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War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots

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John Davidson
War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 11, 2007 at 7:53:27 pm

Hi guys, this is a bit of a continuation of a discussion that picked up in the jobs offered forum, so I thought I'd continue it here in a more appropriate place.

A job poster recently made the horrendous mistake of saying he wanted someone "young and hungry" spawning a bit of an e-jihad from some of our Creative Cow rock stars.

You can see the original forum post and reply's here:
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/70/857386?

What followed was a long string of several guys coming in and saying "dude, ageism sucks" and me saying 'dudes, maybe the guy just wrote his post hastily and made a semantic error in judgement". Then my age was exposed (33) and suddenly I no longer had a right to comment on the subject because I don't know anything.

Which leads me to this post - if I truly don't know anything, the only way to change that is to educate myself on the challenges faced by an aging workforce in a pop culture frenzied media industry. It seems rather selfish of me to educate only myself when all of us could learn together on the topic, so here we go.

These are my thoughts on the topic. There are jobs where I hire folks based on experience. Age is not the issue, training is. When I need work done and don't have time to babysit it myself, a trained editor is a godsend. An untrained editor may be technically faster in some ways, but it is offset by the fact that a trained editor will bring judgement and experience with him that you can't learn with a book at home or at school.

Now, that said, there are some jobs where experience is not as relevant. Digitizing, labeling tapes, typical pa/intern duties, etc. Those are the jobs I did when I first started out. In these positions, you are in many ways a passive apprentice, observing and learning from the people actually 'doing" the production. My belief is that this type of job is what the concept of "young and hungry" is for. While it's an inappropriate description, (I prefer inexperienced and eager), it cuts to my point. Young idiots do the jobs that old fogies don't want.

In the real world though, it's not always cut and dried. I believe I speak for all of us when saying that there is a special place in hell for 'deferred pay' job posters. They prey on the desperation of people who are jobless or underpaid in order to get their product produced 'free'. I personally think those types of jobs should be banned from all forums, perhaps starting with the cow?

A few of the other posters mentioned that it's become increasingly difficult to find work for the overqualified 50+ crowd. Why is that? What is the hard truth behind this trend? Is it solely based on pay? I and my colleagues have noted time and again that wherever we go, there are very few over 40 folks in the media world. There is a disparity there and I have to wonder why.

So, what are your thoughts? Why is this occurring? Is it just a financial issue, or is there more at work here than just "let's save 20 bucks an hour and hire a kid". If so, what are the practical ways to stop it, or educate those who inadvertently (or advertently!) practice media-related age discrimination?


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GaryAlan
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 11, 2007 at 11:08:16 pm

Hello John,

At first I thought you were just defending the original poster. But now I do see you trying to expand on the subject and possibly learn something more on the subject. I do feel that you are only seeing things from just your view, and being 33, limits your experience to the real world on this issue. I mean no offense to you, but maybe having to walk a mile in one's shoes is required to really understand the whole picture. In other words, it is probably not affecting you at this point in your life.

On the other hand, I am speaking about facts that concerns everybody of all ages. It is not about me. It is becoming a social problem in large volumes. The occasional ad posted was fine. But I assure you that the facts are that most employers are now posting jobs as lo/no/deferred, interns, assistants, opportunity to build reels, acquire a credit and work with an award winning person. All excuses to get free labor and higher personal profits. And they ask you to own the gear with higher skills. Bottom line... employers are exploiting people to work for free or low pay. The COW only gets a few ads per week and most are pro and legit. Take any weekday and look at Craiglist, Mandy, Production Hub, Monster, etc. For example, Craigslist LA ha an average of 60 ads each day. Many are pervs looking for models. They have model agencies who supply pro models if you need a model. Las Vegas and Atlanta now have a large amount of ads flagged an pulled because of spams and pervs.

Another fact I have seen is employers showing up in the forums every few months, posting again to fill a position because they took the cheap route with a kyoung newbie. Employers have told me in interviews that the some young people were fabricating demo reels and then not being able to handle the job after being hired. I have reports on how they always have eyes on greener pastures while working at their cuurent job for little pay. This translates to not working at being focused 100% each day on their current job. One employer told me how his young editor quit midstream on a major project so he could hitchhike around Europe with his friend. The employer was missing deadlines from an employer who did not understand loyalty or care about his reputation. They lack responsibility. An older pro would never do this. He usually has a family to provide for. The employer usually finds out it costs them more in the long run because of the lack of experience and the slower speed of finishing a job on time.

I could go on with hundreds of examples. I am not against young workers or interns. I was one jsut as you were in the past. I am only pointing out from seven years of daily experience on reading a dozen pro forums each day that this social problem is escalating.

My research and doc is not about me or editors. It's about all ages because it will affect everyone in some way, eventually. There are areas I have not spoken of, such as the lack of government concern and help. Laws on age discrimination are not being enforced. Lawyers are not accepting age discrimination cases indicating the government will not back them and it's hard to prove and win a case.

