Taylor commented on an old post, yesterday:
You are stupid sir. Locations arrives first and leaves last. Don’t repeat things you don’t understand
Set PAs stay on set all day, everyday (or longer; they’re the first to arrive and last to leave, other than teamsters).
Location managers are, of course, members of Teamsters’ local 399. At least in Los Angeles. Wikipedia says they’re DGA out east, but I’ve never heard that before. I wouldn’t want to repeat something I don’t understand.
In direct response to Taylor’s assertion, I worked on a show that only shot on location one out of seven days. Much of the time, the location manager was on a writer’s schedule. The set PAs still had shitty schedules, though.
Moving on to the general tone of Taylor’s comment, there is something about the variability of this industry that makes people sure every show they’re working on is doing something wrong. Everyone has this Platonic ideal in their head of the one and only way a set should be run. Near as I can tell, this is based on A) how their very first show was run, and B) how well their own department is treated.
And by “everyone,” I’m including myself.
There’s something we call a “football.” It’s basically a folder with a bunch of paperwork from the set, like time cards and camera reports and so on. The first time I was introduced to this, it was my responsibility, as the morning PA, to make and distribute copies for everyone who needed them. This made sense to me, because it’s kind of a menial task that doesn’t require any real thought. In other words, a PA job.
On my next show, the production coordinator handled this task. The show after that, the APOC did. This made me feel guilty; I would think, Why are you wasting your time on something dumb like this? You should be doing more important stuff.
Had I worked on those shows first, I probably would’ve assumed that the paperwork was of such a sensitive and vital nature that a mere production assistant couldn’t be trusted with it. If I then went to a show where it was my job, I’d probably think, What is the matter with this guy, making me do work that’s clearly above my pay grade?
That’s just the way people are. Things are run differently on TV than film, big budget than low budget, commercials than music videos. I have my preferences, just like everybody else, but I can’t honestly say which is the “right way” a show should be run.
But God help you if you work on a reality show. Those people have no idea what they’re doing.