Feb 2, 2009

Kissing Up

A while ago I was chatting with another scripty friend of mine and we laughed about how we used to think that the way to scripty heaven (non-stop work) was to kiss up to the director. Why not? We stood by and watched young camera assistants kiss up to their D.P. and voila! They became part of his camera crew.

So, similarly we figured that by getting into the director's good graces the same thing would happen. But after many years of watching a non-stop cavalcade of directors get spat out by the Hollywood machine I began to see my evil plan was not going to work. Directors either went back to their "acting roots", quit the biz altogether, or became bitter, irate commercial directors. Caveat: Yes it's true, some directors are uber loyal to their scripty...but you have to have lightening strike twice, you have to connect AND he has to continue working!

So who's a sugar-daddy-less scripty supposed to kiss-up to? Well, the producer, UPM, production coordinator, craft service...everyone really. One day production assistant, next day producer is really true! And producers (good or bad) seem to be less disposable than directors and hang around the industry longer.

My point is I learned not to just focus on showing off your stuff to the director. I remember on one job, I began to chat about my job to the key-grip. He was very interested and began to watch me work. After that movie wrapped, I started getting calls from his commercial clients for work because he had recommended me. Just goes to show, you never know who will tell someone about you. It pays to spread the love around (I'm speaking metaphorically here, although the literal way would probably work too).

But be careful how you kiss-up. I would guess that most producers can spot a sloppy kiss-up a mile away. I prefer to make friends, that way if they do hire me on a future production great, if not, I have made a friend and in the end, I'd rather keep the friend.

p.s. Hello to my reader in South Africa!


Nathan said...

I interviewed for a movie once and in the middle of it, the Producer mentioned that "Director - X" had very nice things to say about me. I had to keep my mouth shut since my opinion of "Director - X" was that he was an idiot who should stick to shooting his own kids' birthday parties.

You never know where the nice or disparaging words are going to come from.

Being nice to everyone is a prudent investment.

Evie925 said...

So true! I got my last feature from a PA I had once worked with.

Aparna said...

I popped by to see if you'd updated and you had. Yay!

And the topic is timely since I'm sitting around wondering if the sudden dearth of work is because I failed to meet my kissing up quota on my last job. *sigh*

Thanks for the shout out, it's always nice to read about/ hear stories from other scripties.

MaxMarois said...

Kissing up is expected from you when you work in the industry.

Scripty said...

Hey Max, you are right, kissing up is very much a part of the job!