Politically Hired…

Happy Wednesday! Or late Tuesday…depends when I post this damn thing. I didn’t record my podcast till late last night and I definitely could not stay up to write this post as well or I would’ve been a tired mess this morning. I know I got a different excuse every week for my tardiness but hey these things take time and some planning. I wish this was my job! I’d write posts all day. Anyhow, this job wraps up in 5 days so hopefully I will find some more time to write these up. I always think I’m going to stock up on posts during my time off so that I always have a post ready to go but then I get a break from work and all I want to do is live life outside of the Fucking studio I’m constantly at. Sure they’re different studios but after you’ve been in one for several months, they’re all the same. Anyhow let’s get into this shall we?

Today I want to talk about what we call political hires. I may or may not have written about this before but regardless I have some shit to say and so here we are. If you don’t know what a political hire is let me explain. It’s a person that is not qualified for the position they are in and only get hired because of someone they know. I don’t know if this is a common used term in other industries but I know I only became familiar with it when I started working in this industry. Now more often than not I feel we make these people seem like the absolute worse and that’s not at all correct. Some people basically sound like they want to throw up when they even utter the words “Political Hire” and that’s not fair. Personally over the years I’ve worked with several very good political hires. I’ve worked with people who were very humble and happy to be given the opportunity and went above and beyond what was expected of them. They came blindly into a position and by the end had a very good understanding of what that job required. Most the time that was their last job in the business because it can be a lot for someone not aware of the process but they do stick it out for the run of the show. Which is all one can ask. I would defintely say I’ve worked with more good than I have bad. However the bad…the bad are typically just fucking awful. At the very least it’s a mix of awful traits though so you don’t always get the same type of person. This keeps it entertaining and educational…hey working 13 hours a day one learns to look for the good in everything. Typically when one thinks of someone who gets hired because of someone they know we usually think about the snotty asshole portrayed in movies. You know the guy that knows he’s in with the person in charge and is basically untouchable..un-fire-able…(I doubt that’s a word but I like it). They are clearly terrible at their job but don’t give a shit because again..untouchable. These type of people are very rare and I can honestly say I’ve never worked with one. Cocky, yeah but never to the level that we see in films. These asshole characters may just be a little exaggerated for the audience. I would say that of the bad politicals  I’ve worked with my major complaints were A. They were plain idiots or B. They were plain lazy. These two are horrible traits because all they do is make more work for everyone else. If I had to choose I would go with the idiot characteristic because then at least it’s still a body that can work. They can do simple tasks but when you have a plain lazy political hire on your hands it’s basically like not having anyone at all. That sucks because if the job required 3-4 people to do it and one is constantly just coasting through the job not working those other people need to work that much harder. They can’t really complain because this is someone’s referral. No one is going to tell a producer or cast member that their nephew or cousin is worthless.

I know political hires are going to happen and that’s fine but all that I ask is that the people bringing these folks in take a little responsibility for their decisions. If you bring someone in and you know they are fucking up don’t just turn a blind eye, let them know. If you’re in a position of power you know very well that if you bring in someone to work no one is going to be totally honest with you and tell you they’re bad. That is on you to take a gander at what their doing and make sure they are being helpful. I know this is a far-fetched idea because I doubt anyone will read this and think “Let me listen to this random asshole and his blog and change the way I’ve been living my life” but as is the case I just write this thing to put the thoughts out there in the world. Everyone is and will always do whatever they want.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Don’t forget to share the site with your friends and family if you enjoy the weekly madness. Have a great rest of your week and don’t forget to check back Fridays for the Friday post (When I write them that is) and every Monday for The Toke Talking Podcast.

How many Salts in your Coffee?…

Happy Tuesday!! How is everyone doing? I know, I suck. I missed out on all of last week. I did not post a single thing besides my podcast. In my defense we had a pretty late schedule and long days all week. Longer than usual on this particular show which was strange.  I had to make a choice between sleeping and writing these posts. I guess from my absence one can assume I chose sleeping. 9 times out of 10 I will choose sleeping. I enjoy writing these posts but I refuse to be tired in the sake of them getting written. I did however begin 2 different posts on Tue and Fri so those should be on here in the coming weeks once I finish them as they are already half way done. However today I thought up a new topic so let’s get into this shall we?

