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Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?

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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 9:54:28 pm

In the category of "the job is gone, just plain gone", the International Cinematographers Guild is reporting 120,000 jobs have been lost so far in Hollywood, and another 50,000 in London. That's just for people on sets. It doesn't include editors, VFX, sound, plus people in support businesses (say, catering, accounting, payroll, transportation).

So, as well as not including any of those folks, the 170,000 jobs lost so far are primarily centered in two cities. I can't imagine that numbers in places like New York, Vancouver, and Mumbai are much better. We could easily be looking at a million people worldwide in the production business and related services who have no idea when they'll be able to work again.

btw, I've been speaking to a lot of those folks, as I bet you have too, and they're not especially inclined to hop on this thread to have Zelin yell at them to get back to work. (You hiring cinematographers, Bob? If so, I've got some names for you.) They'd also rather talk about nearly anything else, which is understandable.

And I know that plenty of you don't care about the Metropolitan Opera, but it was very much a part of my life growing up in a barely working class Italian household, and I rode herd on our local edition of their broadcasts in my radio career. They're also the largest arts organization in the US, and they've just laid off everyone. They're paying health insurance for everyone, and instrument insurance for the orchestra, but no salaries for anyone for the foreseeable future. Amazing.


[Mark Suszko] "Nothing at all romantic or heroic about dying at your desk."

Especially when, in your father's case, if he'd been collapsed during normal working hours, someone would have been there to intervene sooner. Everybody dies sometime and somewhere (my mother had an aneurysm burst while she was stirring her tea at home, my father a few steps away: didn't matter, she was gone before she hit the floor), but Bob's romanticizing long hours is a death wish I don't have, and romanticizing selfish public behavior in the name of productivity and job security is a murder wish I don't have either.

It's not okay to be this way. Rejecting your responsibilities as a member of human society isn't funny and sure as shit isn't noble. Glad to see that Bob's employers are forcing some level of human decency, even if it's over his objections.

I've been thinking for a while about another thread, turning the whole mental illness question on its head. We talk a lot about the toll that depression takes on creative people, and the challenges for introverts participating on creative teams, but we haven't started to talk about the ways that our intensity feeds mania, and the grievous toll that extroverted "go go GO" leadership takes on our lives.

It's no accident some of the most unpleasant people in ANY industry have long lived atop OUR industry. It's been that way from the beginning, too. I think our industry was designed by mentally ill people who happened to have traits that are rewarded here, which makes it hard for people to prosper in this business while also trying to maintain any semblance of sanity.

My pique at Bob and millions of like-minded people notwithstanding, this thread is actually super-encouraging to me. I'm beyond delighted that so many of you here are finding ways to still work, and thinking creatively about solving the challenges of today AND make things better for the future. We need more of that, and less of a rush to return to a lifestyle taking an almost incalculable toll on all of us and our families.


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