Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
There’s this PA, right? He just fell off the turnip truck, doesn’t know anything about the Industry, but he seems to be a nice enough guy and a hard worker, so the coordinator hires him. On his first day, his boss sends him out on a run, and the guy doesn’t come back for four hours.
When he gets back, the coordinator asks what happened. Was there a traffic accident, an extremely localized earthquake, what?
The PA responds that the bus system in Los Angeles is slow. At which point, he is promptly fired.
My APOC told me this happened to him once. It probably would be a pretty funny story, if I hadn’t heard this story from just about every other coordinator and assistant coordinator I’ve ever worked for. It seems that everybody has either hired this guy, fired this guy, or worked with him when they were a PA.
The story is unbelievable in itself (who doesn’t have a car in Los Angeles?), but I really have difficulty accepting that every coordinator has made this exact same mistake in their career, like it’s a rite of passage or something.
And that’s what I like about this business. Production coordinating is about this least creative position on a show (next to production assistant). But even in a position like that, the people still know how to tell a good story (usually). More to the point, they understand, as long as the story’s entertaining, it doesn’t matter if it’s true.
That’s what Hollywood is really all about.