“Next time they ask you to get them a coffee or anything, just make it wrong…maybe add some salt to it or forget something.” This was the advice given to me by one of the coolest ADs I ever worked for one day years ago when they overheard a hair department employee that was just sitting in their chair ask me for a latte. I laughed at his suggestion at the moment and made the coffee correctly that day but I did not forget their lesson and knew I would use this amazing piece of wisdom later on because not only did it sound genius but they reassured me that they had done it multiple times with great results. They told me that when they had started out as a P.A when they were given food or drink orders from people who they felt could very well go get the stuff themselves but chose to be lazy instead they would purposely do something wrong. If it was a personally ordered coffee with say milk and 3 sugars they’d forget the milk. If it was a scramble with mushrooms, onions and bacon on the side, they’d forget the bacon. They told me that it would usually take 2-3 wrong orders before the person just stopped asking and started getting it themselves but that the technique had never failed them. You know what? They were absolutely correct! I tried this a few months down the line and it worked like a charm.

Now let me be straightforward here and let you know that I don’t believe that there is anyone on any crew anywhere that is never in a position to go get their own snacks or beverage because I know for a fact that all these people have to go to the bathroom at some point hence they have to leave set. People will try very hard to defend against this way of thinking. Especially people in departments like Camera that continuously claim “We can’t get away.” If you can leave set to poop then you can go make a Fucking latte. That funny enough will probably be the cause of your needing to poop again later on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind getting someone stuff. I definitely know that while everyone does have a moment to get away from time to time they may miss their window to go get say the daily snack that is put out every 3 hours. However if you’re just asking for a coffee or some fucking gum from crafty I’ve been in this business for a while so I know how to tell the difference between someone who is really not free to get away and needs some assistance and just the person that doesn’t want to go and is just asking to be lazy. Also, now that I’m thinking about it I actually will say that there is indeed a position in this industry in which a person can’t go get their own snacks and beverages for long stints of time. There is one position that people are put in where they need constant snack support. I would never want to do this task on a show because I think I would one, probably pass out because I get extremely sleepy when I’m alone and sitting (I’m old) and two I have to go to the bathroom regularly. The position I’m talking about is the unlucky person that has to go up in cranes to man lights for a couple of hours. These people are Fucking soldiers! Because not only do they go up in these cranes and hang out up there in all types of crap weather and terrible conditions with just snacks and themselves to get them through the time. They also have to take a bottle or can with them so they can pee. Can you imagine going to a 30 dollar an hour job and then having to pee in a bottle? As they say “Living the Dream.”  One would think we would have devised a better way to do this but no. I have no idea what they do if they need to go 10-2 and quite honestly I don’t want to know. However besides these unfortunate people personally I feel everyone has a few minutes here and there to get whatever they want without the assistance of someone else. Bottom line is don’t be a lazy turd, if you have time to go get whatever it is you want don’t try to get some else to do it for you. Move your ass!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I appreciate you spending some time here reading my madness. I wish you all a great week. Don’t forget to check out my weekly Podcast every Monday right here on the site and make sure to stop by on Friday for another post before the weekend.

-PEACE

Army Of One…

Happy Tuesday and Happy Muthafuckin Anniversary to We’re Not Rolling!! So…me basically because I am the only one that runs this website. Two years I’ve been writing this crazy thing. I know this year has been a bit slow. I have been seriously lacking in the blogging this year but I promise to do better. I slowed down towards the end of the year and for whatever reason I just haven’t been able to time it out well. I definitely had some later than normal days last week and when I got home I had no time to write but that never stopped me before. I use to write these things at work on my phone before I had a computer and now I’ve become so accustomed to sitting down in front of the screen for and hour or two and writing at my leisure that I forgot my roots. It’s also at times been a battle with when I get ideas I don’t have time to write and forget to jot down what I want to talk about and when I have time I just haven’t felt like writing. I talk about so much shit on my podcast now that at times I feel I’m being repetitious. I know it really doesn’t matter if I am because they are 2 different platforms and only someone who listened and read all the madness I put out would even notice but still it bothers me to an extent. The Blog has been around longer and there’s way more posts than I have Podcast episodes so I do constantly struggle with the thought of repeating the same shit over and over. When this year began I had this idea to broaden the topics I discuss on here. I had already been doing that on Fridays with my “Fuck It Friday” posts but I think that rule is now going to extend itself over to Tuesdays because quite honestly I love writing and ranting on here and after 2 years of going on about the film industry here at We’re Not Rolling I think I need to look for a wider range of topics because there’s more shit I want to talk about. So buckle up everyone and come along as I change it up around here. If this doesn’t sound like a good plan to you because you were hoping for a post about the industry don’t worry, I do have one today BUT I can’t promise that it will be like that next Tuesday. Alright let’s get into this shall we?

