Just tell the whole world why don’t you…

Earpieces! My favorite annoyance.
Earpieces: the easiest way to feel special without actually being so.

I understand. Humans are forgetful. We get emotional and angry and our heads fill with stormclouds and all we see is red, but please, PLEASE, this is a professional environment. Do not under any circumstances, chide a person over walkie.

It happens to us PA’s all the time. We’re human too. We fuck up here and there and easily there’s chaos going on. I mean, shooting is like being whipped up in a hurricane. We understand you’re the boss and you’re being drawn and quartered in the trailers but there is absolutely no excuse to use your (false) superiority as a shield and spank someone verbally in everyone’s ear, no matter how bad the transgression.

Common times when the people at the top think it’s ok to yell at PA’s publicly over the airways:

– Their coffee didn’t arrive because you were busy locking up an understaffed shoot.

– Someone talked over an open radio during a take even though it wasn’t you.

– Someone HAD an open walkie on set even though it wasn’t you.

– The actress is unhappy with something you had no idea she needed. (Bonus points if that “necessary” thing is also said publicly, like only a certain brand of bottled water so now everybody knows.)

– You’re called to do something but you’re busy helping another department because you’re a nice person and you just happened to be around (this one’s the worst, because it’s like being between two divorced parents).

The best lesson in walkie etiquette is to think before you press that button. I understand that shit gets real, but it’s bad enough to get yelled at for something in general, don’t tell the whole world about it. It’s just about the worst thing you can do to us. Ever.

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7 Responses

  1. Can I just add that I love when its the end of the day or the end of the shoot and everyone is tired and over it and doesn’t care about Walkie etiquette anymore. That’s when it gets fun. Anyone else experience this?

  2. I don’t know what your situation was, I’ve never met a bad 1st or 2nd 2nd. In the 1sts defense they have the job of running the set, and getting the shit done on time. It’s a big task. And what gives the 2nd 2nd the right to be a douche? They’re basically a step up from key set PA. They of all people should be on the PAs side. Sorry, you had such a bad experience Joe.

  3. I just worked on an Indie gay comedy earlier this year as a PA, and my new nickname for ADs is Anal Douche! Particularly the 2nd 2nd and the 1st. Worst. People. Ever!

  4. I have had a similar experience… Recently, I worked as a 2nd 2nd and found a PA that made me understand the frustration of the higher ups. This PA had:
    1) said on channel 1, “I’m not doing anything, is there something I should be doing”… My response “you’re doing something, you’re on lock up.” His reply, “I am?”
    2) After calling him on channel 1 for 20 minutes, I physically track him down. His response is that he had left his on channel 7, the grips channel. I can understand helping other departments, but a PA should be on 1.
    3) Best part. On lock down, picture up. Comes in from outside to go to the crafty table. Proceeds to set and sit next to me as he opens a bag of potato chips. At the same time, someone from Art prevents a homeless man from coming on set.

  5. I’ve only been PAing for a week now, and I can already relate to this post. I 100% agree!

  6. Of course, the proper etiquette is to take the transgressor to channel 2 and scream at them there — so you can pretend the rest of the crew didn’t switch over to listen in.


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