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Sep 14, 2014 / 15 notes

1st-gay-d said: How do you respond (cope) when a director is adding/changing shots and/or tells you "we're shooting till it's done."? I had a particularly bad experience recently where the director and producer closed me out of the on-set "loop" for a few hours because they didn't want to hear that we were behind.

goingforpicture:

There’s no easy advice I can give here. This is the fucking worst. It’s a pit in my stomach that I cannot handle. The only saving grace is that whenever directors and producers push out a competent AD from doing his/her job, they’re only hurting the production. Crew will get exhausted because information is not clear and the schedule is shot and then the quality of work will decline and the budget will go out the window as well.

Producers and directors who encourage and practice this type of behavior don’t go very far unless they are independently wealthy and can just make a bunch of shit films on daddy’s dime… in which case, you probably don’t want to be involved in that.

Adding and changing shots is normal, but “shooting until it’s done” is a dangerous mentality. An exhausted crew is a dangerous one that makes mistakes and can potentially harm people because they’re not treating safety as #1. Many crew members have fallen asleep at the wheel going home from a long day on set, several have died this way. It’s not as uncommon as people think.

A gentle yet firm conversation with the director and producer in regards to long days and the dangers of continuously going over schedule is important. You will probably want to hold that either at the end of the day or the beginning of the next day. Phrase it in a way that you’re thinking of quality as well as safety. Long days means mistakes that can show up on screen, such as continuity or rushed makeup and hair. Actors get flustered too when productions are rushing to finish because they’re constantly behind, which inevitably affects performance. Speaking in the director’s terms is important. You want the director to know you’re looking out for them by wanting to keep things as close to on schedule as possible. If they’re still being assholes about the whole thing, walk away. Don’t get riled up in front of them (I’ve made this mistake). It only makes them want you not involved in the process at all. Tell them you need to get back to the set and that he or she just needs to be a bit more mindful of the time so that everyone can make sure the shots look good.

If they continue to ignore your gentle requests for better timing, then it becomes a situation in which the crew takes notice and starts to complain. Department heads will complain to production if they feel like they’re not getting proper communication or input on things that affect their department. And they won’t blame you. Many will just start saying they can’t. They can’t do this. They can’t do that. They can’t, they won’t, and they don’t. They know this a good way to send a message to production about keeping to a schedule and not adding a bizillion shots or keeping them on set for 18 hours.

Whatever happens, don’t lose your cool and continue to communicate with crew as much as possible. Eventually, the producer will see how much money is being wasted on the director’s neglect and force the director to work faster. Or they won’t and the crew walks and the cast get frustrated and the movie turns to shit. Just know that this is not your fault and that you’re just doing your job.

theblogofmicah:

Always the best option.

Yeah everybody.
Sep 14, 2014 / 67,980 notes

theblogofmicah:

Always the best option.

Yeah everybody.

(via imajamiesaur)

Sep 14, 2014 / 26 notes

Anonymous said: Can one make money as a PA for indie film projects? It was my understanding that most of the time one must do this for free until enough experience is gained to break into either television or high budget film projects, which would be paid and therefore become one's day job.

goingforpicture:

I’m going through the mass amount of questions I’ve received and flagging the ones I want to answer and this one I had to answer right away.

You do NOT have to work for free. Ever. Set PAs do make money even on indie film. Hell, I’m Key Set right now on a bigger indie film. It’s not the best rate, but most PAs do get paid for their time.

Production Assistant sadly has this connotation attached to it of being the folks on set with the least experience and just right out of film school, but that’s honestly not reality for a lot of working PAs in the industry. It’s a very misunderstood department that’s more than just hauling tables and chairs everywhere. You have to be good with handling information, communicating, and diffusing situations. You have to be physically and mentally strong and able to take on whatever is thrown your way. I am short and I don’t drive so I make up for those things by being as strong as possible with my intuition - understanding the protocol and thinking ahead to accommodate the ADs and keep the set motivated and moving. PAing is not an intern job and I hate when I have to, as an AD, get free help for PAs because it means I spend time training instead of just doing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done the free PA thing. And some of my best PAs started off as free volunteers on either my show or another show. But it’s not the reality of the position. Maybe you do one small weekend gig or a feature where you work one or two days a week for free, but don’t expect to never make money as a PA and don’t think you can only get paid on big shows. Good producers know that hiring at least a couple paid PAs always pays off in the end. Always.

Sep 14, 2014 / 1 note

too many glorified adult boys and girls 

i’m on a different path