Today I want to take sometime to thank all the one man army departments in this industry that I feel most times are very underestimated. These badass people are usually found in the Craft Service, Set Dec, Greens, Locations, Special FX and Production department. Personally I don’t feel any department should only have one person because as I’ve stated on here before, I feel the mind starts to go into cruise control right around the 10 hour mark and since we continue to allow 12 hours to be the norm in this industry that means that person is now putting themselves and those around him in danger for those 2 hours. Which we all know it usually is more like 13…14-15 if you include the commute. If there is 2 people in the department they can stagger their call times and one person will be well rested. So ultimately one can say that I feel there should always be at least 2 people in a department for safety concerns. However this is a greedy as Fuck business (as are most) and they will never see it that way. They just see another body soaking up money. Safety comes second to money in these cases. So instead these poor people at times are left with doing all types of crazy tasks alone.

The one I find the strangest is the On Set person because they are literally in charge of moving all the furniture on Set. Sure they are helped by other departments because that’s what normal people do, is help others. I mean I still don’t understand how someone can watch someone moving a couch or something heavy and not offer help or at least offer them the 30 seconds to notice it’s happening instead of standing in front of it, which happens ALL. THE. TIME. I just don’t get it. Why is someone whose job it is to not only move the furniture but also move around the entire set to accommodate the crew all alone? I want to know when in the history of cinema this was decided. I mean the grips at minimum have 3-4 people. It’s usually more like 5-6 of them. How did the Set Dec department settle on a one man crew. It just makes such little sense to me. I mean a ton of shit in this business does not but this really is just nonsense. I don’t understand why the art department hasn’t made a fuss about this and demanded a second-hand.

Craft Services is the other pretty odd one out of the group I mentioned. This one is really crazy because the craft service person is in charge of keeping us all fed with his amazing snacks. There is much more to their job but this is what I always consider their job to be. It’s an important job because if you keep people fed they generally remain happy. On top of that the Craft Service person is also are in charge of all the waste those snacks make. A typical crew is about 60-70 people SO one person to clean up after that many people just sounds like torture. I haven’t been on many shows that only have one person in this department but I have been on enough which made me want to acknowledge in this post that it does happen. There’s some cheap ass people out there.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I appreciate every one of you out there that continues to read my material. I promise to get back to my regular routine and I look forward to bringing you all a new chapter in this crazy little world I created. Have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you all on Friday.

-PEACE

Right Job, Wrong Place…

Happy muthafuckin Thursday!! How was your weekend? I’ve been busy the last 2 days but I’m at work today and finally found some time to write this thing up. I know it’s been a bit of a low post month here at We’re Not Rolling but don’t worry I promise to make up for lost weeks sometime in 2018. It’s also been a slow month of work which I’ve learned fuels my posts. When I’m not working, I find that I don’t think about work at all. However writing these posts forces me to think about the job which to be honest I’m not a fan of. So in the coming weeks I’m going to open up the topics I go on about here because that’ll keep me sane and I can try something new here on the site. I have a ton of other shit that I would love to go about here and haven’t. This year that changes. I promise it’ll be just as entertaining.  Alright let’s get into this shall we?

It’s happen to all of us and it’s occurrence is so common that it border lines creepy. It’s almost as if unforeseen forces of the world constantly chose to interfere in this matter. Why in the Fuck is every job I or anyone in this business get hired on 20-30 miles away from my/their house instead of the studio I/they live down the street from? It’s seriously a pretty strange phenomenon. I’ve lived 2-3 miles from 2 studios, Sony and Culver Studios for the past 6 years and have only worked at Culver once in that time. I have worked at Sony but that was prior to living close to it. The last time I worked at Sony I lived 25 miles from it. It’s happen to me so many times over the years that if I wanted to count it would be impossible. I’ve done multiple seasons of shows that were based 40 miles away. That’s insanity. I don’t know how people drive that far and further to work over several years. It’s bad enough driving that distance over 4-5 months on a show. I just can’t mentally deal with all that time that I’m wasting driving. The older I get the more I worry about time. I want to waste as little of that time on driving as I can but this industry is making that a bit tough.

