Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Fun with Teamsters!

For the last week, we’ve had a good-natured argument with the Teamsters over our truck being too far away from set (our truck’s actually been very close to set – right behind camera).

This is actually a big deal – having the truck close means being able to get stuff into set quicker, and means less distance to schlep things – plus, no matter how much stuff you’ve got staged right outside the set, the gaffer will always call for something that you’ve left on the truck. I think they have radar or something. If the truck’s two blocks away, that’s a huge problem.

Normally the camera truck is the closest to set (of course – they have the most pressure on them and the loader’s always running in and out of the truck), but grip and electric (separate trucks – having two departments share a truck is a fucking nightmare) are next in line. Murhpy’s Law being what it is, whomever’s truck is the furthest away will always get peeled and have to empty their truck (if you empty your truck completely, you say you’ve “puked the truck”).

Of course, if you piss off the Teamsters, they’ll make damn sure your truck is always the furthest away. I can walk onto a new show and tell you right off the bat who’s pissed the Teamsters off just by where the trucks are parked in relation to the set.

Today, we were shooting in a diner in the Valley (“Heavenly Pancakes”), and our driver literally put our lift gate four feet away from the back door of the restaurant.

Whenever our driver would walk by, our boss would say “Dammit, could you have gotten us any further away?” and then we’d all laugh.

We have a great bunch of Teamsters on this show.

Call time: 9 am
Wrap time: 10:00 pm.

Filed under: Work

4 Responses

  1. AJ Gentile says:

    Who knew the Teamsters could be so zany and fun!

  2. Roscoe says:

    Try getting handicapped license plates for the truck. Front row!

  3. chris ullrich says:

    that’s one of the first things i ever learned: make friends with the teamsters. number two was to have a really good production accountant.

    number three was never match wits with a sicilian when death is in the balance . . . or was it never start a lan war in asia . . . well anyway . . . .

  4. SlappyJack says:

    Favorite Teamster Story:
    I was on my first tour and we were playing Radio City Music Hall, so the trucks were all loaded by big burly New York Teamsters.

    In addition to being a new fish working with Local One and running the crew myself (the Head Carp moving on the week before), with a full three weeks of road life under my belt; I looked all of 15 years old at the time.

    My truck comes up and I hop in to start the load, after just finishing packing up my set, all dirty and freezing my ass off in the middle of January, and the first thing I hear out of the teamsters mouths are Who the fuck are you? and HEY! Who let this fucking kid in the truck!?

    Yeah, good times. Those guys ruled.

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