JohnD had a long response to yesterday’s post, explaining why the death of a PA is financially feasible, which is interesting, as far as it goes, but also ignores the simple fact that a PA is a human fucking being.
I realize that John is explaining the employer’s perspective, not his own (at least, I hope so), but still. God damn.
It’s one thing to say I’m replaceable if I can’t take being yelled at by morons for stupid things that don’t really matter. There’s a hundred other potential PAs lined up to take my spot. (I’m actually one of those PAs in waiting, at the moment.) It’s a whole ‘nother thing to say it’s okay for me to die, because it won’t cost much.
(Please don’t reply that there are cynical, evil people in the world. I’m aware of that fact, and the knowledge does nothing to quell my righteous indignation.)
On the subject of that director, I had the following conversation with another production assistant–
Me: “What exactly does she do? The producers talk to the contestants and the DP decides where the cameras go. How is she directing?”
Other PA: “She’s mostly here for the musical segment at the end.”
Me: “Are we cutting live?” Meaning, Does she cut from one camera to the other while we’re shooting, or do all the cameras have their own tapes, to be spliced together later?
Other PA: “No, it’s edited in post.”
Me: “With nine professional cameramen out there, surely they know enough to get usable coverage on their own, right? I mean, it’s not like they’re all gonna zoom in for a closeup at the same time. What is she doing that adds anything to the process?”
Other PA: “I don’t know.”
So, you see, while I may be replaceable, she doesn’t even need to be replaced.
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On a related note, Hollywood Juicer and I must be sharing a brain, because he posted on the very same subject Sunday:
Anyone in a position of power would be smart to offer their workers the same respect they expect to receive in return. Those who treat their crews badly should remember that every department has a dozen quiet, subtle ways of exacting revenge. One way or another, such assholes will pay for their sins. Most of us really do reap what we sow in life, and are sooner or later repaid in the same coin.
And no matter what the currency, payback really is a bitch.
Go ahead and read the whole thing. As usual, he’s very insightful, and far more mature than I.