Commercials, Not A Fan…

Happy Wednesday everyone! How was your weekend? Do you miss it? Did you have as they say in the Industry way to often “A short weekend” because you worked into the late hours of Friday or worse the early hours of Saturday? I’m sorry if you did. I think we should all continue to try to figure out how to get rid of having to film at night…at night. HA! If I was a computer effects genius for the film industry this would be my life work. I would work day and..day to figure out how to movie magically seamlessly convert any day shot into a night shot so that film crews never had to work a night again. As you can tell I clearly am a fan of over nights. Let’s get into this shall we?

Let me attempt to start with the positive. I do enjoy funny commercials and they do work on my psych because I often buy shit that made me laugh when I watched it on TV. Those Old Spice commercials are the reason I always think I should buy Old Spice Body Wash when I need Body Wash. Does anyone still use soap? Ok enough positivity. They don’t make me laugh enough to say that if they were ever to disappear off the face of the earth I would miss or want them back. I have the same feelings about mexican food, I’m not just this extreme with work. To put it plainly, I don’t like commercials. I don’t like watching them or working on them. They take up time that I really don’t feel like spending and as someone who is obsessed with time management lately commercials are destroyers of time. I can only imagine the amount of time wasted in someones lifetime having to watch these things. If I watch a 30 minute show the thought of those 3-4 minutes that I waste on commercial breaks really kills me. I mean I try to do other things in between to calm the anger from watching people try to sell me their shit on TV by looking at my phone but now there’s even advertising on most the apps that you go on your phone. Which I will say I don’t mind the ADs that I can scroll past like on Instagram and Facebook as much but still, not a fan and I wish they did not exist. The crazy thing about ads going social was how everyone all of a sudden felt so driven to tell everyone all the crap the like. I DEFINITELY don’t need to know who “liked” some product. I find this odd on 2 accounts. First I find it strange that this company and most people I guess feel it’s ok to let everyone know what someone else likes. Secondly I find it extremely strange that people actually “like” ads. I mean who the Fuck likes an ad and why do you feel someone out there wants to know that? This type of shit is why companies like Facebook know so much about us because some of you out there are liking The Home Depot home page. I mean what in the flying Fuck is happening right now? Companies have had comment boxes forever and rarely did anyone ever feel this compelled to let them know they like them so much but here we are 2018 and I was at the supermarket in front of the turkey section that had a sticker on it that said like us on Facebook. Turkey. At the super market asking me to go on the internet and give them a blasted blue thumbs up so that they know that much more about me. So they can locate my email and send me even more shit about their turkey brand. Why do people click like on ads? Has it occurred to any of you that do this that if we stopped they would stop too because they would get no feed back? Some of you out there won’t like your cousins kids weeding photos but your like Wendy’s New Baconator. Alright now that I’m done lightly ripping commercials apart from a consumers view let me explain my dislike for them behind the camera.

I did several commercials when I first moved out here. I’ll be honest I did not even think about working on gigs such as Music videos and Commercials until I moved to L.A. In the back of my mind I knew these things were made but I never moved here with any intention to work on them or thought I ever would. So the first time I worked on a commercial was when I first thought to myself “Oh yeah, these things do need crews as well”. I was hungry as many are when they move out here and looking for any work I can get. I worked on all types of formats. I’ve worked on Game Shows, Photo Shoots, Award Ceremonies, Reality Series, Scripted Television, Low Budget Movies, Ridiculously Budget Movies…you name it I probably have done at least a day in it. I won’t say Commercials are my least favorite because like I said at times one does get to work on a funny one or something cool like a super bowl ad but after working on them for a year or two when I moved here I knew that this was not a world I wanted to be a part of. There’s certainly a divide in the industry itself when it comes to the Commercial World or the TV Realm. There are many that play both fields but many that stay loyal to only one. The longer I work in this Industry the more I find myself just wanting to be loyal to the TV Realm. There are lots of people who LOVE commercials because its more money but money is a shit motivator for me. As long as I’m able to afford a place to live and eat I’m honestly alright.

I’m currently trying to acquire the elusive 150 days to join the DGA in order to work in the TV Realm and doing so requires me to have to slightly dip my toes back into the Commercial World and I have to say, I still don’t like the water. The last time I worked on Commercial I worked as a PA and now as an AD with the bigger paycheck does not change my view of what I think about these blasted things. I’m not a fan of the process. There is so many aspects of filming a commercial that bother me that just thinking about them boils my blood. It’s so bad that I actually was thinking about what to write about today and as soon as I started thinking about commercial I sprung out of bed and now here I am 1011 words later going off.

