. My go to face was the usual ‘meh’, ‘whatever’ face that would occasionally slip into RBF. If you don’t know what that is look it up. These Scientist Abbe Macbeth and Jason Rogers from Noldus Information Technology actually conducted a study using some of their face render software and found that it’s (RBF) actually real. They also discovered that both Male and Female can have RBF. Look at me, tossing out names and helpful information and shit, WHO AM I? Enough crap, let’s get into this shall we?
SAG-AFTRA Sending Team To ‘Riverdale’ Set After K.J Apa Crash reads the headline on a Breaking News article on Deadline that I read earlier today (Sep. 21, 2017). First and foremost my thoughts go out to Mr. Apa, I’m happy that this didn’t end in another life lost because of greed. I’ll be honest my first thought when I read this headline was, where have you been for the last however many fucking years that this has been going on? I don’t know why someone has to get into an accident for us to start to question whether or not it’s good on the body to work for 13 plus hours 5 days a week. When I started working in this business I was working 7 days a week with the same hours. I was young, hungry and just trying to meet as many people as I could. I worked commercials, music videos, shows, movies, everything that called. I worked one music video that ran 23 hours…22 hours..some crazy shit like that. I actually wrote about it on here. Let me be clear here NO ONE ever should have to work more than 10 hours anywhere. There’s 24 hours in a day, more than half of that should not go to work. That’s fucking bullshit and extremely dangerous. Our bodies are not machines, once you hit that 10 hour mark some of your systems start to fail. When someone is overworked they make mistakes and not only because of exhaustion but also because of the bitterness that it causes. People don’t work well angry. People don’t work well tired.
Getting back to the article I just don’t understand what they are going to Vancouver to investigate. There’s no investigation needed. Everyone that works in this business knows that an average day on a film set is 12 hours. That is the issue. That is the only issue there is, the only issue there has been and the only issue that there will continue to be till we address it. This is not the first time this happens either. It happens all the time. If you do a little googling you’ll find numerous accounts of people getting into accidents and most not being as lucky to walk away from it like K.J. And to think these are just the accidents we hear about, I’m sure that some pretty terrible shit has happen on sets and been kept under wraps by people with the money and power to do so. This business is ruthless. A lot of people think it’s all sunshine and good times because we’re making movies but some people in this business are terrible human beings. They do not care about anyone but themselves or anyone that can get them more money or power.
We know what the problem is. What we need to do is find out how to solve the problem and to solve a problem one must start at the base of the problem. If you’re a “Producer” “EP” “Director” “UPM”..pretty much anyone with power that works a crew 14, 15, 16 hours a day without doing or saying anything about it, you are part of the problem. I know that your argument might be that the studio controls how much money you get and how it’s distributed over the course of the production but in the end you took the job. You agreed to be their bitch instead of trying to be different and change the game for the betterment of all of us. The change has to start at the top and if the studios won’t do it then it’s up to the ones that report to the studio to stand up for all of us. The craziest part about all this is that there’s already a very simple solution. If all productions just added a few more days to their schedule they’d be fine. However due to the fact that overtime will most times cost them less than adding days to the schedule they rather do that because sadly at the end of the day it really is all about the money to most people. Greed is a very ugly thing and deeply ingrained in our business. Some of these higher-ups don’t give a flying Fuck about our health or well-being and so that’s why they don’t change any of these “industry standards”. I remember I once asked a producer why 12 hours was the norm and he said “It’s just always been that way.” What the hell kind of logic is that? We are constantly evolving and changing. Everyday everything gets faster and more accessible yet the film industry just can’t figure out how to efficiently film within a 10 hour day.
I don’t know what it’s going to take everyone but this really has to be addressed. We need to start taking more care of ourselves and stop losing more than half of our lives to this business. This is not Rock and Roll, it should not be a way of life. We shouldn’t have to resort to only seeing our family Mon-Fri over FaceTime to say goodnight. I don’t even have a family and every time I see a mother or father telling their kids they won’t be there to tuck them in because their stuck on set working on hour 15 it breaks my heart. It’s so unfair. I know it’s all our choices to work in this business. We could just do something else that would offer us the hours that we are looking for but we shouldn’t have to. This is a multibillion dollar industry that we are talking about that are penny-pinching in exchange for people’s health. They can all give a little more, plan a little more and care a little more. That’s literally all it takes.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. That actually wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was pretty heated when I started this thing and I have to say, writing definitely diffused my anger a bit. I’m telling you folks, forget therapy just start a blog. HA! I will say that while this article mostly made my blood boil I was happy to read about Haskell Wexler in this article. I don’t know much about him but I do like what he was fighting for and will be looking into his history. I hope you all have an excellent weekend and remember to be good to one another.