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Is it ever a good idea to lose you temper on the job?


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#1 George Ebersole

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 01:50 PM

Anyone?  Does anyone have an experience of witnessing someone lose it on a job?

 

Is there ever an approrpriate time to do so?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 02:01 PM

Sure, I've witnessed it, all the time in various degrees.

 

No, I don't think it is appropriate or professional to lose control emotionally on a set but we're only human.


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#3 George Ebersole

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 02:19 PM

Thanks Dave.  I ask this because I've seen it happen, but it's always, or usually, been a director trying to get control over the set; i.e. lots of people talking and he needs to get things rolling.

 

But occasionally I'll come across someone who just shouts out an accusation or an insult for no reason whatsoever.  I was wondering how common that was.


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#4 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:20 PM

No, I don't think it is appropriate or professional to lose control emotionally on a set but we're only human.

Ever witness a premeditated outburst? Almost sociopathic in a way. but a director fronting an emotion to get the cast performing a certain way?


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:50 PM

What I've seen a lot of is people being deliberately unpleasant, in a very controlled way, because they think it'll make everyone respect or fear them.

 

These people are... well..

 

P


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:51 PM

Fake anger is a modus operandi for some directors but others just have short tempers and they'd probably behave the same in any other career too, or at home for all I know.

Maintaining control over the chaos is important on a set and occasionally one needs to raise one's voice but it's not a preferable method, more of a last resort.

Most directors will avoid venting anger towards an actor because it usually is counterproductive in the long run; they'll play the stern paternal figure if necessary to get a performance, but yelling at an actor often throws them more out of the scene than into it.
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#7 Justin Hayward

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:18 PM

 they'd probably behave the same in any other career too, or at home for all I know.

 

Years ago when I was a PA I worked for a producer that seemed happier when things went wrong, because he got to chew someone out.  It seemed like every time he came to set he would look for someone making some sort of mistake so he could yell at them.  He got me once and it sucked.  I often thought his family must be miserable.  


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#8 George Ebersole

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:27 PM

Well here's the thing that's been weighing on my mind.  I was in post with a guy who works locally, and during the editing session he blurted out "Because you don't want to work for it!"

 

I can't even remember what I said that triggered the reaction, but it was like out of the blue.  As a guy who's held down a couple of jobs at once, all the while writing on the side, and who freelanced while going to school, I took real exception to the comment.  

 

But I didn't know how to react.  I was really dumbstruck by this.  

 

Another time way back in the 90s I was working at an electronic's retailer after I had left the industry.  And someone else, another associate producer or director type, came in asking for some BNC connectors or something (I can't remember).  I asked him what he was doing so I could help him more, but he blurted out "I know what I'm doing!"

 

It's like I've run into that on occasion, and I have no idea where it comes from.  It's like some people, regardless of the industry, are waiting to pop off the first chance they get.  I don't get that.


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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:59 PM

To be honest I wait to pop as well but only when it's REALLY necessary for laying something down in the long term. Getting mad at PAs or waiters is like your mind's gone off to the hyper white entitlement zone.


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 08:19 PM

Filmmaking can be a stressful job so sometimes you are seeing people at their worst. I try to not take things personally when someone has been working over 14 hours on their feet for weeks at end and suddenly snaps for a moment.  No one is at their best when they are tired.

 

On the other hand, I don't like it when people are just mean to people below them because someone above them is putting them under pressure.


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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 08:41 PM

Isn't that endemic, though, in life overall?

The only reason I don't do it is that there's absolutely nobody on the planet who's subordinate to me!
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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 09:18 PM

I think anyone who has been in this business for a while .. will have lost their rag a few times.. you get stressed out.. or have had someone take a bite at them..  you need a bit of a thick skin . and be able to apologize at the end of the day.. and accept an apology  and let it be water under the bridge..  this will account for 99% of "flare" ups, due to stress and or tiredness .. 

 

The other 1% is psychotic nutters with their own problems.. only work with them once..  


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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:08 PM

 but we're only human.

 

 

David I thought you were a Vulcan?

 

R,


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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:18 PM

Only half.
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:23 AM

I rarely loose my temper anymore at all-- it takes a lot. Sure I'd raised my voice, not in anger, more so in volume. I had someone go off on me recently in front of other crew. It didn't bother me, really, in the end, I didn't much care, sufficient to say I won't call them again (for overall attitude on set not just this incident)

I think it's very important to have thick skin, a good sense of humor, and a lot of perspective. It's also important to look out for everyone as best you can and when you go home, have a beer and let tomorrow be tomorrow. A producer once told me "i bring the smiles." I liked that, a lot. In the end loosing your poop, to use a nice non censored word, will only lead to you having a reputation which I find, in this business, is really your only resume.

Now, sometimes it is valid to be angry at someone-- people are people and sometimes you can't mask it, and you have to confront them over it. When this happens, pull them aside and speak with them. If you wind up yelling it stays (hopefully) between the two of you-- though i find when pulling people aside it rarely escalates, and if it does, you just keep your cool.


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#16 George Ebersole

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:22 PM

I think anyone who has been in this business for a while .. will have lost their rag a few times.. you get stressed out.. or have had someone take a bite at them..  you need a bit of a thick skin . and be able to apologize at the end of the day.. and accept an apology  and let it be water under the bridge..  this will account for 99% of "flare" ups, due to stress and or tiredness .. 

 

The other 1% is psychotic nutters with their own problems.. only work with them once..  

 

I have to admit, I've never liked the industry for a lot of false stress induced by what I will brutally call lazy work ethics by some crews; at beginning of a production there's lots of time and money, so there's a tendency to be more casual.  Then come crunch time when a first edit has to be out the door and you're still shooting the final scene, people cut corners and lose their cool.  And then all those "we'll fix it in post" comments come home to roost when your editor is trying to make magic happen with the footage, and more tempers flare off the set.

 

That was my pet peeve.  When I'm on a job I try to get things done as soon as possible so I don't have to stress and worry about it later of whether I did it or not.  I've been fortunate enough in that I did connect with some good production houses, but in the past it was like sometimes the most famous/renown names in film had the "lazy gene" kick in, causing flare ups later on.

 

But guys who just pop off ... it's like they got some neuro science in their gray matter that isn't working right or something.  It's really weird. 


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#17 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:20 PM

But guys who just pop off ... it's like they got some neuro science in their gray matter that isn't working right or something.  It's really weird. 

The specialization and freelancing nature of the work allows people to have pretty loose filters on their own speech and they can unload on anyone who isn't their own direct client without fear of repercussion.  Especially if they believe the person they're berating will never be in a position to hire them.   I think that's the number one reason people feel free to explode.   It's when they assume you don't matter and will never be in a position to impact their career down the road.  It's a very shortsighted philosophy. Especially given the way people can self produce much easier and find themselves steering their own ship at any time.

 

Best to treat everyone on set as the producer on your next film because you really never know anymore.  


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#18 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 08:11 PM

The ass you're kicking on the way up, will be the ass you're kissing on the way back down.

 

R,


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#19 George Ebersole

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 01:21 PM

I don't miss being on a set.


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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:58 PM

Many times certain crew have tried to push my buttons, get my goat, whatever you want to call it.  Proud to say they have never succeeded.  It takes a lot to make this Englishman crack :)

 

R,


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