Jan 20, 2008

After Six Hours

I’m not sure who came up with this rule… on film jobs you eat lunch at six hours into your day. So, say your call time was 8:30 A.M. you would get your lunch break at 2:30 P.M. Very odd, since your paid on a day rate of 10 hours, wouldn't it make sense to have the lunch break after 5 hours?

At any rate, last Thursday and Friday I was working on a stop motion animation commercial. It was for an office product store and each product was animated to fly into folders, open and close, and instantly label themselves etc. At one point, I overheard the on set art department guru say to his boss, “Remember yesterday when you said that you were so hungry that you felt like throwing up? I feel like that today.” And I can understand why, they were so busy manipulating the set props for the animation they really didn’t have time to eat anything all morning.

I can relate to their pain. There have been many jobs during my career where we keep filming so fast that we end up incurring meal penalties*. This is where production does not give us our break at 6 hours but continues to film with a drop-dead hungry (and might I add crabby) crew! Or worse, during some of those crazy jobs, they let most of the crew go eat but keep camera (which includes scripty) to continue filming. Which really sucks for camera. We get a shortened lunch, and worst of all, once we are allowed to drag our hungry, tired, and crabby asses to lunch there's no food left!! Arrgh! (ok so there's some food left but not any of the good stuff)

Fortunately this was not one of those jobs for me, I was not as busy as art department and was able to eat way too many chips, M&M's, and Twizzlers so I didn't feel hungry... I felt nauseous.

The bright point to this job was that I got to test drive my new earth friendly pens! Here they are happy at work. The top blue pen’s casing is made from recycled denim, and the bottom is made from 70% recycled materials. I could buy some as a promotional item, but I ponder what “slogan” I’d put on them. Cast your vote in the poll!

*A meal penalty is where production throws money at you instead of food. Might sound like a good deal but when you have not eaten or gone to the bathroom in 8 hours, I'd rather have a break.

p.s. While the writers strike has not affected me too much (luckily I have a great commercial client base) I will however be affected by Axium closing (scumbags). For the best Axium info I found Totally Unauthorized to have some great Axium information and her blog is a fantastic read too! Here's hoping that all things resolve easily and that we can soon be back to being in love with our industry.

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