You have to be at least slightly psychologically damaged to be above the line. “Above the line” refers to producers, directors, writers, and actors, also known as “talent.”
I refuse to call them “talent,” though. If they’re talent, what the hell are the rest of us? I mean, it doesn’t take much talent to do my job, but you can’t look at a DP and tell me he’s not talented.
But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Above the liners are messed up. Writers are insecure, socially inept misanthropes; directors are raging ego-maniacal sociopaths; actors are just as egotistical, but without having gone to the trouble of accomplishing anything to justify their egos; and producers just wish they could be writers, directors, or actors, if only they had the talent.
As you might have guessed, I had a bad experience with one of our directors.
For some reason or another (or maybe for no reason whatsoever; who knows?), the time of today’s production meeting was moved from 2:30 to 1:30. So, the other PA and I started making calls (but not more copies of a new memo, thank Christ).
The director came in and overheard one of these calls. Apparently the AD hadn’t yet told him about the time change. His face grew deep red as he flung his arms about, screaming.
“What is all this about 1:30? I thought it was 2:30! I specifically asked what time it was going to be! I have a conference call at 2:00! I scheduled it at 2:00, because the meeting was going to be at 2:30!”
Okay, first of all, yes, I understand you thought it was set for 2:30. Everyone did, because it was. Schedules change. That’s why we’re making these phone calls, dick.
Secondly, why the fuck are you yelling at me, you penis head? I didn’t make the original schedule, nor did I change it. Nor did I schedule your conference call. That was, um… you, ass hat.
Lastly, does this conference call have anything to do with this show? You know, the show that’s handing you the equivalent of a small SUV, a hooker, an eightball, and almost enough left over that you could pay me to actually give a shit what you think?
And this guy’s a fucking TV director. After the pilot, the television directors basically do nothing. The DP and production designer control the look of the show, the editors and producer control the editing, the actors know their characters better than the director does, and he sure as shit ain’t changing the script. Basically, he tells the script supervisor which takes to circle.
Essentially what I’m saying is, you’re even less important to the show than I am. So, where the fuck, exactly, do you get off yelling at anyone for anything?