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atheisticmystic

Cringing for my producer

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One of the best things about wiring people up is that theres a chance for me to observe them and get to know them. On this current food show, by the time a restaurant scene is lit, and the producer is rounded up, I have frequently had a full conversation with interesting folk from around the globe. My dashing about, concerned only with footage, not very aware of how she impacts other people, and not very adept at actually reading other people producer is another story. She sits down, slaps on a very forced smile, and jumps right in. When she wrangles customers to be on camera, she purposely undersells the level of committment and time necessary, in order to convince people to participate. This requires some humorous and mindful de-escalation on my part when, after waiting sometimes 30 minutes longer than they were told, Im putting microphones in their clothing.

Well, the producer has been on a proverbial fucking tear.

Two days ago, I arrive at a table, give the intro and my raison d'etre, and a woman incredulously demands, "What !? I just want to enjoy my lunch." She slams a napkin down on the table, shoots out of her chair, slaps her legs with anger and turns away from me, "Fine, do it !" During all of this, the producer stands, looking at her phone, turned away from the table, wearing the absolute worst "I'm not aware of whats going on, even though the event is three feet from me and I'm in charge" expression ever. I calmly and gently tap the patron on the shoulder, "Ma'am, just tell her you don't want to do it". She does...done.

Yesterday, the producer asks a lady on camera to wipe off whatever is on her nose after she had taken a bite of food. Granted, having to wire her up I had the close-up advantage of knowing that the woman had an obvious mole just at the border of her right nostril. The producer somehow hadnt noticed the mole when she introduced herself, so asks the woman to keep wiping. The producer doesnt hear the woman say, "I have a mole", and hands the woman a napkin. Ten feet away, the PA standing next to me looks at me with a horrified look, he gets it. The woman's table companion looks like she'd rather be cleaning a honey wagon with her tongue, she gets it. A few of the dozen patrons watching start sneaking giggles into their ducked hands, they get it. The woman says a second time that she has a mole. "Oh", the producer says.

This morning, the on camera chef is making an odd noise at times. Theres only a lav on him, so I know it's him. I've heard the sound before on another chef, and like that gentleman, it never happens over dialogue so I know it's coming from his mouth, and it's not an issue for this fast paced and edited food show. The producer rips the chef (and the roll) out of the food prep by asking loudly, "What is that weird noise, it sounds like a giant, R-R-R-RIBBET ?!" A CAM operator looks at me with a bemused shock, "Did she just say that?" Chef sheepishly admits he grinds his teeth when he's nervous and apologizes in front of the entire crew, his sous-chef....and his kitchen staff.

On the occasion that she catches her own overlap, she never says something diplomatic like, "I stepped on your line", but every single time says "I was talking when you talked". Ive seen many people flush as they've misinterpreted that they were just scolded on television by the condescending tone and poorly worded admonishment.

And on these moments, I feel a hyper-tangible, down to the duodenum, bowel shaking cringe.

best,

Steven

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> concerned only with footage, not very aware of how she impacts other people,

>and not very adept at actually reading other people...

 

Wait a minute. Aren't you describing an anti-producer?

Ya. I know... Sigh. Good luck Steven.

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I may have worked with her a few years back.

The producer this brings to mind said she used to work for Dustin Hoffman's production company.  By the end of the day, it struck me that the key words in her statement were: "...used to..."

 

 

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Alas I think we all have had to work with people like that.

My mantra on these occasions is "calm waters, dolphins and shit". That usually gives me a childish giggle. 

I am also not above apologising for the producers behaviour and letting people know that, not all crews act in such a manner. Generally when the members of the public agree to be on camera, they are doing us a favour and not the other way around. Their experience should be pleasant. 

Cheers Nate.

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God-fucking-damn, christ in a taco, pride parade in ATL got me thinkin Im a fucking feminist cowboy, someone toast me an old fashioned because Im a tornado lookin for a trailer park...MIRROR ???!!!

All feeble bait aside, I asked you once before in private, and now I'm proclaiming my desire in public so puh-LEEZE dont toy with my affections...

...when you gonna let me buy you a drink you big girl's blouse ?

your sexy be(a)st,

Steven

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Yes, it's surprising how badly behaved highly paid people in charge can be.

Some years ago I was recording a MacDonalds commercial in a fully working branch with a MacCafe too!

No we cannot stop or close down the premises.

Whole load of chatter, dish washers going like world war 2 and the senior producer woman attacks me and

says that she does not want any sound problems!

What's wrong with these people????

mike

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We were shooting under the flight path of an airfield where there was a pretty constant flow of light aircraft. Windows of opportunity to get decent sound lasted about two minutes and the director lost patience during an interview and said 'Forget the aeroplanes, just keep rolling". This director had a certain reputation for sticking the knife in during post production, so I asked him/her to stand next to me in front of the camera and got the cameraman to roll. My piece to camera summed up the situation and I asked the director to confirm the he/she had decided to ignore the aircraft. In the days of clapper boards it was much easier, we just put S.U.P. on it (shot under protest).

As I was a staff recordist then I was able to do this....perhaps as a freelance I would have been more diplomatic. But this director had stitched up too many sound recordists to be treated considerately.

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Yes, it's surprising how badly behaved highly paid people in charge can be.

Some years ago I was recording a MacDonalds commercial in a fully working branch with a MacCafe too!

No we cannot stop or close down the premises.

Whole load of chatter, dish washers going like world war 2 and the senior producer woman attacks me and

says that she does not want any sound problems!

What's wrong with these people????

mike

I've always wondered if in Scottland they call it "MacDonald's" instead of "McDonald's"?  I sometimes ask my girlfriend, in code, "did you feed our children Scottish food again?" or "well, how about visiting Ronald son of Donald for dinner tonight?"  Fortunately we don't visit Ron too often.

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Confused the heck out of me when I did the "Mac's Place" breakfast campaign. I'd write "MacDonalds" on the reports and labels...

...'course, I'm not too bright until after lunch...

 

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Steven, I think this thread has legs, so to speak.

 

lol

Did this producer have anything to do with your need for G&E gear in Decatur GA?  Sorry I did not get to meet you then.

No, apparently, Cinelease just didnt deliver the package to the hotel. 

Yes, I really appreciate your help, and I hope your brunch was awesome !

best,

Steven

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