Monday, October 5, 2009

Stories from the Set, Vol 1

I talked to a couple of people in the acting biz I trust about the upcoming seminar and what would be needed and beneficial. As I talked and told some examples from history on sets, I was reminded to make sure I used plenty of those when I speak.

So here's a quick one. I was shooting a commercial. It was a Western theme with cowboys and horses. We shot in January around a campfire. Just so happened it was the coldest night of the year. One of the cowboys we cast brought his own director's chair, with his name stitched on it. It was a small shoot. Crew of four I think. Cast of 6. But this guy quickly earned the nickname "Hollywood" on the set that night. He was a prima donna.

He name dropped whenever he could about this actor and that actor from his days (maybe a week) out west in LA. And he wasn't that good to back it up. If you're going to be a prima donna, then you'd better have the awesome, incredible talent to back it up. Of course, that's the catch-22-- most PD's are hacks that visualize themselves as MJ on the Hardcourt.

Is a director's chair bad? No. But when it's this small and we just aren't doing chairs, it's sticks out like a sore thumb. Join the team and get yourself a little dirty.

So why does someone name drop and try to convince everyone around him he's Greatness? Because he's compensating. Which means, deep down, he doesn't think he's great or even good. If he were, he wouldn't worry about selling it to all the others. So now I can look and instead of being angry or put out, I feel just sad for him.

The one guy playing the Native American had the flu or something. He shouldn't been out there. But he was. And he worked hard.

BTW, I remember it was so cold that I picked up a 2K Junior, that was still on and held it with my bare hands to try to get a little warm. It was about a break even point. And the extension cords were frozen.

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