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What goes around comes around

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Todd TerryWhat goes around comes around
by on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:50:20 pm

Just an anecdote here...

When we go on location shoots, we really try to be good visitors. I try not to make a mess, cause confusion, or generally be disruptive to our surroundings... and I try to encourage that of my crew and casts as well.

Sometimes though, I know we fail.

Try as we might not to, sometimes we have caused trouble. Bothered neighbors. Made noise. Occasionally blown a breaker. Just been a general annoyance.

My little city doesn't see too many feature films produced here, but there's usually one every year or two. Being the home to a NASA center as well as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and SpaceCamp it's a good location if some Hollywood type just happens to need, say, a full-size Saturn V rocket, or an easily-accessible space shuttle. So, right now there's a film shooting in town.

Unknown to me in advance, my neighbor's house is being used as a location. I didn't know that until yesterday morning... when dozens of crew vehicles and giant production trucks began clogging around my house (and Dermot Mulroney was spotted sitting on the neighbors roof). Crew members swarmed by the dozens. Two 4K's on a cherry picker blocked my alley. At least 18K worth of harsh HMI lighting blazed over the neighborhood until about 1am. Cars had to detour to avoid the camera crane in the street. And I could hear the generator whirring not 50 feet from my bedroom window until long after I turned in. And this is what is usually a nice, quite little downtown historic-district neighborhood... especially on a Sunday.

I don't begrudge this crew clogging the streets, swarming all over the place, or making a racket. You do what you have to do to get it done. I've been there and done it myself a thousand times.

But, I am sleepy today.... and it will make me a little more sensitive though the next time I have to do that.

What goes around comes around.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Bill DavisRe: What goes around comes around
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 5:18:47 pm

Amen to your thoughts Terry.

Sadly, a whole lot of this kind of thing could be avoided by having the most junior PA walk the neighborhood a week in advance with a flyer prepared by PR. You don't even have to disclose it's a movie. Just say that "our city approved project" may be somewhat disruptive with large trucks..." and leave it at that.

Yes, our jobs are complex. And budgets are tight. And the people on that crew are likely never coming back. And sometimes, as you note, we have to annoy people with mess and cables and confusion in order to do our jobs. But a huge part of growing a business, large or small, is creating a culture.

All it would have taken would have been to have one of those neighbors of yours to be the retired mom of a local judge, police chief or politician - and suddenly the permit inspectors show up and burn magic hour for you.

My 2 cents.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor

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Herb SevushRe: What goes around comes around
by on Aug 22, 2012 at 12:59:01 pm

AS someone who lives in the NYC area, which at times seems like one large studio backlot, you can also console yourself with the knowledge that the film production has come to your town to dump a whole pile of money into your local economy, money that will more than make up for the mess they make. It's hard to keep that in mind with a light flashing into your window at one in the morning, or when you can't get your car out of the driveway, but it's true none the less.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf

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Mark SuszkoRe: What goes around comes around
by on Aug 23, 2012 at 2:03:03 pm

I'm conflicted about sending a PA around with advance flyers. That's sometimes a good way to ensure that every neighbor on the block will spontaneously decide they need to mow or use power tools or practice with their garage polka band that morning. Then the PA's have to walk over to each noisemaker with a pocketful of cash to buy them off for an hour or more. And sometimes, one of them will not be bought, they want to be disruptive for who knows what reason.

Its hard to "read" a neighborhood, sometimes.

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Todd TerryRe: What goes around comes around
by on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:54:26 pm

[Mark Suszko] "...the PA's have to walk over to each noisemaker with a pocketful of cash to buy them off..."

My quickie story along those lines goes like this...

Many years ago when I was an actor (or rather, thought I was) I was working on a movie where the scene we were shooting was in a cemetery. Way off in the distance in some neighborhood you could hear someone running a gasoline leaf blower, and a bunch of dogs barking their heads off.

The 1st AD yelled "Someone do something about that!" and two big teamsters began lumbering away into the distance. I thought to myself "They can stop the leaf blower, but I'm not sure about the dogs."

Sure enough though, about three minutes later it was instantly as quiet as a church.

We got the scene, but I always had an uneasy feeling about what happened to those dogs.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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