Happy Wednesday!! How are you human? Hahaha! I had an extremely busy day yesterday and that’s why this post is a day late. How was everyones weekend? I watched Infinity War and had game night with some of my favorite people and then did some Sunday grilling by the pool…..in our hoodies because it was cold. I was supposed to go to Six Flags yesterday but the crazy weather continues here in LA. It was cold Sunday afternoon and then it rained yesterday so we decided we would go on Friday instead. I haven’t checked the weather today but when I did yesterday it said that on Friday it’s suppose to be excruciatingly hot…so as I said…the crazy weather continues. It’s hot, it’s cold, it rains…it’s all very irregular. It’s definitely NOT global warming though because you know science keeps explaining that it is but as long as you non believers out there continue to not believe, it will never happen right? Isn’t that a saying “You can make something not real if you just don’t believe in it”? Alright let’s get into this shall we?
I mentioned earlier that I was busy yesterday and that’s because I spent 7 hours putting all the finishing touches on my DGA book. If you are a non industry employee let me explain quickly. A DGA book is binder or binders with a collection 600 or more of my working days in this business. The binder has all the call sheets and pay stubs for those 600 plus days in it. The reason we put all this in binders is so that we could send it to the DGA (Directors Guild of America) so that we can join the union. It’s essentially paperwork to apply for a better position to put it simply. I put this off for a VERY long time for various reasons. One simply being that I was happy with my current situation. I loved my job and the people I was working with. However times are changing and so are my needs and goals. If you read this blog often you may have noticed my increasing frustrations with the hours we work and this move will essentially pay me more money daily which will hopefully mean I can work less days. This is one of the new goals I have set for myself and this is the first step in achieving them so let the next chapter in my life begin.
With that said I must say this putting together of 600 days is a real pain in the ass. I guess they make it tough to weed out some of those that may not be as committed to joining but holy fucking hell. The cover sheets for each job, the table of contents, the colored paper and tabs. Then on top of all of that I need to ship it to the New York office even though the DGA has an office right here in LA. This is particularly worrisome because I know I’m going to be stressing the Fuck out that Fedex may lose my boxes in transit. I mean seriously what happens at that point? I remember years back someone mentioning that making a duplicate of the DGA books would be smart but I mean has anyone EVER done that? The process in putting together the original books is grueling so I can’t imagine doing it twice. I know the chances that these boxes get lost are slim but still…why must the DGA burden us with this unneeded stress. Why can’t I just drive my book to the LA location and then drive back home stress free?
Luckily I actually have had my books close to being done for about 6-7 years now and that’s why it only took me 7 hours to finish them up yesterday. Yes, many years ago I did sit down and start putting them together. Then I don’t know what the Fuck happen. I remember I went through a break up and a sort of confusing time as to what exactly I was trying to achieve in this business. I was dealing with some roommate and living issues. Plus I also scared myself into the thought that if I became an AD I would end up like all the AD’s I work with who had bigger dreams of Directing and Writing when they started and then lost focus and now were here, 20-30 years later ADing instead of what they really wanted. They became complacent and accepted their new positions. I also was working consistently so my financial situation wasn’t a problem and so never felt compelled to finish the books. I just put them in a box and shoved them in my closet. Then 2 months ago my life seemed like it was headed in a different direction and it inspired me to finally get this shit done. So I pulled the books out of the closet, dusted them off and continued the work that I started years ago and finally finished them up yesterday. I’m happy to say that next week I will not only be sending the DGA 600 days but instead sending them 916 days just in case they find that 316 of them are not applicable. The craziest thing is that this isn’t even all the days I have acquired over the years. I’m actually leaving out 4 entire years of work in my books. So theoretically if they were to get lost I would still be alright although I doubt I would go through this process again. So I will say this, if you are planning on joining the DGA start your binders as early as possible and try and do them as you go. I was given the same bit of advice years ago and instead ignored it and waited till I had amassed years of call sheets and pay stubs in several boxes in no chronological order whatsoever before I decided to start putting it together and it was very painful. Learn from my mistakes future DGA binder builders, Hahaha!
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