Commercials bug me on multiple levels. As I explained earlier I don’t like watching them so by working on them I already internally know that I’m assisting in making something that I don’t like. That thought does bug me. It may sound weird to everyone out there that works on these things but they do. I can’t help how I feel. I work on a commercial and think to myself well I just helped a multi billion dollar company waste millions of people’s time today in hopes of having them give this company money for the shit they’re peddling. I know personally it makes no difference if my morals stop me from working on a commercial. If I don’t do it they’ll just find someone else to do the job but this is something that goes through my mind when I work on a commercial. I would get into the minute logistical shit that tears at my soul when working on a commercial and other shit like the hierarchy and roles of a Producer, Director, Agency and Client goes but I’d be writing forever and I would spiral into a rabbit hole of no answers because so much of this Commercial World makes absolute zero sense to me right now. I can and will most likely do a post about the Clients and the Agency soon so be on the look out for that.

This was definitely a rant post. I just did my 3rd day on a commercial and I wish I could say I’m happy but not so much. I still hate it as much as I did when I stopped working on these things and I feel like I’m trapped which is never something that works well for me. I typically say Fuck it all and change course when I get trapped into a situation so we’ll see how this one plays out. However as for now I’m trapped collecting 100 plus more of these days on these soul sucking gigs. I don’t even believe in a soul but I do feel something dying inside any time I work on anything besides a TV Show or Film. I will say even that is tough now a days. TV Shows and Movies are money sucking mediums run by just as terrible multi billion companies too but personally since I too like to create and tell stories and still find film making an art form it’s just not the same to me. I know there is just as much creativity and passion that goes into some commercials as well they’re just not my thing and so I know these many layers of personal problems that I have with the Commercial world is why I feel this constant resentment for the medium. I hope that my views change as I work on more of these things but as of right now I’m not exactly thrilled with this part of the process. I’d honestly rather have to do another 600 days as a PA than having to work on any commercials period. Yeah, you read that right.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I hope you have a fantastic rest of you week and if you haven’t listened to this weeks Episode of The Toke Talking Podcast and enjoy my weekly writing and rants then maybe you’ll enjoy my voice saying some of the same stuff. Make sure to check it out right here on the site every Monday or on iTunes.

-PEACE

It’s Low Budget BUT It Should Be Fun…

Happy..Thursday?…Yeah…I know, I know…Let’s just carry on alright. We all know I suck with the timing of these things lately. How has everyone’s week been so far? It’s been a little hot out here in LA LA. Definitely not anywhere near as hot as back where I call…called?… home, Miami is definitely hotter. It was uncomfortable to sleep those first couple of nights but besides the heat my week has been fantastic so far. I had the most EXCELLENT weekend that smoothly transitioned into another one of those “Holy shit, I will remember this day forever…or until I get old and senile and can’t remember how to poop let alone this” days. Monday I got to work as a DGA 2nd AD on a Commercial for the first time since receiving my acceptance letter. YAY!!..well almost yay…it’s like half a yay more of a YA! There’s still a few other steps in the process to fully be in…in. My days were accepted and now I’m on the hunt for 150 days but as a 2nd AD. The ways to acquire these days is still a bit odd to me and honestly seem like a giant pain in the ass for a lot of people. Out of the 150 days 75 have to be on Commercials and most people who work on TV and Film don’t have many of those contacts. Weird right? One would think that they are all sort of the same but no no. There is those that work on Commercials and those that do TV and Film and rarely do you find people who do both seamlessly. I was fortunate enough to have worked on many commercials when I first got out here and still have many of those contacts so hopefully I can snag those 150 rather quickly but who the hell knows what’s going to happen. I’m not really a fan of how tough they make this process after the initial 600. I was told it’s structured so that it can weed out those that can’t take it but I don’t know if that works. I mean I’ve worked with some pretty terrible people who it may have taken them forever to get the days but they did and now they are working. Just fucking up shit everywhere they go. HA! I’m just saying I think the process past the 600 should be reevaluated and restructured to help people who really deserve to be out there working because then hopefully they get in and weed out those that have snuck in and aren’t good at their jobs. I’ve seen many great people stuck in what I’ve heard a few refer to as “DGA Purgatory”. It’s a terrible place where PA’s that worked their ass off for years to collect 600 days now wander around aimlessly trying to get another 150 days over the course of another bunch of years for some. Alright that was the longest into ever…let’s get into this shall we?