I thought it was just me that this would happen to when I started working in this business. I remember getting phone calls and thinking “What the Fuck is going on?” I thought it was just my shit luck. Then I noticed that it was happening to my roommate as well and he was doing different jobs than I was but nothing was ever at the local studio. I’ve moved 4 times in 12 years and still would get jobs on the opposite side of town. If I was living in the Valley I would get work in Culver City. When I lived in Hollywood I got a job in Santa Clarita. It’s bizarre I tell you. Then I began to ask people at work where they lived and started to see a pattern. Now after 10 plus years in I know that it happens to almost everyone. Sure there is always those lucky few that have had years of employment close to them but if you ask around set where people live I think you’ll find that the majority of folks always tend to live a good distance from the studio that the show is based from. A great example is the Teamsters, they mostly all live out in Santa Clarita and work in all the studios down here Fox, Sony, Paramount. Think about that for a minute if you’re not a fan of doing like myself, most teamsters not only drive 30 plus miles everyday to and from work but then drive all day as well. I would die. I could never drive that long.

I thought this was only a California thing but I’ve had friends that work all over the country and have experienced the same thing multiple times. A few months ago I made the meme you see here…

And to my surprise I started getting comments on this post from people in parts of Europe that experienced the same Fucking thing. That’s weird right? I mentioned “unforeseen forces” above as the reason this happens so often however I really don’t believe that so what else can it be? If you don’t believe me, next time you work on a show start asking everyone you can where they live and conduct your own small study. Then you can come back here and we can compare notes. I bet more than half the people on your crew live 20 plus miles from the stage you’re working on. I was actually having a conversation with someone the other day about this very topic and we came up with a silly way to take care of this problem. We decided that there should be a website called “CrewSwap” in which a person could look up who of their referenced people lives and has a job in which they would want to swap locations on. Everyone has people they reference to others so these people will be your equal swap buddies. No? Maybe it needs some work but I think I’m on to something here. Who knows how to make an app? Shoot me an email we can go half on this idea. Hahaha! Ok I’m done, drop the curtain!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Make sure to stop by on Friday for a New post before you start your Super Bowl weekend and don’t forget to check out The Toke Talking Podcast every Monday right here or on iTunes and Soundcloud. Have a great rest of your week everyone!

-PEACE

Pointless Tasks…

Happy late as hell Wednesday folks! I know that this was supposed to post yesterday but a really early call time, some errands and my indecisiveness about what to write about had different plans. SO how are you doing? Are you all working this week? I believe my last day of work till the new year was yesterday. Most the shows I work on go on vacation now for 2-3 weeks. It use to only be 2 weeks but I feel many more shows now are adopting the 3 week option. Which I’m all up for because I always want people to have time off to catch up to life and I feel most people don’t take that time off willingly  so this gives them little option. I’m in no means praising that anyone that needs the money will be out of work. I hope you do find employment elsewhere in the meantime. I know those that love to work will no doubt find work in between those 3 weeks to get them through but to those taking the time off, CHEERS! Now let’s get into this shall we?

I feel there is an abundance of tasks that we do in this industry that are outdated, really unnecessary or just dumb and no one seems to want to address them so like usual I thought I’d write about them. First one on deck is assigning someone to load vans. This is usually a production Assistant (PA) like myself or as of late I’ve seem many Transpo people doing it. I work on 2 shows where one of the Transpo Captains…Lieutenant…Capo..I forget what his rank…job title is but they load the vans every morning. This makes no difference because I still find the job a bit ridiculous. Before I get into why let me tell you that there are exceptions to this argument. I’m not saying that the task is always pointless only that I feel since it has been used in these moments that it was necessary and it has since become entwined in our daily duties and it’s just fucking silly as hell. So lets say that production needs a listed account of people getting into vans because of scattered call times, long distance travel or picking up and sending to and from multiple locations then yes I know a person needs to be assigned to coordinate this. However if the company is traveling to the backlot from stage or 2 blocks from the studio I don’t understand why someone would be given this job. I’ve asked AD’s about this and most times they’ll tell me it’s to make sure that all the vans go full. Which is really one of the STRANGEST reasons behind the task of loading because I just don’t understand why we cant just tell the van drivers that. I mean is there a history of people getting in vans by themselves and holding the van driver hostage holding a gun to their head and making them drive without filling up the van? Not to mention that as a PA basically everyone holds a higher title than you so if the scenario came up in which someone got in a van, say the wardrobe stylist, key grip, writer and said they need to go NOW and jumps in the van and demands the driver to drive what is the PA suppose to do? Jump in front of the van? I think we all just need to do a better job of assessing the situation and putting into play these minor tasks when needed and stop incorporating them into our every day routine.

