No Pictures Please…

Happy Friday!! Although it’s really Wednesday. Yeah you read that right, responsible good ole Lou here is writing this thing 2 days ahead of my deadline. Ok, I can’t lie the only reason this is even happening is because I’m at the DMV waiting for my number to be called. YAY! In all actuality I don’t have any DMV horror stories. I know people complain about the wait constantly but there is literally a wait line monitor online that you can look up, at least there is here at the DMV’s in L.A county. It might be 10-15 minutes off but other than that it’s always worked for me OR just make an appointment which is what I usually do. Anyhow, you didn’t come here to listen to me go on about the DMV so let’s get into this shall we?

Everyone loves taking pictures myself included if you can’t tell from any of my social media platforms. I have 13,000 pictures alone on this phone that I’m writing this on. At home I have hard drives and boxes full of even more pictures. Yes you read that right, I own “boxes” full of actual pictures that I printed. Remember when we use to actually print these things everyone? I do miss dropping off rolls of film to get them developed in an hour. I’m not a person that likes to wait but this was one of those fun waiting times. I was always excited to pick up my pictures to see how they came out. On set however this isn’t always a welcomed practice or so it may seem. I’m not saying that one should take photos while on set all willy nilly. There is definitely rules to abide by especially when taking pictures on set and if you’re thinking about posting pictures anywhere that’s a whole separate conversation that I won’t get into on this post.

I want to talk about this assumption that most Crew people have that taking pictures with the talent is somehow unprofessional. Why? Is it also unprofessional to take pictures with coworkers at any other type of business? I know there are actors/actresses that don’t like to take pictures and usually production warns us about these selected “special” individuals but besides them I really don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I’ve actually asked quite a few thespians if they minded taking pictures and if they found it unprofessional to date not one has said it was any type of bother to them and I haven’t been told not to take pictures with them by anyone. Sure they could be lying to me because I’m putting them on the spot but like one actor told me “It’s part of the job”. I don’t take pictures with every single actor/actress I work with but I have definitely taken photos with people who I was a big fan of. I’ve worked with a few people who sent my geek meter sky rocketing and I just had to memorialize the moment. If I hadn’t I know I would regret it.

I work with a good friend who was working on a commercial where someone was fired for taking a picture with talent. FIRED! What in the flying Fuck?! Are you serious right now? Someone lost their job because they took a photo with someone they admire. I’m sure this has happen a lot during the history of our business and I just need to ask, was it really that serious? The tough part about situations like this are that  we never really know who did the firing. Was it the actor or actress that asked for them to be fired or was it some over achieving assistant or producer that wanted to display their “Authoritay!”?

Typically I tend to go with the latter. I don’t have any hardcore proof but I just know that it’s commonly the people around the talent that will make shit like this happen. I think actors/actresses just get the blame put on them because they know that no one will question it in those cases. No one is ever going to go up to the talent to ask if they wanted someone fired because of the fear that if it is true then they too might get fired. It’s a nice little pocket of protection that these assistants and producers have made for themselves. Again I have no proof to back this up I just have a gut feeling after many years of observations and witnessing some firings, not because of pictures but because of similar reasons that dealt with the talent. I think this because most talent that I have worked with over the last few years that I HAVE been warned about their attitude or told things like just stay out of their way, they’re complicated…have been false. I actually found out that they were great people and that it was just the personnel around them that were the ones making up these silly rules causing everyone to walk on egg shells all the time. Although I’m also aware that some of these assistants and producers might be getting told or treated different by the talent behind closed doors. What I mean by that is that maybe while I may find the talent to be nice, in reality they are horrible people who are just hiding it from the open world and only show their true selves to that producer or assistant therefore making them look like the monster in our eyes. I know this also happens but all one can do is assess their particular situation and make a call on who they believe. I’ve worked with way more complicated people AROUND the talent than the talent themselves.

I’m sincerely asking is there anyone out there that asked someone to take a picture with them and they said flat-out just said “No”? I just find that to be so insane and I’ve never seen anyone actually say it. I’m sure it’s happen I just want to listen to the story. I want to know exactly what they said. I can only think of one instance in my life where there was a famous person and we were told not to take pictures of them. That time was when I was about 11-12 years old and we were at a hotel where Mike Tyson walked in. I find it fascinating that another human would actually oppose taking a photo with someone else. It literally takes about 10 seconds. In this particular instance I understand Mr. Tyson not wanting to take 60 pictures with fans that just surprisingly turned up somewhere but if you’re a crew member hanging at crafty talking to the person and ask for a picture I think that’s alright. HOWEVER if you’re new to the business don’t take this as a helpful hint everyone. While I try to offer some light into the inner workings of our business at times I cannot change them. There will always be craziness in our industry and there is a chance you might be fired for asking for that picture. I guess in the end it comes down to this simple thought, is the person really worth the picture? I will say this, the “Risky” pictures I have taken with people who I was warned about have definitely been worth my job because I look up to them that much. When I’m an old man who can’t walk anymore I’m going to cherish that picture a lot more than I’m going to care about the job that it cost me. Jobs will come and go but important, memorable moments can’t be relived but they can be captured.

Thanks for stopping by and scoping out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I’ll be back on Monday with an all NEW episode of The Toke Talking Podcast, a show I host here on the website. It’s not exclusively based on the film industry but since it’s part of my life I don go on about it on times and usually have guessed with me that also work in the business. Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll write to you all again on Tuesday!

-PEACE

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