Sunday, November 16, 2014
It's the day after a big name star made a cameo on our humble little show and while wating for his omlette in the breakfast line, our series creator/Executive Producer was filling in his colleagues on the happenings of the night before.
"...And as his car pulled up, he shook my hand and said this was the best crew he's ever worked with. Can you believe that?? [Big Name Star]! He's been around forever and he thinks we're the best! How awesome is that??!"
He's fairly new to the business, so his excitement is understandable. But my co-worker and I, both witness to his enthusiasm, just rolled our eyes.
Because, despite the fact that we really might be a damn good crew, hearing someone delare your crew as "The Best Crew Ever!" is pretty common for someone who drifts around as much as I do.
I first heard it during wrap several years ago on a freebie job as I was trying to get a foot in Hollywood's door. The Director/Writer/Producer stood on a chair in the middle of the room, thanked us all for our time and hard work on his "passion project," and declared us "the best crew he's ever worked with."
I was happily surprised. I'm just starting out and I'm already working with one of the best crews out there?? Wow!
But it wasn't too long before another Director/Writer/Producer touted us as "The Best Crew Ever!" as soon as the A.D. called wrap. And it wasn't too long after that for the third one.
Eventually, I'd hear it about as much as I'd hear that pizza was coming for second meal.
And as I got on bigger shows, that proclaimation would often be accompanied with a champagne toast. Actors doing guest appearances over the course of the week would wrap up their episode with a coffee truck and a sign dangling under the ordering window reading, "To the best crew ever! Thank you!" At the end of a long show, the lead actors might pass out a bottle of wine to everyone on the crew with a card that reads, "To the best crew I've ever worked with!" Production will give out t-shirts to crew members with a sheet of printer paper pinned to it with the words, "Thanks for a good show! You're the best crew ever!"
Now, I'm not saying I'm ungrateful for the words and gestures of appreciation, because I really do appreciate it when the higher ups aknowledge our existance.
But at this point, it's the Hollywood equivalent of getting an "I'll call you" after a date. You may have believed it the first time you heard it, but after a few times, you wise up. You know he's not going to call, but at least he tried to be polite about it and you got a free meal.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
If you're shooting a scene in an office/cubical farm, it's not uncommon to see doodles on every available writing surface as you walk around the set. Not only do the Set Dressers scatter used notebooks and Post-Its around to make the place more lived in and believable, but the "background artists" (aka: "extras" if you want to be a little more un-PC about it) may scribble on a notepad or two to make it look like they're doing very important background-y things during the scene and/or between takes when they're bored.
As you wander around set, you'll usually see things like doodles of kitty cats or random patterns. But every once in a while, you'll stumble on a gem like this one:
I guess as the saying goes, "Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't act, become background."