“It’s low-budget but it should be fun” is one of those texts that one receives from time to time and if you’ve been in the business long enough you know this really may mean “We have no fucking money and this is going to be a shit show”. I remember doing a few jobs when I started that used this phrase and I will tell you this much they were ALL shit shows. No crafty, drop off lunch or some fast food burgers, 16-17 hour day, multiple departments sharing trucks, terrible locations. Did you notice the first 2 examples I stated were both food related? That’s because I love food and so do most people and when you don’t have good food for people to graze on as they work through YOUR 16 hour day they get angry. Anger leads to frustration and stress. Before you know it everyone is in a bad mood and just trying to wrap this thing up so they can forget this atrocious fucking day.

HELPFUL TIP: FEED YOUR FUCKIN’ CREW

I’ve never done a helpful tip but I thought I’d start…or this may be a one time thing who knows. See the thing is that in this industry just about every show is only one monkey wrench away from it itself becoming a shit show. I’ve been on really great sets that worked efficiently and seemed to be the perfect dream job only to have one small thing go wrong that ruins the entire day and even the rest of the show in some cases. So since every show seems to be so close to being a disaster when someone calls or texts you and right off the bat is already saying shit like “low-budget”, “should be fun”, “It shouldn’t be bad” which we know is code for this is a shit show, we all automatically assume that this will INDEED be a shit show. The show hasn’t even started and this person that’s hiring crew is already observing how terrible it’s going to be. It’s almost like an internal defense mechanism that springs into action to prepare you mentally for the hell that you’re about to go through. It’s as if admitting that it’s going to be horrible will make it a bit less horrible because when you’re in the nightmare you can tell yourself and others around you shit like “I told you it was going to be tough”.

That’s going to do it for this one ladies and gents. Thank you for stopping by and checking out another post here on We’re Not Rolling. I appreciate you spending sometime to read more of my madness. Have a fantastic rest of your week, till next time…

-PEACE

I Don’t Run…

The happiest of Tuesdays to you all. May it be filled with amazing moments and many Tacos. Thanks for stopping by to check out a NEW post here at We’re Not Rolling. I would apologize for my absence last week but I’m going to stop doing that because I don’t want to go back and read these someday and read 800 apologies. Sometimes I just don’t write and that’s how it’s going to be from now on so I don’t keep feeling guilty all day when I don’t write. Don’t get me wrong if I start getting paid for these I will happily post more frequently but I’m not. Moving on, I worked yesterday and I’m working today as well. Then I may have one more day of employment on Thur and then it’s the weekend!! At least for me it is…I’ll be off for at least 6 days and then I’m going to go work on a pilot for 8 days. Which I’m really looking forward to because it’s with one of my favorite humans that I worked alongside for 4 years on “Casual” for Hulu. You know who you are! Well if you’re reading this thing that is. Alright let’s get into this shall we?

I don’t know at what age I decided that I was not going to run anymore but I did. I’m not saying I absolutely never run. I have gone on runs in the past, now I just walk. I will also occasionally jog playfully with my dog but besides that I don’t run. I know that may sound odd to some of you out there but I don’t tell you how to live your life so just let me be. Honestly I never enjoyed running as an activity. I hate that feeling of gasping for air and I’m not a fan of sweating as you may or may not know. Running is a really quick way for me to sweat. I’m just thinking about running now and I’m feeling a bit hot. HA!

I know what you may be thinking…you’re asking yourself why is this blabbering lunatic going on about running..well because in this business and particularly in my department at times certain people expect you to run. They won’t tell you to run directly most times but they’ll say shit like “We need to make that happen faster”, “Can you speed that up”. Which I must say is just fucking entirely strange to me. I find it extremely mind-blowing that one grown adult feels they have this right to ask another grown adult to run. We make movies, tv shows, commercials…we’re not cops chasing a thief or fireman racing to a fire. We’re not racing anything but the schedule that those that ask us to rush made. My work should not have to be rushed because of your piss poor planning. I will also mention that if we don’t manage to get something filmed then we typically reschedule it or get rid of it all together. There should never be a moment where anyone is expected to run for something on any set unless it’s an emergency and that person is running for help. My no run policy isn’t exclusive to this business either. I was a cook for 5 years and I would have never ran if my boss asked me to. I don’t get paid to run…none of us do and we should never be expected to do so.

