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. I love this time off because my life abides by no time. I wake up at all crazy hours and sleep as much as I want. I’ll wake up at 4AM to walk the dog and then start watching a movie till I knock out. Wake up again at maybe 8AM, walk the dog, eat breakfast and then knock out again and wake up sometime around noon and start my day. I just find that time is just not important in my life when work isn’t part of it. So because of this time schedule I got going on I ended up posting late…a day late. Hahaha! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Alright now that I’ve gone on about my lazy ass time off schedule let’s get into this shall we?

The one thing that I continually find astonishing in this business is that someone can be a complete fool and be the absolute worse at doing their job but still maintain a steady job with no demotions or repercussions. We work in an industry where someone can completely fail upwards. While there is MANY people who work their asses off to get their job titles I believe that there is equal if not more people in positions that were just handed to them. Political hires are what we call them. Jobs that are given to someone because they know someone or they have money and bought they position which is also quite common in our business. I mean honestly if you are wealthy becoming a film producer only requires you to find a film/show to finance and boom, you’re a producer. This can be awesome because it can lead to new and innovative ways to look at film making if the person has good ideas that our film making minds hadn’t thought about. I do feel that sometimes our techniques could use a little polishing and a person that has never worked on a film may be able to see some holes in our process. Like why in the hell 12 hours is still the daily standard. However it can also go the opposite way and the person can just be a fucking monkey wrench in the entire process with their crazy unreasonable requests or suggestions. And the way it works in this business unfortunately is that those people in those positions that are terrible at their job are still smart enough to hire people under them that are way better at not only their job but also the job of said Boss and end up covering up and taking care of all their mistakes. So what happens is that the person that is in charge (We’ll call them Boss X) ends up looking like they are doing a fantastic job and a fucking all-star to person that hired them (We’ll call them Head Hancho) because of the people who Boss X hired (We’ll call them Crew). Boss X then just continues their career for years being praised by his Head Hanchos but still being absolute shit at their jobs. The Crew will never out them because most fear that they will lose their job or be black listed for going up against Boss X.

I’ve written about people being given their positions before but what brought on this particular post was that I always find it very amusing when these people who clearly were handed their job and can’t do it pull out the “I’ve been doing this a long time” excuse for why they assume they are right about something. I’m positively sure that there are people in this business right now that have been in a position of power for 20-30 years and are absolute shit at their job but have surrounded themselves with people who cover for them. Because of this reason when people in these positions say shit like “I’ve been doing this a long time” it means absolutely nothing at all to anyone that knows and has been in this business for a while. This circus does not require any type of time-table that I know of to hold these positions that are handed to people. I’ve seen this happen several times and in many different departments. I’ve been on crews where someone below Boss X offered up a suggestion for how to do something more efficiently and Boss X went against it just because he insisted that his way was the way it’s always been done and no need to fix what isn’t broken. This was Boss X first job with that title and it was a clear decision based on their ego. Because what kind of dumbass logic is that? While it makes sense that something that is working should not be tampered with ignoring a better and more efficient way to get the same or more work done is just fucking stubborn and stupid. I think that a good Boss or just a good person in general never resorts to such lame excuses as “I’ve been doing this a long time” as a reason why others should believe or follow what you’re saying. Trust me if you’ve been doing it as long you say everyone around you already knows so there’s no need to bring it up. However the real problem I have with this statement is that it seems to insinuate that since you’ve been doing this for a long time you know everything there is to know about it which is total bullshit. We can spend our entire lives dedicated to something and NEVER fully understand it because time is ever-changing and usually brings change to everything around us. I think that we need to continue learning everyday and never assume that we know everything about anything because of a timetable that we decided was long enough to make us the all-knowing about a particular subject.

Alright I’m done. Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling everyone. If you’ve not checked out this weeks Toke Talking Podcast make sure you do. It’s a little change from the constant rambling of film industry topics that I do on here. Instead you can listen to me go on about a ton of other subjects instead. Have a great rest of your week and make sure to stop by on Friday for my last post before 2018!

