Jump to content


Photo

Karl Brown quote


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20074 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:10 PM

Director/DP Karl Brown, who wrote "Adventures with D.W.Griffith" (a must-read!), who started out as a camera assistant for Billy Bitzer, wrote a regular editorial as a fictional AC named "Jimmy" for American Cinematographer in the December 1921 issue. Titled "Jimmy the Assistant: Playing the Game" the first paragraph is interesting (Brown deliberately misspells as "Jimmy"):

In my offishal position of Assistant Cameraman I have been gave advice on all matters from the proper way to hold a slate to the location of my most probable eternal dwelling, and most all this valyooable advice camera from cameramen. Sometimes a director or so has pointed out the locations of different lakes, all admirably sooted for jumping purposes, but on the whole, I have been bawled out almost exclusively by cameramen.


The article itself is about cinematographers whining that they aren't getting paid enough, and Brown points out that since the war (WW1), salaries had risen quite a bit in the industry. The article ends:

Come on! Snap out of it! Play the game like a sport, not a spoiled child! Youre not picked on, you only think so, and nursing a grudge about it aint getting you nowhere. Jump into the work like you would pitch ball in the ninth inning pinch, and show 'em youre not yellow. Youre up against competition now, and you gotta fight to hold your job. Therese a lotta good men outa work, and its up to keep awake to keep awake if you dont want to trade places with them. That's the proposition youre up against, and if you dont like it you'de better get out.

You have to put this into context, that after WW1 there was a depression going on for awhile.
  • 0

#2 Kieran Scannell

Kieran Scannell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Netherlands/Ireland

Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:42 PM

I guess you disagree with the film & TV writers planned strike then David?

I haven't really followed it, they want more points from DVD sales?

Kieran.
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20074 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:21 PM

I guess you disagree with the film & TV writers planned strike then David?


No, wasn't even thinking of it, just copied it because my wife just handed the article to me and I thought it was interesting.

I don't know the details, and that's where it really matters, but I am in principle on the WGA side when it comes to ensuring a decent percentage of earnings from DVD and internet sales.
  • 0

#4 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 November 2007 - 08:25 PM

I'm not in the know about any of that either but it's hard not to agree witha writer getting a decent share of something from their source material. Especially when many scripts take a lot of time and research to write and edit.
  • 0

#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:35 AM

I haven't really followed it, they want more points from DVD sales?


Basically, they're asking for residuals from every form of medium where their stories are going to appear. For example, they weren't getting anything out of sitcoms being sold on iTunes. And the new standards they hope to bring about by the strike are supposed to guarantee them royalties on all future methods of distribution.

The producer on a sitcom I shot recently is really hoping the strike lasts a while. He's pitching the show around, and this could turn out to be a nice window to get those DVD's on the desks of some producers out there.
  • 0

#6 Gary Baum

Gary Baum
  • Guests

Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:46 PM

Director/DP Karl Brown, who wrote "Adventures with D.W.Griffith" (a must-read!), who started out as a camera assistant for Billy Bitzer, wrote a regular editorial as a fictional AC named "Jimmy" for American Cinematographer in the December 1921 issue. Titled "Jimmy the Assistant: Playing the Game" the first paragraph is interesting (Brown deliberately misspells as "Jimmy"):

In my offishal position of Assistant Cameraman I have been gave advice on all matters from the proper way to hold a slate to the location of my most probable eternal dwelling, and most all this valyooable advice camera from cameramen. Sometimes a director or so has pointed out the locations of different lakes, all admirably sooted for jumping purposes, but on the whole, I have been bawled out almost exclusively by cameramen.


The article itself is about cinematographers whining that they aren't getting paid enough, and Brown points out that since the war (WW1), salaries had risen quite a bit in the industry. The article ends:

Come on! Snap out of it! Play the game like a sport, not a spoiled child! Youre not picked on, you only think so, and nursing a grudge about it aint getting you nowhere. Jump into the work like you would pitch ball in the ninth inning pinch, and show 'em youre not yellow. Youre up against competition now, and you gotta fight to hold your job. Therese a lotta good men outa work, and its up to keep awake to keep awake if you dont want to trade places with them. That's the proposition youre up against, and if you dont like it you'de better get out.

You have to put this into context, that after WW1 there was a depression going on for awhile.

Thanks David, I really enjoy that historical aspect of the business.
I had recently finished a book about Louise Brooks, and one of her quotes made me smile. She was scornful of fellow actors who wouldn't comply to a director's request. She compared them disparagingly with the cameraman on her picture.

"I never knew a camera man who ever complained about standing on his feet all day, or all night. And while the actors, directors and stunt men were making a production out of their bravery, the camera man would take the greatest of risks with nothing more than a laconic remark to the boy who brought him his camera refill... Victor Milner, who photographed "Rolled Stockings", never said hello, goodbye, or kiss my ass to actors."
  • 0


Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

CineTape

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Glidecam

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Metropolis Post

CineTape

FJS International, LLC