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 need money to live that life but it’s really more of a way of thinking. I feel that most people put their job above everything else mentally and I think that kind of fucks with your priorities in life. If you take a shot for every time I just wrote “life” you’re probably drunk. ANYHOW, film folk you’ll be happy to know that today will not be a “Fuck It Friday” post. I will indeed be talking about a film industry related topic. So if that’s what you were hoping for today, you’re in luck! Alright let’s get into this shall we?

DGA Trainees. Let me explain to anyone out there not in the business. DGA Trainees are people in training to join the DGA. The DGA stands for the Directors Guild of America. Now I know that may sound like they going to be Directors as this is also the Union that Directors like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are a part of however, DGA Trainees are training to be Assistant Directors. I won’t go into detail of what exactly an Assistant Director does because there are millions of places to look that type of shit up but let’s just say, it’s not really “Directing” as we all think about it when we hear the word. There are 2 ways to get into the DGA. There’s the long way that requires you to work 600 days as a P.A and then put together these gigantic binders of proof that you worked those days. Why can’t we do this in some type of online form already? I mean it’s 2018 and here we are claiming to be green and killing trees to make binders of paper. Then you need to send it off to New York because even though there’s an office here they…I don’t know to be honest. I have no idea why they just cant accept them here where one would assume most people would want to. Or there’s the Training Program route that is about half the time I believe.

The reason I’m writing this post is that because I think that at times A.D’s (Assistant Directors) treat the trainees like pledges in a fraternity or sorority. That is the type of vibe I get from this A.D to Trainee dynamic at times and I just had to talk about it. I use to work a lot of non-union shows and the way some of those NU (Non Union) A.D’s treat the P.A’s is how the Union A.D’s treat the Trainees. It’s really a bizarre relationship at times. I’ve also worked with A.D’s that had this way of thinking that because they had a tough and shitty time as a Trainee that others should be dealt the same treatment as a way to “Toughen up”. I’ve heard stories of Trainees being verbally abused by being called names or being made to feel inferior to their superiors. I feel at times A.D’s will make the trainees do pointless tasks like pledges do when they’re trying to get into the fraternity/sorority. It can’t just be me that notices this. I think if you asked most they would see the similarities. I’m not saying this happens on every show either. There is definitely a ton of A.D’s out there that do fantastic jobs training these people and do try to give them a better experience than they had prior but I just don’t understand why all of them aren’t like this. I mean I do, it’s because some people just suck. But just from a trying to be a good person stand point, if you had a bad experience doing something because those in charge made it tough for you why would you want to replicate that experience for someone else? Why would you purposely make it as tough for them as it was for you instead of the opposite?

I wanted to write about this because quite honestly I don’t think anyone has. I mean as a Trainee I’m not even certain what ramifications they would face if they had a blog like this and the DGA found out because at times Trainees seem so terrified of their Teachers and the DGA gods that you would think it was some type of cult. Look, I understand being proud of whatever group you are a part of but when that title starts making you an asshole towards people not in your group then it’s a problem. Sadly it’s one of the problems with most types of organized groups. Besides the ego boost it gives some folks that are handed a title there’s also the few that think they are also supposed to also change themselves as to fit some type of persona that the position is known for. In this case A.D’s (Assistant Directors) are generally known for being a no joke by the book perfectionist. I’m being nice with that description as I’m sure many crew members have much more colorful words to describe the position. I often refer to them (A.D’s) as the parents on a film crew. I’m not talking shit about any of these fine people because as the ones in charge of everyone’s safety on set they do need to have some sort of leadership quality and can’t be messing around like most people do on set. Anytime a set gets rowdy, it’s up to the A.D’s and the Production staff to regain control. So one can understand how others may see A.D’s as assholes. The problem is many don’t have this leadership quality or lack social skills and instead of coming off as a leader they just seem like pushy assholes. They’re request to get stuff done sounds more like commands and that immediately would irritate most people. No one likes to feel like they are beneath anyone else and I feel at times Trainees get this type of treatment from the people training them. I know I would definitely say something to A.D’s if I was a Trainee and they made me feel this way because well…I honestly don’t give a shit about titles. Especially when I know that person is using that title as leverage against me. I would quit the training program before I’m disrespected by my bosses just like I would in my position as a P.A now if I was done the same. There is no place at work for disrespecting people and that is something that I will always believe in and stand for.

Oooo I got all proud there at the end with my “believe in and stand for” comment. My apologies if this post didn’t really make you laugh much. I try to keep it funny and light most times but as you know at times these fingers get going as my mind rambles and I just go with it. I try to capture as many of my real and genuine thoughts as I can and then I go back and try to make it all make sense. Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I appreciate you all and I hope you have a fantastic Saint Patty’s Day weekend!! Yes it’s tomorrow in case you forget so go get all your green gear ready.


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