I do not for second believe the original poster meant anything different than what he said. He is one of thousands on a daily basis doing this same scam for lo/no deferred. His subject line says FCP editor, good pay, but then it gets down to an assistant and a credit. If someone cannot spend the money and pay people for the hard earned skills and experience, then they should not be in business. I can't tell you how many job ads have said "work with an award winning director". If he/she is that successful, let them work for free and pay your workers today. I know, there are exceptions where all the crew works for free. But usually one person receives the profit and benefits from free labor.

The problem is not young idiots or old farts. It's the vast majority of people jumping into the business and behaving like video pimps. Treating skilled professionals like whores and while they pocket all the benefits. Greed.

Let's assume this all is acceptable. Now imagine your clients asking you to do work for them for free or minimum wage. Maybe you will accept that because you are hungry. Imagine all businesses in the world behaving in this manner. The grocery store will not give you food on a deferred basis. The landlord doesn't want you demo reel or care about a credit in a movie you have earned.

I suggest the COW open another Calf forum for people to beg for jobs and people to ask for interns, lo/no/deferred and keep the original forum as professional and paid fairly. I suggest everyone boycott these employers who are exploiting everyone. An intern has to get "credits at their school" in return for their labor and on the job training. Not just be free labor at the benefit of an employer.

Most of us were brought up with the teachings to study hard, work hard, work your way up, retire at "65" and live off of pensions, savings and social security. Now it seems they want people to retire at 50 and struggle to live because you will not be allowed back in the workplace, social security is almost gone and pensions were cut short from being forced into a buyout at 50 so your employer can avoid, higher salaries, health care, paid vacations and lower your pension benefits. Most people build up their pension in the last fifiteen years of working. Watch the news and se how all the auto companies are bailing out and forcing people to retire early.

In the past, people usually died when they reached 50. In this modern worldvwe live to 90 and 100. What will most people do to survive for the next 40 years or so if they are not allowed to be employed? Government won't help. The medical system will not help in America. Social Security has been robbed by other agencies and will not be there in the near future. If you are 20 or 33 today, do not be surprised as to how your future turns out. At least give me credit for saying I warned you.

Best regards,
Gary



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John Davidson
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:14:56 am

That all makes sense. It's more about the folks wanting free work than age disparities. The byproduct is that working for free decreases the overall wages of the entire industry, resulting in those with more experience (and age) being outmoded and/or considered irrelevant.

I think that by saying I'm only 33 and could never understand your logic is flawed. How do you know that the original poster is not 33 as well? If that's the case, how you can get annoyed with him? By your own logic he could never understand. Furthermore, isn't that the kind of mindset that you're trying to work against? It's the same philosophy that says "oh, don't hire anybody over 50, they won't understand the newest programs, design trends, etc".

So how does one prevent themselves from being one of the 8 million middle aged "kids" without work? We don't all have Nick Griffin's amazing pipes to keep us employed (I'm not saying you're old Nick, I'm saying you have a great voice that will always make you money no matter where you are :-)

Perhaps, unless you're in management, no one should take this industry on for more than 20 years. I was at Turner/CNN when the big bad layoffs came. I watched people who had stayed with the company for 20 years get fired because they were making 90k for beta news package editing. The landscape had changed - ratings were down, heads rolled. In came the new kids with Avid Newscutter experience getting paid 24k a year. Out went the guys who had built the network in 1980. It was a sad time and many of my friends were suddenly thrust into a world that didn't want them. I saw the writing on the wall and changed tracks. I did not want that to happen to me. On the other end of the spectrum, I've seen producers get meteoric promotions so fast that within 10 years they had promoted themselves into obscurity. Where exactly do you go once you're been a SVP at a major network? There aren't that many jobs out there like that, so unless the position is tenured, it won't last and then where will you be?

In the end, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. That is why I went into business for myself. I will ALWAYS be a writer/producer/director and will not assume a title greater than that, even for my own company. I want more money, raise my rates. A new title is irrelevant, I can't be promoted into obscurity, and I won't get fired.

So the lesson is for media pros, don't get complacent. Don't assume you'll have work forever. Constantly learn and expand your education. Invest. Save. Skip the rims. Buy property. Diversify your income and make smart decisions for your life. If you make 30k a year, maybe a lexus is out.

Ultimately, there may not be an adequate resolution to the problem. There will always be kids willing to work for free, jerks willing to let them, and good people feeling like leftovers. This industry is volitile. Heads roll, ratings plummet, turnover is high. It is the side effect for working with such great people and having (in many cases) what everyone considers to be dream jobs.

Dude, I watched cartoons for a living for 4 years. There's gotta be a downside somewhere.

Cheers,
John (a producer who plans on retiring at 40).


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Steve Kownacki
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 10:26:13 am

"Hi Guys"... "Dudes"... I hope we're not discriminating against our female counterparts with these references. ;)

Hmmm.... so much to comment on in this whole thread.

John: "So the lesson is for media pros, don't get complacent. Don't assume you'll have work forever. Constantly learn and expand your education. Invest. Save. Skip the rims. Buy property. Diversify your income and make smart decisions for your life. If you make 30k a year, maybe a lexus is out."

