Friday, February 17, 2012

Monkey Work

  Sooner or later, you're going to do what I call "Monkey Work". This is how I refer to jobs that are basically just for a paycheck. For me, these are usually B camera jobs. On jobs like this, the DP is usually a pretentious jackass who, because you're on B camera and it's a less than blockbuster budget show, just assumes you're an idiot or "monkey" and spends his time treating you like one. That's fine. It's a paycheck, you're there to do a job and you just do it. It can be trying though. I did a show recently in just this situation where I was basically an afterthought to the DP. He questioned everything I did and seemed to believe that the simplest things were beyond my grasp. He would catch me waving a flashlight in front of the camera, trying to check a reflection in a window, and treat me as if I were mentally deficient for using this method. I caught myself muttering under my breath a lot, "I push dolly for two Academy Award winners and I'm too incompetent to check reflections for this hack." But, like I said, it's your job, you don't argue with the boss, and you just get through it. In any case, it can be humbling and sometimes it can be good for you. Grin and bear it.
  I picked up ten weeks in New Orleans in April with my old DP who's been in Europe forever. I'm looking forward to getting back in the groove. Since my series ended, I've been doing pretty much just B camera jobs and second unit TV, which was fine. I was so burned out and exhausted that I lost my taste for it for a while and just needed some time away from the responsibility of A camera work. I was beginning to wonder if I would get my taste for it back, but I'm starting to look forward to it again. GHB is coming to town to do a show and I can hopefully get together with him for a beer. If any of you are down this way, give me a shout.