Conference Call

A friend of mine is working in post on a sequel to a big budget movie that you’ve heard of and probably didn’t enjoy very much.  The director has that kind of psuedo-fame that comes from being a jerk.  I try my best not to judge such people until I’ve worked with them myself, but my friend’s story confirmed his reputation–

My friend had scheduled a recording session with one of the actresses.  Now, this girl has that kind of psuedo-fame that comes from being pretty and not much else, but she was famous enough that she had some important photo-shoot or something that required her pouty lips and perky breasts by no later than 3:00pm.  In order to get to that location, she had to leave the ADR session by 2:00pm.  (‘Cause, you know, traffic.)

Well, almost-famous director decided he had important things to do, and didn’t call in until around 1:45.  Notice that I didn’t say, “arrive.”  That’s right, he was planning on directing her via phone.


Anyway, after about fifteen minutes of, “What?  No, I can’t hear you.  Say it again,” the actress had to go.  As she packed up and left, my friend’s boss got on the phone to let the director know what happened.

This director just flew off the handle.  Screamed loud and long.  He couldn’t believe that he only had fifteen minutes with his actress, this movie was never going to get done, blah blah blah.

But that wasn’t enough.  The director demanded to know who scheduled the recording.  The boss said my friend’s name.  At that point, the director asked to be put on speakerphone, so that not only could he yell at my friend, but he could yell at him while everyone was listening.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t a surprise.  My friend had scheduled this session a week ago.  She informed everyone involved, multiple times, that the actress had a hard out.  She spoke to the director personally, and he had said “No problem.”

The actress, worried about time constraints, actually showed up early.  Actors never show up early.  But this director?  Nope.  Couldn’t call until 1:45.

And it was all my friend’s fault.

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8 Responses

  1. If it’s who we’re all thinking of, I’ve work for him before (As closely as a dayhire can). Yes, he yells a bunch. But he’s usually pretty quick to joke around with that same person moments later. He’s can be a jerk, but at least he’s not an a**h*le.

    A small anecdote:
    One day we’re shooting down an alley in one direction and we quickly shoot the reverse. Now there are “Filming In Progress” signs directly in the shot. A certain colleague of mine was dawdling about, slowly taking the signs down. The director shouts “Hey, I can hire SOMEBODY ELSE to take signs down faster!” The PA in question busts into high gear and gets it done.

    Any director would yell at you to hury the F up.

    A jerk would threaten your job over it.

    An a**h*le would have actually fired her.

  2. Finish the story! How’d she handle that extremely, uh, awkward situation? With all seriousness, I’d love to hear how she handled this/what the fallout was/how her post supervisor and/or coordinator handled it afterward.

  3. It seems like one of your PA duties is “designated scapegoat”. Do you consciously try to deal with criticism in this light? Does everyone acknowledge that you’re treated as such? (Ie, does your boss recognize that you’re blamed for things that aren’t your fault?)

  4. Unfortunately, I can’t give away my friend’s identity. Otherwise, I’d love to out this asshole.

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