This is all good advice, but you're insulting the "pros" because they already know this. It's the upcoming workforce that might need this direction. I look at the way bigger picture and even buy fairly-traded, organic coffee so as not to exploit workers in other countries. As you age (and more precisely mature which happens at different times for all of us), so should your responsibilities to everything - family, job, world.

This is not a dig at you John, but business is business, not a hobby, that ended way long ago.

More later.

Steve


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Dean Sensui
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:09:45 pm

I turned 50 last year so here's my two cents.

I wasn't at all offended by the "young and hungry" comment. I took it for what it was worth. And, regardless of what federal laws might state, I certainly can appreciate what a particular producer might want in terms of someone they could relate to or work with.

The same might be said of someone who is looking for a female lead for a show. Gender discrimination? Technically yes. But how much sense would it make to hire Bob Smith for a show called "Women's issues"?

As I get older I began to realize that age might become a factor in getting jobs. But in reality, the only time age actually affected my employability was when I was 28, and I could't qualify to train as a helicopter pilot for the Army National Guard.

Regarding working, I recently took a couple jobs as a PA which was at fraction of my usual day rate as a cameraman. Because that's what PA's usually get paid. But because I'm relatively new to the business of independent production I thought that seeing another producer at work would help expand my knowledge of the business. It did. And, as it happened, the producer was half my age. The DP was a couple years older than I was. So here were two "old fogies" working for a young kid on her documentary -- yes, a female employer.

I was absolutely overqualified, considering what I could do as a cameraman and editor, not to mention that I was a staffer and chief photographer for a major daily newspaper for 25 years. But seeing how others work -- and especially working alongside this particular DP -- turned out to be an eye opener and a good educational opportunity.

Recently I also spent almost a month working for free on an independent film project. We all worked gratis on that one. But, again, it was an experience that proved invaluable. It also led to other paying jobs and good business contacts. For me it was the first time ever working on a project of that type and something I had wanted to do for a long time.

One of the crew members from that project (who happens to be 15 years younger than me) recently agreed when we were discussing employability, especially in the very small production community we have here in Hawaii. It seems that there are a lot of very talented folks available for a wide variety of jobs. And a lot of them are already taken up, working with "Lost" and other productions.

When it comes to who gets picked, quite often it's who-knows-who and the compatability factor that wins. Networking counts. And given two equally talented people, the one who is known for working well with others often gets the nod. After all, even though a particular individual exhibits more talent, they're not likely to get a call back if they're known to be an absolute pain in the a** to deal with.

Of course there are employers who will hire young because young usually equals "cheap". Older, experienced people demand higher salaries or rates.

But consider this: if a company is willing to hire cheap, inexperienced people who provide low-quality work, do you really want to be a part of that? I know of at least one producer who hires only those who will work at cut rates and that's how it looks in the end product. The producer couldn't care less, as long as the bottom line works out in his favor.

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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Mark Suszko
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 2:50:26 pm

It is not just our industry, and it's not new.

Let me tell you a quick story about my dad.
He was an engineer, worked for a couple very large corporations, Quaker Oats for about 15 years, Brown & Root for ten or so... Had the kind of job where the description was: "The raw jungle goes in at this end, the finished cardboard boxes need to come out that end, you design and spec out the part in the middle, GO!" He designed a heating system for the largest United hangar at O'Hare, he did pollution control systems for a refinery in Joliet, he even had a small role in designing a production line in Huntsville working on Saturn 5 parts. Showed me leftover blueprints one time, blew my mind.

In the 80's he was having a hard time due to the many mergers and changes in the paper industry he served. He'd get a job at a place, work really well, thanks to all his hard-earned OTJ experience and training, but always got laid off or let go just before he had enough time in to qualify for the major benefits. Lather, rinse, repeat for a decade, while the companies always replaced him with younger single guys who could afford to work for less, but had much less practical experience. As the employment periods got shorter and he got older, health benefits became hard to come by, and he got less and less regular care. Didn't help he was an old world stoic about never seeing doctors of course. They found him on a Saturday, he'd had a stroke or heart attack at his desk working overtime, had been down an unknown amount of time before the paramedics were even called. They restarted his heart, but he was already gone and we lost him the second time about 4 days later. About twenty years earlier than anybody should have expected.

So I definitely have an emotional context for this debate.

When I got the job I've held now for 20 years, I was the young guy and I had to work with and direct folks who were mostly senior to me. I had to work hard with some to get their respect, but I always gave them mine, and tried hard to never create a situation where they would lose face. I would go out of my way to ask them their opinions and advice where I knew they were strong on knowledge. Eventually, they all came around, because we stressed the teamwork and shared contributions. As I get older, I like working with the interns we get: they question things we take for granted, and in the explaining and training, I get to reconsider the issues being asked about, and sometimes I recognize that some things can be looked at in new ways.