-PEACE

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? Sure they could have planned to take off a week before christmas but that would require actually giving a shit and being considerate with the employees that fuel this multibillion dollars and sadly some just don’t give a shit. They don’t live in a world where money is a problem so they don’t understand why our assistants couldn’t just buy our gifts for us while we were working and why airline prices are EVER an issue. I apologize if I’m in a bit of a shit mood before the happy holiday but that’s one of the reasons this blog exist and I have some shit to rant about so let’s get into this shall we?

As I mentioned before I won’t be traveling back to my childhood home of Miami this year for the holidays. It will only be the 2nd time in 12 years that I do not go back. The only other time I did not go back was because I wanted to have white christmas which is tough in Miami. I haven’t gone into specifics here on the blog as to why but the reason is because my loyalty fucked me. I planned my work around being loyal to a show and it bit me in the ass. I know, I know…I’m the one that is constantly preaching on here that loyalty in this business is bullshit and I yet I got caught being loyal. There can be no loyalty if money is involved. I’m not stating that I wasn’t brought back because of a money issue only that loyalty and a business in which money is being made can never coexist. A person can be loyal to their significant other, to their friends, to their family but business is business. If your boss asks you to be loyal you need to know that in no way does that mean that they plan on being loyal to you. Which just doesn’t work. It needs to go both ways. Basically what happen was that I worked on a show last year and was not brought back on this year. Now I know that work is never guaranteed in this business but I was caught off guard because I had NEVER not gone back to a show that was picked up for another season in which the department that I worked with was also invited back. I have worked on one show where the producer changed between seasons and so he brought in all his own people but I had never been a situation like this and it really pissed me off. At first I was a bit down about it because I really thought I did a great job for them and felt betrayed. There was a few weeks that I kept trying to figure out what I did wrong and even had a few ideas as to why. I realized they were ridiculous ideas once I came to my senses but I did think that maybe I had done something wrong. Then as time went on and shortly after I stopped by to visit everyone on the show I realized that they were the ones that screwed me over. I did nothing wrong. I worked my ass off for them…well as much as “working my ass off” means in my line of work and they chose not to bring me back for a reason that they could not even be honest about. I got really angry at the whole situation. It put me in a bit of a financial bind because it coincided with my car breaking down AND a slow summer of work. If you read the blog often you’d have read that I took some time off this summer to learn how to use Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects and some other programs. I trusted that the show I had previously worked on would once again employee me so I didn’t stress out looking for too much work during this time. Then the show started up and I was given the terrible news.

What makes this situation worse is that I was offered 3 other shows during this time. One was over the summer and 2 would’ve been around the time that the one I thought I was going back on was taking place. I passed on all of them because I wanted to be loyal to the show that I had previously worked on. BIG MISTAKE! But how was I to know? While I have seen many people done wrong in this business personally it had never happen to me. I’m not even sure what happen to be honest because the excuse they gave me as to why I was not being invited back made very little sense. I honestly didn’t even know who made the final decision about me not returning but after my visit I had my suspects which made the situation worse because it made it even more confusing in my head as to why. However I know that at the end of the day it’s just work and that I will inevitably get past this mentally because it really is fucking with my mind state about this business.  It’s just another one of those ugly, shitty parts about working in this industry which could be so much better if people actually cared about one another but money and egos ruin it all.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I apologize for the bitterness of the post but I had to vent. It is very therapeutic. I hope you all have a great time off. ENJOY THAT SHIT!! Merry Christmas to everyone except those people who feel they were not about to say Merry Christmas before this year. I’d like to specifically wish you all a Happy Holiday instead you weirdos. I will be back next week with a NEW post and Podcast so make sure to check those out.

-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

 

Only In The Movies…

Happy Tuesday everyone! How is the week treating you thus far? I was off yesterday and spent most the day decorating for the Christmas holiday. I played loud Christmas music for about 3 hours and started laying the ground work. I still have plenty more to do but I had to write this thing,  Monday night football, Mary Jane and hunger all demanded my immediate attention. I’ll have some days this week, the weekend and I may be off all next week, so plenty of time to finish decorating. I’m guessing like most in this business this may be the last week of work for your respected show or film. I know most film industry gigs start shutting down for the holidays. It usually is pretty quiet around here for about 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to it. Alright let’s get into this shall we?