This is not a new concept everyone. Think about when you were a kid, there was people constantly telling you not to run. Why? Because you could hurt yourself. This still holds true as adults. People do dumb shit when you ask them to run because you’re rushing them. Especially if they don’t run often which one can tell immediately because their gallop will not be fluid. When one rushes to do something that is when mistakes happen and I just won’t let that happen to me. I can’t even tell you how many P.A’s and A.D’s I’ve seen Fuck themselves up because they were running or rushing to do something. I’ve seen people fall and sprain ankles ALL THE TIME.

I have only been asked to run over the radio once on a show during my career and I’ll tell you now I sure as Fuck did not. We were filming out in the middle of the desert in 103 degree heat. I was about 200 yards away from where the crew was filming clearing some cones for the shot when the 1st A.D jumped on the radio and said “Hey we need you to hustle, can you run please.” I responded “I’m not running, clearing the shot momentarily.” Guess what happen? I cleared the cones and they rolled camera just like the would’ve done if I would’ve run only it happen 30 seconds later. I went and talked to the 1st A.D afterward and explained to him my not running rule and he understood. He said at times he’s just under the gun and not thinking. I get it but at the same time, I feel people need to have some guts and stand up to those that are placing them under the gun. We are making media to entertain everyone. There is no reason to risk getting injured by running and rushing like crazy people. I’ve seen grips running wrapped in tools around their belts and I can’t help but think of my teacher back in the day telling me not to run with scissors. And now here we have a grown man/woman running with screw drivers, knives, rope that can tangle them up as they run rushing to get the boss some other heavy dangerous looking apparatus that can also cause some damage to themselves if they fall while rushing back with it. Stop running like crazy people everyone. You’re risking your safety for absolutely nothing. You do not get paid to run. You get paid to do you job and do it well not to do your job at a speed that someone else sees fit.

Alright and now that I just went on about running for an entire post I’m going to let you all carry on with your day. Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Have an excellent week at work and hopefully I’ll have a NEW Fuck It Friday post for you this week, till then…

-PEACE

Useless…

Happy Tuesday!! How was your 3 day weekend?…Well if you had a 3 day weekend. Do lots of places close on good Friday? I don’t remember. I could just google that but honestly I really don’t give a shit to know. Why take up space in the old noggin with such trivial crap. I had a fantastic weekend. Probably one of the best weekends I’ve had in quite a few years. It was one of those that I’ll never forget for several reasons. Continue reading “Useless…”

Trainee Pledges…

Happy Muthafuckin’ FRI-DAY!! I hope you had a great week at life and at work but mostly life. Life should always come before work I always say. I know it sounds tough because well..you need money to live that life but it’s really more of a way of thinking. Continue reading “Trainee Pledges…”

No Brand Names…

Happy Tuesday!! I know I’ve been missing in the blogging action but honestly I just haven’t felt compelled to write about anything. The reason I started this thing was to explore some of the craziness in our industry and since I haven’t really been working all that much I think my momentum for writing has slowed down. Continue reading “No Brand Names…”

That’s Fucked Up…

Happy Tuesday!! I know, I know. I’ve been seriously missing in action the last few weeks. I attempted to write this up last week and then I ended up working all week and I just could not find enough time to balance work, writing and sleeping. Sleeping is the most important of those because I refuse to be tired when the hours of rest are available to me. Continue reading “That’s Fucked Up…”

Seasoned Fools…

Happy Tuesday…Wednesday! A late as hell Wednesday post at that. It’s that holidays…well not really…it’s currently that time in between Christmas and New Years that no one can explain. I mean I guess there’s many people that went back to work already but in our line of work the town is still quiet. Everything will usually get back up and going after the New Year. Continue reading “Seasoned Fools…”

The Price Of Loyalty…

Happy Friday everyone! How are you? Is today your last day before the Christmas break? Were you on one of those “special” shows that made people work right up to 2 days before Christmas eve so that you have to now squeeze all your shopping into one day and pay the highest possible airline rate to fly back home? Continue reading “The Price Of Loyalty…”