I agree that that same attitude my dad had to fight in the 80's is behind this trend of treating the workforce shabbily when it comes to pay and working conditions. They want to skip the social contract. It has ever been thus, to one degree or another. They want to exploit your labor, and a fresh generation of inexperienced workers brought up with a sense of entitlement and solipsism seems to think this is okay, that everybody uses everybody and it's all just a game of who can get the most use out of somebody and get away clean to the next resource. But it's a zero-sum game, and while playing it can lead to rapid early advancement, it is not a sustainable way to live. When you get old enough to have a stake in things, to have something to lose, you'll find this becomes an exceptionally harsh kind of life.





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John Davidson
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 8:58:33 pm

Great comments guys. Thank you.

I should note, my previous post on advice was meant for the under 30 crowd, not the over 30 crowd, hence the "skip the rims" comment :-). Although, grandpa's caddie might look nice when pimped out with some 20" low-profile razors....:-).



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Dean Sensui
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:06:54 am

In my case my dad set the example of making sure you were known by your reputation.

He was a heavy machinery mechanic and in the local indusrty was known as the guy who could fix anything. He worked for Henry Kaiser back in the early '60s and got the company's foundering concrete tile plant runing beyond the design engineers' expectations.

If he got fed up somewhere he'd just quit. Within a few weeks another company would quickly pick him up. So he was never out of work.

Even in retirement people would call him to come out and get something running. One particular time, someone had totally dissassembled a D9 bulldozer and dad had to go out and put this mess back together. He did, and I got a lesson as a teenager on how to operate one.

Eventually age caught up with him and he couldn't physically do the work. Perhaps it's his example of always working until you're unable to work that has me unconcerned about the fact that I'm 50. Perhaps it's also because I'm capable of easily keeping up both physically and technically with those who are 20 years younger than me.

Hopefully all of us can be rewarded for what we know and can do regardless of age. However, as noted, sometimes others in the industry are just plain cutthroat, and disregard traditional values of loyalty, fairness and craftsmanship.

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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John Davidson
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 9:05:46 pm

Thanks Dean. My fiance is a local girl (Kaneohe) and we'll be in Oahu for a post wedding reception the week of August 15th. We should grab a cup of coffee as I'd love to hear about the production world, Aloha style.

Send me an email via my profile if you're interested.
John (a stupid Haule)


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Dean Sensui
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 12, 2007 at 10:03:54 pm

John...

Congratulations in advance. I'll drop you a line. I'm always willing to hear how others get it done in this business.

Mahalo!

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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David Roth Weiss
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 13, 2007 at 5:41:12 am

For the record, I'm the original guy who pointed out that the ad on both the Jobs Forum and the FCP Forum was discriminatory. I'm also a guy whose website says, "Crafting images, words and sounds for more than three decades." So, unless I started in this business when I was an infant, it would be a pretty easy guess that I'm not a twentysomething like John. Oops, he's a thirtysomething...

Also for the record, I mentioned the discrimination thing not because I wanted to inflame anyone or to start a heated debate, but because its illegal to post such things and the original poster should really know that if he/she didn't already know it. Its simple, just like when newbies come to the Cow and ask about pirated software or things that violate copyright laws, we owe it to the entire group to speak out, because it ultimately reflects on the entire community.

In any case, at age 53, I've experienced times when it became fashionable to hire twenty somethings at one-tenth the normal rate. And, I've experienced better times when producers smartened-up and that fell out of favor.

The fact is, experience does count. Knowledge is crystaline -- ideas and experiences branch out through the brain and grow over time into complex inconnnected neural networks that stimulate fresh ideas and new concepts through association. In younger people the priciple is often called "genius," in those who are older, its referred to as "wisdom." How many of us can honestly say we posess true genius? On the other hand, almost everyone of us over time will gain wisdom. Thankfully some people are still hiring those of us with wisdom, otherwise I'd be a dead duck.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Andy Richards
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 1:25:46 pm

We get it already. Some of you over 50 guys are starting to feel the pressure of Gen Y willing to do your job for half what you're used to being paid. Speaking as someone in mid forties does that mean I should feel threatened too? Or should I make G**damn sure that I am doing things that the recent college graduates can't?
No body has said this, so I might as well. 'Young and Hungry' probably means cheap, but it also means willing to work hard and bring a lot of energy to the job. I've been on shoots where a crew member said that the union rules say that he was overdue for a break and was taking it at this particular time. That's not what I want to hear when I've re-set for the 10th take on a difficult shot and all I want to do is get it. That's where I want young and hungry over experienced anytime. Do I want young and hungry hanging the 10k light overtop of where I'm setting up? Probably not, but I do want him unloading the truck in a fraction of the time it takes a clock watcher.
Either here or somewhere else I think someone was also bringing PA jobs into this. Isn't the PA job always considered the entry level position where if someone is not an intern they are at least doing it for minimal pay just for the chance to watch and learn? So I don't see how looking for a young and hungry PA any different than looking for a DP with a good eye. Both are appropriate.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 3:35:51 pm

Andy,

Invariably someone always pops into these kinds of discussions with an argument that presupposes the lowest common denominator. In this case, that the lazy union guy represents the old farts, while the perfect eager to please PA who works for free to get his/her foot in the door represents all others. Trust me, most of us in this business who are in our fifties and still working did not get here by lounging around the craft services table while others did the heavy lifting.