Next! This is for all the Background Actors and Actresses out there. While I’m typically on your side and constantly trying to change the crews shit view of all of you this is one that always gets me. It bugs me because it’s a pretty well-known unsaid rule and with the exception of it being someones first day, they should know. When we break for lunch if there is not a separate line for the Background then please just wait till the crew goes through before you start serving yourself. At the very least ask if you are uncertain if the crew has gone through or not but don’t just jump in there because as fucked up as it sounds in this business there is seniority when it comes to who can eat what and when. It’s sort of very third world country of us when you think about it because if there is anything that most sets are rarely short on its food but still, it’s the industry and culture that we have built and people get all bent out of shape about Background eating before the crew. This is yet another job that at times is given to a PA, food nazi. They basically have to send someone to the lunch area to patrol and kick out Background that attempts to eat before the crew. Doesn’t that sound insane? But it’s a task nevertheless everyone. We currently work in a business where people have priority to eat and are taken out of line when then try to break that hierarchy. I really wish everyone would just acknowledge that it’s just food and how fortunate we are to work in a business that supplies it daily instead of being assholes about who is eating and when. I hate that this is an issue because in no way does say anything good about a person that can become upset about someone else feeding themselves. That type of sentiment would be terrible in a situation where we had no food let alone somewhere we have an entire fucking truck full of snacks, a sandwich stations, a coffee machine, ice cream  and every drink you can possibly imagine. Thanks Crafty!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I’ll be back here on Friday with another post before the weekend and then I may take off next week for the holidays but I’m still deciding on that. I’ll let you all know on Friday. Have a great rest of your week and be good to one another.

-PEACE

 

That’s LUNCH…

Happy Tuesday everyone! How are you doing? Surprisingly so I’m typing this at work on Monday just like I use to do all the time when I started this blog a little over a year and half ago. I really should do this every time I work during post days so I’m not rushing home to write the up every night but I say I’m going to do a lot of things that I never do. Continue reading “That’s LUNCH…”

Blurry Atmosphere…

Happy FRIDAY!! My 3 day weekend is on it’s way…well I have work but it’s personal work. Which I’ve learned is the only true way for me to feel like work is not work. I love what I do, I love working on all these shows and films but at the end of the day it’s still work that I’m putting in for someone else’s vision. Continue reading “Blurry Atmosphere…”

Acting Normal…

Happy Friday everyone! How are you on this after Thanksgiving Food Coma Friday? Did you roll out of bed yet because I sure have not and  don’t plan to till about noon. I’m still in bed as I type away next to my snoring dog Munchie Bear…yes, his last name is Bear. Continue reading “Acting Normal…”

Failing Upwards…

Happy Tuesday! How are you doing? I apologize for not posting on Friday but Mother Nature brought 6 feet of snow to Mammoth Mountain here in sunny California and I had to take a mini trip up to enjoy the fluffy white stuff…I’m talking about snow not cocaine alright. I contemplated writing it once I got back but then sleep, football, the Podcast and everything else happen and I just thought I’d wait. Continue reading “Failing Upwards…”

Lunchtime Nap Scout…

Happy Muthafuckin Wednesday….that definitely does not work. It doesn’t have the same ring to it as Friday. I thought I’d give it a try. I’m a little a behind this week and I apologize. This post is usually already up but the delay of my  Podcast (The Toke Talking Podcast) along with some needed sleep, derailed everything else. Continue reading “Lunchtime Nap Scout…”