Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Half a weekend goes well with panic attacks.

My main problem Friday night wasn’t the copious amount of poison oak all over our location, but the dust and pollen in the air. For some reason I always forget that if the location’s on a dirt road the approaching vehicles will make the inevitable dust storm worse. I then vow to never again leave my house without dust masks in my work bag. Then, after working all night I’m tired and I forget the whole thing.

Since the all-nigher and related allergy attack shot Saturday all to hell anyway I stayed on the sofa struggling to breathe and then on Sunday I went to see American Gangster (which I highly recommend even though this trend of three hour long movies is beginning to wear thin).

Monday was the day the panic started to set in. I haven’t got enough money saved to make it through a long strike. I’m going on vacation (for which I can’t get a refund were I to cancel so I might as well go) at a terrible time, and if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m pretty sure I’m going to starve to death on the street, wallowing in a puddle of my own filth.

The incessant strike-related nattering of the local televised news-bots isn’t helping one little bit, either. Trust me guys, it’s a big world out there and there’s got to be something else you can air besides that one fucking clip of the picket line in front of Paramount. Didn’t someone cure some disease somewhere? Can’t you go look and double check?

When I really start to sit and worry, I can work myself up into quite a state, so in an effort to prevent that I spent Monday trying to find a home for one of the neighborhood’s random stray dogs (for some reason, people like to dump strays in my neighborhood. I don’t know why). This one looks like a purebred Chihuahua, but can’t be. Chihuahuas yap and make me want to drop-kick them and this one’s quiet and really nice, so I’m going to conclude that she’s some other flavor of ankle biter that shakes a lot and is difficult to housebreak.

So, after walking about ten miles in a vain attempt to wear out said ankle-biter (who seems to have a hell of a lot more energy than I do) so she’d appear less hyper than she really is when I dropped her off at a friend’s house (where she’ll stay until I either find her original owner or a new one), I was too tired to worry much, but today I’m rested and since a lot of other people are out of work (or will be soon) the phone calls are flying and everyone’s collectively working themselves up into a lather.

Although going three months at a time without work isn’t unheard of (for me at least), since I don’t have the savings pad that I’d really like to, if the strike outlasts my unemployment I’m going to end up sitting in a cubicle somewhere, rocking back and forth and muttering incoherently about my stapler.

And no one wants to read about that.

Filed under: life in LA, movies, Non-Work, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Charli says:

    I LOVE staplers. Well, when I was young, we use to go to this store called, Spartan Atlantic, not sure if anyone else has ever heard of it, we’re talking late 60s here and I was just a little kid. I would browse not only the toy section, but the office supply section of the store. I never could understand my fascination with paper products, other than the fact we didn’t have cool stuff like staplers in my house (dad was bricklayer so we had bricks and scaffolds).

    Moving on to the strike, I got a call from a friend who works on, “The Unit” and she gave me an earful on how greedy writers were, etc., etc. (with the knowledge I am an aspiring writer). I suppose she needed to vent to someone who writes (and vent she did) and that I wouldn’t be put off by it (I wasn’t).

    As much as I don’t like the current situation, my dad went on strike for 8 long months so he could get better pay, and he did after it was all over. Those 8 month though were hard. I won’t soon forget looking in our fridge and seeing nothing but a bowl of beans and bowl of rice to eat.

    Peg, if you find yourself in a tight fix, I feel your pain. Meet me down by the beach in a few weeks, I’ll treat you to lunch and you can vent if the strike is still in full swing. I won’t be put off.

  2. MikeA says:

    I know that there’s people on both sides of the fence (and as someone that has *nothing* to do with the industry, people are well within their rights to tell me to STFU). However, I think that the writers *have to* strike – from what I’ve read the main sticking point is that studios are offering them pretty much *nothing* for any content delivered by “new media” (read – the internet), and we all know that in 10 years or so that’s going to be the predominant delivery platform. As with DVD’s (when they were new and “untested waters”), writers could get shafted again.

    It completly sucks though for anyone that is in the industry that is affected by this, but it isnt their fight. I feel realy sorry for people like you guys that are stuck in the middle of it all. I’m sure there are *plenty* of people, myself included, that without a second thought would stock your fridge up or take you out to lunch if times get hard. Just say the word (or email) and gather up some other filmhacks in the same boat – least I/we can do for you providing us with an alternative form of “entertainment” through this blog :)

  3. scotsirishgirl says:

    count me in on the lunch/dinner supporting peggy system. i make a GREAT baked chicken!! with yams….and green beans…and wine….

    party at my place!!

  4. I’m in the same boat missus. We’ve probably got two more weeks left, which puts us out right around Thanksgiving. I’m already putting feelers out for low budget, so we’ll see (I’ll let you know if I stumble on anything)

  5. Anonymous says:

    The show I dayplay on is supposed to go until Dec 14th.. after that you might see me trying to peddle my ass on Santa Monica Blvd..

  6. nezza says:

    *hands Peggy some paper bags for emergency hyperventilating purposes*

    You’ll get through it. And of course we’d follow the adventures of Peggy and her stapler if needs be. But think positive. It won’t get to that.

  7. Dan says:

    I had a similar experience as Charli. I don’t understand industry people that don’t support this. We’ve ALL been screwed by producer bastards at least 100 times in our careers. Song writers get paid every time a song is used, but no one ever complained about that! Without the creators of the material, none of us would have jobs. Compared to writers, actors get a shitload on residuals. Shouldn’t the ones that actually created the work get a little more than an actor? Yet what they’re asking for doesn’t even come close to an actor’s residual. It’s not the writers who are greedy, it’s the studios, pure and simple. It’s pocket change for those guys, but since the strike started I hear more about how greedy the writers are. What the ….?

  8. Charli says:

    Dan – the conglomerates own a lot of the media, print and otherwise, so the news you hear about is slanted by the studios. Go figure.

  9. […] machine operator at my local Denny’s had their own. On the weekend before the strike began, Archer wrote: Monday was the day the panic started to set in. I haven’t got enough money saved to make it […]

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