As you know, budgets are going down these days on all but the biggest jobs, while technical demands and the knowledge to go with are increasing dramtically. So, what better time to surround one's self with people who can get it right the first time. Unfortunately, not everyone is bright enough to understand that wisdom, and as a result I think we all suffer.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Andy Richards
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 4:58:57 pm

David:
Yes, presupposition can be a dangerous and unfair thing. Unfortunately the example I used was someone my age or younger. Bad attitudes can come in all ages and even though I wasn't the one hiring for that particular shoot I suppose the fact that when hiring has been my choice, I have chosen to not work with that guy again. Returning to my original point which I guess wasn't clear, when I need experience that's what I try to get. But when I need someone to get all the gear from the truck, set-up and lamp all the stands and get everyting powered why should I pay more for experience? It is not age descrimination even if it may work out that way.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 5:40:06 pm

I understand what you're saying Andy with regard to "grunt work" and cheap, inexperienced labor, and your point is well taken. However, what most of us old foggies are really talking about is the many producers who often cut off their noses to spite their own productions by filling key positions with inexperienced people. These producers often find out later that by saving a few nickles upfront they've cost themslves many times that in redos and lengthy post-production nighmares. Meanwhile, they place their entire investment at risk. Check out my article in last month's Cow Magazine about "working smarter." This is all part of the same equasion in which "cheaper, faster, better" really comes down to working smarter.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Andy Richards
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 6:04:33 pm

I don't think we have a disagreement here. Just talking about different parts of the process and different types of jobs. I'm all for experience. Remember I'm the one who wants the guy hanging the 10k over my head to know what the safety chain is for. ;)

Not exactly off topic to say that this discussion is reminding me of a couple of guys I used to work with who as they got over 50 or so left the business because they said the day to day physical stuff was getting to them. The lucky one now produces and edits video for a government agency. I believe the other one is doing something unrelated. Most of the time it's hard to say who the smarter one is.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 6:14:55 pm

[Andy Richards] "Remember I'm the one who wants the guy hanging the 10k over my head to know what the safety chain is for. ;)"

Andy,

Now that's where we differ. I'm an equal opportunity employer. I'd hire a cute female grip in a short skirt for that job...

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Dean Sensui
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 7:43:18 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Now that's where we differ. I'm an equal opportunity employer. I'd hire a cute female grip in a short skirt for that job..."

Here's where I discovered I was getting older.

I was covering a college football game when the cheerleaders wearing the usual short skirts did a human pyramid right next to me.

I looked up and thought, "If she falls she's gonna break my neck. Why do they need to do that right here!"

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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Tim Wilson
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 8:14:05 pm

[Dean Sensui] "I looked up and thought, "If she falls she's gonna break my neck. Why do they need to do that right here!""

I saw the Girls Gone Wild phenomenon coming years before it was commercialized. I remember doing some commercial shoots around a huge resort. The job was videotaping signage: sponsors were paying $1 million/week for this event, and wanted to be sure that nobody put their inflatable Drambuie bottle on the quarterdeck when they paid for the marina. God forbid.

While I was standing in line at the water fountain, Betacam on the ground at my feet. young ladies walked by, lifting their shirts and hollering "Woo-hoo! Camera guy!" Many, many times a day, even when the camera wasn't actually anywhere near me.

To which the only possible reply is "Thank you!" Which is what I said as I waved. But no point shooting stuff like that. No kidding, it's just not professional. And frankly, just not polite.

Eventually just hollered "Thanks!" without even looking. It got embarrassing, and I really did have a ton of shooting to do. The sun was so hot I could barely breathe -- half a dozen people were taken out in ambulances for heatstroke that afternoon, besides the dozens more being treated on site.

I was choking in dust, sand in my shoes, the whole bit. Carrying a BSP camera in shooting case with batteries, plus tapes, sticks, (definitely not run and gun because of the dollars at stake), blah blah blah. Genuinely one of the miserable jobs ever. The sooner I finished shooting, the sooner I could go back into the air conditioning and start getting paid for this wretched day.

As a result, the words I said most often during the shoot were....

"Pardon me miss, can you please put your top on and move out of the way of that sign?"

Tapping my foot impatiently, looking at my watch while I set up for the next shot.

The funny thing is that, ten years later, I still get mad thinking about it. Hey! Will you hurry up already?!? Not all of us are here on vacation! I'm working here, dammit!!




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Nick Griffin
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 8:28:08 pm

Okay David, Dean and Tim. Good to see that the thread has gone from ageism, skills and work ethics straight down into the gutter.

Problem with oogling girls is when they look straight at you and go, "Eewwww! What are YOU looking at? You're my Dad's age!"

Now stop being dirty old men and get back to the serious stuff... like... like... well, just get back to work.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 14, 2007 at 6:32:31 pm

[Nick Griffin] "Problem with oogling girls is when they look straight at you and go, "Eewwww! What are YOU looking at? You're my Dad's age!""

