Wednesday, December 30, 2009

mobile blog

so I am in my girl friends car and using this fancy new phone to write a new update. while my time in Boston had its fair share of
moments, the truth is I was not prepared enough to be a production coordinator. so with my remaining sanity and a few more grey hairs the show told me good bye. I am very relieved, although I still need to see some historic Boston stuff! the down time wont last long though. I'll be going to the magic city of Shreveport to hang out with some of the coolest and meanest assistant directors this side of the Rockies. so cheers to new things and new possibilities! and yeah, typing a blog on a touch screen phone - not the best idea.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Year in Film

It's been a relatively good year for the film industry. Whether you aspire to work in it like me, or you just enjoy going to the theater, overall it's been a pretty good year. There's been a good mix of something for everyone. And while the woes and pains of the distribution crisis are still being felt loud in clear in the indie film world, Hollywood, it seems, is beginning to make movies again.

My personal favorites this year, in no particular order:

1. The Hurt Locker
2. Up in the Air
3. Up
4. Star Trek
5. Watchmen

"Inglorious Bastards" and "Avatar" should probably also be on that list but I don't want to crowd the plate. "Watchmen" I think probably got the worst rap out of all of these but is on my personal favorites because it's still a great movie. It won't get any awards, but it at least raised some eye brows. Critics didn't like it and it disappointed a lot of the fans leading it to become this sort of ugly duckling of a movie. I'll admit that the giant blue penis did give me penis envy, but I'm not offended by it. For someone who is not really a fan boy or into the graphic novel scene, I thought it was an excellent story about the flaws in our "super hero worship" and it leaves me with a quote that echoes around in my head, "Who watches the watchmen?" Who indeed.

Everyone is saying that the reason this has been a better year for movies is because of the recession/depression we're all going through in the economy. I think there's a little more to it than that but it sounds good. I'm glad Hollywood is taking chances and created big escapist works of art again.

In the next year it will be interesting to see how Paramount uses it's "micro-budget" studio it just created that focuses on making movies for less than 100,000. I have a feeling that is going to be a red-headed step child for a while but I'm glad they're trying to make it work.

As for the year in television, I don't really know enough about to really say anything. I'm not a big TV guy even though most of the work I've had this year has been in TV. It's hard beast to be able to tackle. I enjoyed working on BBQ Pit Masters immensely but I'm not sure of what to make out of the ratings. Seems like television audiences are getting smaller and more niche. It's becoming harder to make that one show that everyone wants to tune into. That's about all I can say.

Hopefully this next year will bring more work and more experience. Of course, it would also be nice if production companies would get out of their "crisis" modes and start paying their employees what they are worth, as well as allowing for proper timing when it comes to prep and pre-production. At the end of the day though, it will just be nice to work. Eventually we'll make it through. At least lets all hope.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's so F***ING COLD

I liked cold weather before I came up here to Boston. It was nice to walk out of my apartment on a calm brisk day in Birmingham and walk to work or to school. Not so much here. What's out of place though is how there isn't any snow on the ground. It's like seeing a cake without the icing. The ground is very frozen, the ponds and rivers have chunks of ice in them, but no snow.

I'm excited about coming home though! There's a lot of people I want to see and things I need to do. Hope everyone has a good holiday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Killing with Kindness

I'm having a really hard time lately. It seems the more people I meet in this business the more I'm told that I have to be assertive and demanding to get my way. But I ask this: how assertive and how demanding can you be without becoming an asshole? Where's the line? How do people get their way while making the other party involved feel good too? I want to get my way and be nice about it because in the end there's no need to be mean or degrading towards other people. There just isn't. And if that's how some people feel is the only way to act when they have to get stuff done then I don't want to be a part of it.

I'll admit, sometimes I am too much of a push over. I mean, the simple fact is there are some people in this world who will simply run over you if you let them. Yet at the same time, you don't fight fire with fire. You'll eventually get a reputation that will come around and bite you in the ass. So be nice. Play fair. Think positive.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to secure a location

I've been doing this a lot lately. Here's how I go about doing it.

1. Call.

2. Get told that the person you need to talk to is not in and that you can leave your number for them to call back. Leave number.

3. Wait for them not to call back. They don't. So call again. They probably won't answer so leave a message.

4. They finally call back but you are unable to answer because you are stuck on set and unable to answer your phone.

5. You call them back but they are miffed that you didn't answer your phone, so to prove a point, they don't answer their phone. You leave a message.

6. Two minutes later, after figuring this little game of cat and mouse has gone on a bit too long, they call back. You tell them what you want to do, by which time you are so over eager because you are finally talking to a real person, you exasperate yourself explaining the situation. A bit confused, but eager to get out of the conversation they agree to whatever it is you want, if only to get you off the phone.

7. Since everyone is agreed. You then ask them to sign a location release form. Thinking this is a last bit of trickery they then go on to play 20 questions about what, why, how, and who this location release form is supposed to entail.

8. With the tables turned and you wanting to be the one getting off the phone, you gleam over the fine print, which is really nothing but fine print, and tell them it's nothing to worry about, (just a document signing away the production company's liability should anything happen to their business.) Seriously.

9. You hang up. Take a deep breath, and realize that in 2 minutes, you just accomplished what you've been trying to accomplish for two days.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Football!

I can't believe I finally have a weekend day to watch football! Right now I'm chilling at the production apartment in Jamaica Plain watching Cincinnati play Pittsburgh in the snow. Next we're going to watch Alabama play Florida. Tonight's activities include a "family dinner" with the production team. Only problem is our cookware seems really depleted. Dunno what we'll cook on, but we have a grill so maybe some of the folks who were on pit masters will break out their grilling skills and make something awesome!?

Speaking of Pit Masters, the show aired this past wednesday and I was pretty happy with it. The ratings weren't to bad from what people are saying but I really have no clue what any of that means. Apparently we got a .9 and .97 which rounds to a 1. Basically it means that around a million people tuned in to watch it, which isn't bad. To make into the top 10 network ratings you ned to get around a 2.2. So, overall, everyone's pretty happy, which means,---maybe we'll all get to work on a season 2?!

Anyways, snow is on the way but it doesn't feel cold enough outside to stick. It's just that sort of drizzly rain at the moment. It's a been a long week and a Saturday watching football sounds like exactly what we all need.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Promotion

So, interesting happenings this week. I've only been working for a little over 2 days now and it is already starting to feel like it's been a week. The first day on the job I got promoted to production coordinator. It's a big deal on paper, big step up from being a PA, but I'm a little murky about what exactly I'm supposed to be coordinating. Right now I've been given the job of handling our equipment rentals. That's a big part of what prod. coordinators do. So, I guess I'm on the right track. Still, I'll be responsible for a lot of the same stuff I was as a PA, due to the fact that the show is so small. So, I think my title should be more like, "de facto production coordinator."

Right now I'm setting up shop at our "production office," a really nice apartment spread in Jamaica Plains, that also happens to be the home of some of the out of town people working on the show. Today is supposed to be an office day so hopefully things will go fairly smoothly. On the horizon we have our talent taking a trip to a casino in Connecticut and a possible trip down to Miami, FL. So, we do have some orchestrating to do. I guess I'll get to it then.