Last week I watched the movie “Rough Night”. It’s not very good but that’s not why I’m writing. If you’ve not watched the film it’s about a bachelorette trip that a group of woman take to Miami, which also happens to be my home town. In the movie shortly after boarding their plane they show an establishing shot of a plane flying over what seems like a replica of the famous Hollywood sign here in Los Angeles that sits on the Hollywood Hills. I’ve also seen this similar sign in the “Bad Boys” movies since they too take place in Miami. My problem with this, THERE IS NO FUCKING SIGN! That sign is a prop that these films have rented out in order to get this shot for their film and I just really don’t understand why. As an aspiring film maker myself I honestly just find it extremely lazy. Miami is an entire city with so many land marks and instead of doing some actual research you choose to just make up a sign like the one they have in Hollywood. I don’t understand the thinking behind it and that’s what drives me insane. As the film maker are you just trying to tell your audience that every city is just like hollywood and has giant sign to represent itself. I can only imagine the amount of tourist that get in Lyfts, Ubers and Taxis and asked them if they could stop by the giant Miami sign near the airport.

I mean I get it, it’s all movie making and imaginative but I just don’t see the sense in shit decisions like this. As a Floridian another misconception that the films has brought my crazy ass state is this thought that it never rains in Miami. I can understand someones misunderstanding when they first visit Miami and experience hourly thunderous downpours interrupted by almost faint inducing heat waves instead of the beautiful days of sunshine that movies have established is the norm in the sunshine state. I mean I don’t blame them, even the nickname “The Sunshine State” is a bit misleading.

I hear people all the time complaining about their cities and countries are being misrepresented in the entertainment business. I would like to think that they do it because it helps the show or film better story wise but I just don’t understand how faking a landmark helps the story. At the very least if they would have had a fight scene at the sign and blown it up but just to use it as an establishing shot is weird ok. I know this may be bothering me more than it should but it does. I guess what bugs me is that I know people do shit like this just because they are lazy. They are lazy and they don’t do the research about it and so they make up shit instead. I’ve worked on quite a few shows out here in LA that are supposed to take place in Miami. In those shows we would often have cars driving around and I always find myself telling the prop department that is in charge of placing fake license plates on the cars that in Florida we don’t have double tags on the vehicles. We only have one tag in the rear of the car and that’s it. Still till this date you’ll watch a show that takes place in Florida but filmed elsewhere and look at the cars driving around you’ll see double plates. Do some research everyone or at the very least just ask someone who lives there is all I’m trying to say. Some of the people I work with get so bent out of shape over the smallest of details but big noticeable crap like this is ok? Consistency everyone, let’s just try and have some consistency.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Please make sure to check out The Toke Talking Podcast that aired yesterday and every Monday. It’s not exclusively aimed at the Film Industry but I do touch on the subject often plus it’s always guaranteed to bring you a laugh or two. Have a great week and don’t forget to stop by on Friday for my Post before the weekend.

-PEACE

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…”

I’m Not Doing That…

Friday everyone. It’s finally Friday. Another week of film making in the books that most likely ran about 10 hours over because we’re stubborn and won’t settle for less than 12 hours of work. That’s the normality we choose to continue to embrace. Why? Continue reading “I’m Not Doing That…”

Little Boxes…

Happy Tuesday friends old and new. How are you? Did you have a good weekend? I watched Thor: Ragnorok, AMAZING! I went to a wrap party. It was ok, food was great but my plus one vanished for a while so a bit lame. I did get a fare amount of sleep which is always nice. Did you rest up for another fun filled week of film making? Continue reading “Little Boxes…”

Happy Halloween!!…

Again because it’s awesome HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! How are you fellow We’re Not Rolling Ghouls, Goblins and Witches? Although sadly I doubt you will see many of those classics anymore. I mean when’s the last time you saw someone at work dress up as a ghoul? Continue reading “Happy Halloween!!…”