Nick,

Sorry to drag the thread down farther, but I simply have to relay a real life experience.

I was once sitting next to a very, very pretty young lady while at the vets office. She was wearing one of the world's great strapless halter tops. We started chatting about our doggies and at some point she leaned over to within a few inches of my face and stared directly into my eyes, and she asked, "are you by any chance single?" My heart soared... I told her I was indeed single... She smiled and let out a huge sigh of relief... Then, she asked if I'd like to go out with her mother.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Steve Wargo
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 15, 2007 at 2:49:42 pm

Well...Did you?

Steve Wargo


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 15, 2007 at 4:21:35 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Well...Did you?"

I probably should have... However, being a silly stereotypical red-blooded male, my ego, now dashed on the rocks, made it a matter of pride that I hold out for the affection of the halter-topped daughter. Needless to say, I'm still waiting...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Steve Wargo
So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 16, 2007 at 3:24:45 am

Dean,
I am sitting in my hotel room at The Maui Prince, in Maui of course, and just saw a promo for Hawaii Goes Fishing on OC16.

Funny how that happens.

I am here shooting a conference for my biggest corporate client. We spent Friday ay the home of Joe Sugarman who brought us Blu-Blocker sunglasses and he is also know as the man who started 800 numbers for ordering toll free.

Steve Wargo
480-980-1067 cell


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Dean Sensui
Re: So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:57:52 am

Steve...

If you get a chance and you like Japanese food, try Sansei restaurant in Kihei. If manager Tom Alejado is there, that's my cousin. Tell him Dean and Mary said "hi".

Our fishing show, by the way, is getting a makeover. We're getting a new host lined up and we'll be working a bit more on pacing as well as overall quality.

We don't have the budget to go HD quite yet. But a lot of the pieces are already in place.

BTW, both Bob Pritchard (the other co-producer of the show) and I are over 50 and we both left steady jobs to take a major gamble on going independent. It's been a rough road but a great education. Despite some setbacks there's no regrets. I'm meeting some wonderful people along the way and have expanded my skill set considerably.

Enjoy Maui! Aloha!

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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Steve Wargo
Re: So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:59:20 am

Well Dean, we're back home in Arizona but I will keep this info for next time.

A couple that we had dinner with last night, told us how they spent the day at the nude beach. It puts pictures in your head. When we were getting on the plane today in Honolulu, we saw a gal that had fallen asleep in the sun on the beach and she had second and possibly third degree burns on her face. I couldn't imagine how painful it must have been. And, the people next to us on the plane had two babies that screamed from Hawaii to Arizona. We didn't travel till the kids were old enough to behave or we just beat the crap out of them. None of them died from the beatings contrary to current beliefs.

Anyway, we are looking at producing an aviation TV show. I've done sports shows and QVC type shows in the past but I was not in the driver's seat on those. We are headed to Oshkosh for the fly-in during the last week of July. I'm shooting some stuff for an aviation client and we're hunting for sponsors. Is your show sponsored?



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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John Davidson
Re: So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 17, 2007 at 8:13:32 pm

Don't fall for the nude beach hype. We went to South Beach Miami last month and I promise, there was nothin' in it for me! Everything topless shouldn't have been, and let's just say that if I was looking for a great interior designer, I was in the right spot :-).

John Davidson____ writer | producer | director____http://www.magicfeather.tv


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Dean Sensui
Re: So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 17, 2007 at 9:03:49 pm

[John Davidson] "We went to South Beach Miami last month and I promise, there was nothin' in it for me!"

With so much talk about skin cancer I can't see the benefits of just laying around in the sand, much less buck naked. And I would certainly be concerned about getting sunburned THERE!

Often the ones who shed their togs for obscure health benefits aren't cheesecake types. If there were laws that spelled out aesthetic standards for public nudity then perhaps I'd appreciate it more.

There's a nude beach here on Oahu at the base of Diamond Head, and yes, it's THAT kind of nude beach. Ironically, when they do sunbathe nude they often do so along the cliffline at the edge of the sand. Unfortunately that exposes them to the occasional falling rock. That just doesn't sound like it would make for a fun-filled afternoon.

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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Dean Sensui
Re: So Dean, I just saw it
on Jul 17, 2007 at 8:36:33 pm

[Steve Wargo] "We are headed to Oshkosh for the fly-in during the last week of July. I'm shooting some stuff for an aviation client and we're hunting for sponsors. Is your show sponsored?"

Hi Steve...

The intensity of the sun is something that a lot of people underestimate here. I usually cover up as much as possible. Someone spotted me coming back from fishing one day and told a friend that I dress nicely -- with a long sleeved shirt. It's one of those shirts from REI that's supposed to provide sun protection and my usual attire on boats, etc.

Our show is sponsored and one of the difficult tasks is finding people willing to use our show to promote their products. Budgets are tight with everyone and while the total number of dollars spent on advertising hasn't changed, the pie keeps getting cut into smaller pieces as more independent producers spring up. We have to go out and chase down sponsors again as we get started. But without new material we can't show them what we're up to. One of the chicken-and-egg quandries of the business.

