Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Speaking of insurance…

Yesterday there was a meeting between the motion picture insurance execs and the ‘craft locals’ – us, grips, art department, and painters.

This turned out to be a very long lecture to make us understand why the plan is probably going to have to cut costs by slashing our benefits or killing 20% of us at random.

According to Mr. Health Plan Executive, the reason expenses keep spiraling upwards at an alarming rate is because the ‘participants’ (that’s us) are lazy, chain-smoking, prescription drug abusing fatasses who drink too much. Also, we’re ugly, which for some reason is costing the health plan money. Or something.

Maybe cute people are cheaper to insure.

And I think there was one more in there, but by the time that came up I’d squeezed my  apparently Jabba the Hut like bulk up out of my chair to get another cup of free coffee – got to keep that blood pressure up, you know.

By the time the browbeating and a sales pitch about how great Kaiser Permanente (the original HMO) is and why we should care ended, I’d had enough.

I decided I didn’t need to stay around for the lecture about how internet piracy is killing the film industry and gutting our insurance plan* which is already strained to the hilt by my personal unhealthiness, poor hygiene, and bad attitude.

All of this sitting was cutting into my gym time.

So I slipped out and headed to said gym, where I felt much better after a workout and a swim which sadly was cut short due to an unexpected water aerobics class.

I then acted upon my frustrations by going to a bar, eating a bacon cheeseburger with fries, drinking booze and sleeping with a producer. Oh, and I think there was some chocolate.

I feel so dirty.

*  Below the line crew folks don’t get residuals paid out directly the way actors do. We get residuals paid into our insurance and pension fund. So stop downloading movies illegally unless you really want me to spend my golden years eating cat food to save money and talking to myself as I ride the bus.

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10 Responses

  1. geekhiker says:

    Sleeping with a producer? Oh, Peggy, how could you sink so low?

    I hope he was at least one of those smart enough not to stand in doorways between the truck and the set… ;)

  2. Cat food? I’m planning on a post-retirement diet of Alpo and Triskets in my cardboard condo under the Sixth Street Bridge. Ah yes, the Good Life enjoying my golden years along the concrete banks of the LA River…

    Hold your head high, Peg — sleeping with producers is probably the most honored tradition in Hollywood, and one of the few true gateways to success. I’d do it in a heartbeat if only I could find a female producer who is reasonably cute, with a decent personality, and eyesight bad enough to make me appear acceptable. Unfotunately, we’re talking 20 – 800 here, or the rough equivalent of 16 beers.

    I’ve been with Kaiser for 17 years now, and although far from perfect, they’ve done okay by me thus far. After two shoulder operations, one foot surgery, several emergency room visits, and the usual battery of physical humiliations that come with my demographic, I’m still walking, talking, and working. I don’t know what our choices will be for health coverage, but if you’re faced with taking Kaiser or paying $250/month to keep your current coverage, it might be worth thinking about the HMO. Ours is a highly imperfect world destined to get infinitely worse in the near-to-mid-term future.

    Put it this way — there are worse things than Kaiser…

  3. Bill Johnson says:

    Indeed,the health and pension plan got linked years ago to the residual pool (in the early 60s I think) cause it was supposed to be the safest standard. When the WGA went on strike over this issue (streaming and downloads anyone?), they were vilified by the producers and as fools and greedheads Sure, it affected them more directly, but the contraction of the resid pool is going to be one of the overarching beatdowns the entire industry is going to take.

    More importantly it doesn’t mean there’s that much less money coming in, just that it isn’t going to be allowed to fill the pool. The 1st 17 days of streaming is promotional and doesn’t count. Nice.

  4. bob says:

    “Alpo and Triskets”
    Im looking at the “plain wrap”labels myself and have started stealing (whoops “liberating”) long shelf life foods off the crafty table (saltine crackers)for retirement meals.
    also have started to get info on digging tunnel into Canada to escape this nutty place.

    as to “we the producers don’t have any money to give ya”
    now see this!!!

    first run –opening day movies at home via downloads and we don’t have any of that money coming to us at all –as its not in the contracts “yet”!!!!

    • Peggy Archer says:

      Oh, that’s just awesome. The least they could do is buy us a drink before they screw us.

      • bob says:

        it maybe even worse than some think–
        I always go for the extreme case to keep sane these days

        I can just see this coming
        old way
        10$ to 15$ per ticket sold for a movie
        most goes to the showing house about say 2.50 gets back to studio and maybe a 1$ in real profit after ads posters sent out -film prints made ect

        new way with sat or cable or internet download
        10$ per showing or? maybe 15$ they get 6$ now for showings on Dishnetwork
        I can see the sat/cable/internet getting say 2.50 of that or so and the producer getting all the rest with no overhead for posters lobby cards–billing and prints made


  5. Sex Mahoney says:

    Your new health plan involves an insurance company marksman who shoots anyone what gets sick. There is a $500 deductible for the bullets.

  6. Marci Liroff says:

    How much do I love you?! THIS BIG!!
    Loved this – (I mean, I’m sorry for your situation with the health plan, but I love the way you talk about it!)
    My brother, who was freaked about moving over to Kaiser, actually felt it was phenomenal.
    Hope you’re able to navigate the web of deceit!

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