I’ve complained about the camera department before, but just last week, an operator managed to reach below my already low expectations of civil behavior.
My set counterpart was passing out prelim call sheets to department heads. Since we were rolling at the time, the PA went around to the “soft crew” first– hair, make-up, costume. At cut, he worked his way into the set, hitting the gaffer and key grip before eventually reaching the camera operator.
Suddenly, the camera op started yelling. (I know this, because I could hear him from the production office.) “I’m the most important person on the set! I’m more important than the DP! I’m more important than the director!”
I asked the PA later what the deal was. He said the operator was angry that he didn’t get the prelim before anyone else. Astonishingly, this outburst did not get the operator fired.
Later in the week, though, a camera assistant quit, and he took his 2nd with him, because of this operator. Guys in the camera department are often jerks and bullies, and ACs are used to putting up with shit. It would take a lot to get an AC to quit, especially now.
Because I’m not on set, I don’t know the specifics of what happened, but this operator must be a colossal dick.
Why are guys like that allowed to have a job, when I know so many nice, competent people out of work?