The one time I visited Arizona was to see a distributor for home built airplanes. It was in Eloy and the company, Viking Aircraft, had neat little airplane called the Dragonfly. I went up for a test flight and the pilot seldom got more than 50 feet off the ground. Was fun. I have a friend in Los Angeles who flies his Rutan-designed Long EZ to Oshkosh about every year. It's an amazing event from what I've read. There was even a guy here who attempted to fly his Long EZ from Hawaii to Oshkosh but only made it to the West Coast due to leg cramps.

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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GaryAlan
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 9:10:52 pm

Andy,
You and some others keep talking about yourwself and one or two ther people. We are talking about the big picture with millions of people in all sorts of employment. I speak of facts from years of research, not one job with an old union guy. And, an editor is a far cry from a grunt unloading a truck. Everyone know an editor spent his early years working for free, cheap, cahrity, paying dues. Then they spend many years perfecting their skills that a school will never be able to teach. All those years helping employers make fantastic products and winning awards. You miss the pointv that 50+ people are being "kept out" of any employmnet these days at tremendous numbers. I estinate over 10 million across the country, maybe more. So when you mom and pop become bankrupt and can't find work and show up at your door for you to keep them alive, maybe you will understand what we are talking about. But I somehow have the feeling you make this conversation just abouy you again and deny that will ever happen. It
s not just about you. Have some reasoning, compassion and forsight for the all the people, the country and the world because eventually anything will come back and have an impact on you. Try to relate to the market crash many years ago. If the economy falls down, you won't get work anymore and be in the sam soup line.

Your little example could go like this-
Employer ad-Looking for young and hungry recent graduate to do entry level work for low pay. MUST have 5 years pro experience with 3 major credits, MUST know FCP, DVD Studio Pro and all Adobe products. Great opportunity to work with award winning people and be able to build your demo reel.

50+ person gets completely ignored even though they can do all those jobs and he needs the job to pay rent and feed his family. There are many people in their 50's who can unload a truck just as fast if not faster than some kids. You, Andy, have a very narrow view and opinion.


Gary


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Andy Richards
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 14, 2007 at 1:19:24 pm

I'm not going to take the bait on this one. Some people work on big productions and some on smaller ones. I have nothing against unions, just lazy people and especially lazy people using their union as their excuse for being lazy. And no I don't want to work for 20 hours in a row for a sweatshop producer. 'Nuf said?


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Mark Nancetor
Re: Unions, sweatshops and 20 hour days
on Jul 15, 2007 at 11:10:56 am

Why is it that whenever anyone speaks out against the insanity of what some do in the name of their union, then immediately "20 hour days" and "sweatshops" is chanted?

I have personally been threatened, beat up and driven off the road by union activists who didn't like the fact that I liked my job just the way it was, thank you.

But if I say union "thugs," then up goes the defense that it's only a small percentage. The truth is, it's only a small percentage of companies that are sweatshops. Most people I have met over the years are fairly balanced.

In either case, it's the exceptions that get the news.

I am NOT anti-union. Like Andy, I am anti-lazy bastards hiding behind them.

The joke is, what is bright orange and sleeps six? A union road crew truck, working on a highway project. But anyone that has seen the one guy standing on a road project holding a sign, while six people strand off to the side watching, as one guy drives a tractor, the joke isn't all that funny when its taxpayers paying the bill.

You only have to look at the effect that unions have had on the US film industry to see that they have pushed prices to where it just became cheaper to send those jobs to Vancouver and Toronto.

Union workers are today the highest paid guys on the unemployment line or in job retraining programs. After all, they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Mark Nance





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GaryAlan
Re: Nice stories, good points, but
on Jul 13, 2007 at 11:06:50 pm

Andy,

If you cannot understand unions and their workers who have agreements and contracts, then you should not accept any job that has a union person on the crew. You cannot dictate that the union person should go or break his contract because of the problems you are having. It is up to the employer to deal with any situation that may evolve during the day at work. Are you that boss or employer that is hiring the union people and "paying" them?

If everyone thinks like you, then maybe the next job will make you and the whole crew work for 15 hours straight without having any breaks. Maybe then you will start to feel why humans need certain things in the workplace. What is your answer? Take drugs for extra energy and stamina? Like pro atheletes and the phony wrestlers?

I am not going to discusss whether it is right or wrong what a union guy does. It is not up to us. It is reality and you need to learn and deal with reality.

Gary


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Tim Wilson
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 13, 2007 at 6:27:08 pm

[John Davidson] "and me saying 'dudes, maybe the guy just wrote his post hastily and made a semantic error in judgement". Then my age was exposed (33) and suddenly I no longer had a right to comment on the subject because I don't know anything."

On one hand, I'll quote the great sage Yogi Berra, "Nobody knows anything."

On the other hand, you're the ONLY one who knew the truth, that the guy's word choice was unfortunate. He replied with apologies, and said he didn't care if you were 99 - please get in touch.

