Sucky McSuckersons

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Da Crew, Essays on filmmaking
Tags: , ,

Film is collaborative art form. That is fancy speak for any random jackhole can derail you and ruin your project. It is super important to put together a great crew and to line up awesome actors, because everyone makes a difference. But this post is about the worst kind of difference, the ruining kind. So when you are getting together a film crew, these are the people to keep out.

The three filmmakers you want to avoid:

The “Producer”

This is a guy with no discernable abilities beyond acting like a big shot. But he is so good at acting like a big shot, he fools a lot of people into believing that he has some actual clout. If you get involved with this guy, you will spend years being nice to him, long after you are sick of him, because he will always be on the verge of a big breakthrough, a million dollar budget, a meeting with Universal, that he will include you in, but I promise, it will NEVER HAPPEN.

Because as irritating as he is to you, and he is super irritating, he’s a thousand times more repulsive to actual movers and shakers.

The “Artist”

An unbending vision might be great if you have millions of dollars to bring it to fruition, but if you don’t, that vision can crash the whole project. The Artist can’t handle that, because the Artist thinks the thing in her head is so precious, so perfect, that the slightest alteration is like a clown nose on the Mona Lisa.

The Artist will cry and pout and take her toys home. The worst position in a film crew to have an Artist is at the helm. Some of them end up as actors, and there, they can do a lot of damage, but if your director is an Artist, I can already tell you what will happen to that film.

It will never get done.

Another big problem with an Artist is that they spend money like water. So if you do scrape up some investment money, the Artist will be sure to burn through your budget before shooting even begins.

The Flake

Lord protect us from this one. The worst part about the Flake is that, if you aren’t paying him, you have no recourse against him. The Flake figures that a film with a small budget is more of a hobby than a real job.

It sucks having a Flake in your crew, especially in key positions. Director of Photography for example. You go to the trouble of scheduling everyone for a certain time, and then you all get to wait until the flake shows up, or one of the three people trying to call him figures out he went to the RenFair. But the worst, the absolute worst, is a Flake actor. When an actor doesn’t show up, that ruins the day’s scheduled shooting, but if they never come back again, they ruin all of the shooting that came before.

Flake actors are the reason auditions scare me. I don’t know those people. There is no outward sign of flakiness to tip you off. The Flake is perfectly nice until his flakiness torpedoes you.

There you have it. Three types to avoid. But if you find someone great, keep them forever and work with them over and over again. Love them and cherish them and take care of them, forever and ever.

Amen.

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