There’s Lazy, And Then There’s This

It’s been a while since I complained about ADs, so how’s about I do that right now?

We had a tech scout on yesterday. When the party bus1 returned, the 1st AD called the office and asked for a PA to come down and gather the stuff that people had left behind.

Now, our production office on the 5th floor of our building, which is in that gray zone where waiting for the elevator may or may not be worth the time, compared to just taking the stairs.

So, I run down the stairs, and get there just as the AD is getting on the elevator, a lone binder in his hand. (This detail will be important later.) He sees me, and points at the bus: “It’s all in the front seat.”

I step outside, check the front seat, and see… a script. One single script, that the DP forgot. The DP whose office is right next to the AD’s office.

Now, I’m a PA. My job is to handle stupid shit that no one else wants to handle. That’s fine. But we’re talking about 57 sheets of paper.

What was the point of having me run down the stairs? It could be some sort of asinine power play, wanting to make sure the PAs know who’s boss, but I don’t think so. More likely, he’s just in the habit of ordering PAs to do anything and everything just short of wiping his ass for him.

I’ve noticed certain department heads get like this. It tends to be the closer you are to the actors, the more likely it is you’re not going to be able to take care of little things yourself. Not just ADs; camera departments can be very needy, though not so needy as hair and make-up.

I’m talking in generalities, of course. I’ve worked for some great ADs; I know plenty of nice DPs, hair stylists, and make-up artists. But it comes up with them more often than, say, grips and electricians.

I’ve had a gaffer hand some paperwork, and in a very apologetic tone say: “Is there any way you can fax this today? I’d do it myself, but I can’t get away from set. There’s no rush! Don’t, like, make a special trip. Any time, really.”

Dude. They copy machine is next to my desk. It’s fine.

But I like that he’s concerned about putting me out. And it’s to his benefit, too. In the future, I’m more likely to volunteer to help him out when I can, knowing he doesn’t expect it.

When it comes to that AD, ehhhhh… not so much.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. A 16-passenger van just won’t do for a tech scout.
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