Hey, I'm 104!! Ageist bastard!!!

Anyway, my point being that anybody who offers real money for a job at The COW should be shown the benefit of the doubt, which other than you, was pretty rare.

So a gold star for the kid. At 33, you're the same age as my beard. Seriously. But you get a gold star nonetheless.

tw



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GaryAlan
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 13, 2007 at 9:19:35 pm

I have to disagree with handing out gold stars to people who do not see the whole picture and try to spin everything to make their view just okay for this time. They all add up, Tim. Oner today, 100 tomorrow, millions next month. Get all the facts and make intelligent decisions, unlike all of our politicians in DC.

Gary


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John Davidson
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 14, 2007 at 1:54:35 am

Aw shucks Tim, thanks. I've said (and posted) some pretty thoughtless things at times. We don't all have fancy pr departments that filter our words for errors, ya know? Foot in mouth disease isn't just relegated to drunken hollywood stars and politicains!

I really love the cow and think what you guys have done regarding the 'low pay' and 'high pay' forums is a perfect remedy.

Let the healing begin.



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George Socka
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 14, 2007 at 2:25:23 am

I am not a young guy saying this but:

1) No one needs to respond to these ads. These producers are as flakey as their requests. Ignore them.

2) There is no more value in a 50 year old guy unloading a truck than a 20 year old. Maybe less because the 20 year old has more stamina. The job is to get the truck unloaded. If the 50 year old is as effective and has the same cost then no one would care. If a power tailgate would do it, even better from an economics and workflow perspective. (remember the Luddites)

3) there is probably not more value in a 30 year experience (regardless of age) camera man than one with 5 years experience. The fact that you know how to balance a tube camera is not that valuable a skill today. If there is no more value, then why would you expect to get paid more? Just because you have a mortgage? How is that an issue for a production?

4) Look at the auto industry for the future of unionized work environments. Cars are coming from China as we speak. $70/hr to drive a car off the end of the line is way too much, and the customer wont pay it. TV and video work is moving off shore in a big hurry. Remember Cold Mountain?

5) Don't get me started on union job divisions. What makes a person operating a camera incapable of plugging in the power cord?




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GaryAlan
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 14, 2007 at 2:50:33 am

George,

I think you need a new thread. This thread is not about whether unions are good or bad. We are talking about the law and age discrimination. FTR, I have seen some 50 years olds with more stamina than some 20 years olds. The original ad was for an editor, not a person to unload trucks or hang lights. If a movie needs a young female to play a part, then place an ad for a young female. If a movie needs an editor, then place an ad for an editor (any age) and how much pay is offered. Then people can decide on whether to apply. If you or anyone does not like discrimination laws, then make an effort to change the laws instead of braking them willy nilly. If someones thinks they can go about breaking laws, then they should not be surprised when they get spotted, tagged and have to pay the penalty.

Gary


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Nick Griffin
Re: My head is going to explode
on Jul 14, 2007 at 12:08:47 pm

Age discrimination... work ethics... 50 year olds unloading trucks with power lift gates... girls in short skirts hanging lights... global, big view versus micro-economics... anti-union... pro-union... WHAT A THREAD! (Or a Billy Joel song for those of you who can get an obscure reference to "We didn't start the fire...")

Seems to me like you guys have covered a lot of ground. And just when everything seems to be going in a few dozen directions at once something happens which adds a strange focus to at least some of it. I could NOT make this up, especially with the timing of happening just this morning, moments after reading through this thread.

My house needs some exterior painting done so for the past few days I've had a few painters and painting contractors stopping by to give quotes. The guy who was coming this morning from one of the national franchised painting companies had a name that seemed familiar, but I couldn't seem to place it. He shows up at 8:00, as scheduled and the first thing out of his mouth was, "You may not remember me but I did some work for you several years ago in a past life."

"Oh, yea," I say, "NOW I know why I remember your name. You did some 3D and AfterEffects work as bumpers for a video for (blah, blah, blah) in the late nineties."

"Well that work was pretty un-even," he stated, "What with every kid in the world now able to do it on their home computer, so my wife and I started this other business." Interesting since the reason we didn't use him again was getting our own copy of AfterEffects and suite of plug-ins.

So here we are, eight or nine years later and the animator turned painting contractor is reviewing his estimate with me and giving me examples like, "We can do X kind of prep or Y kind of prep for this surface. Kind of like the choice between Premiere and Final Cut Pro, there's no right or wrong way to get the same thing done."

I think I need to go back inside, have another cup of coffee and clear my head. Would my life be simpler and more profitable if I was managing painters instead of corporate communications projects? Well, at least at age 56 I don't have to unload any grip trucks -- even ones with a power lift gate.


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Dean Sensui
Re: War of the Worlds, Old Fogies vs. Young Idiots
on Jul 15, 2007 at 9:09:03 pm

[George Socka] "5) Don't get me started on union job divisions. What makes a person operating a camera incapable of plugging in the power cord?"

Because he's wearing a Steadicam rig and can't bend over too easily?
:-)

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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