Filmmaking / Directing : Morale is at an all time low by Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson

Morale is at an all time low

What's up everyone? So it's been like 2 month since I posted anything here so I'm back! I've busy being a sound mixer on this indie horror film. Since it's an indie production we generally only shoot on the weekends. Usually It's 3 weekends in a row on 1 off. Last week we were suppose to shoot but it got cancelled due to a main actor had a last minute audition in Toronto. Understandably the director was pretty pissed off (morale dropped). So we skipped that weekend. This weekend we were only suppose to shoot Saturday. Call time was 8 am. Even though I'm not morning person this is my job and I'm paid as a professional. So I make it there on time as well as the main cast and crew. Except for our DP (who has the camera we were shooting on) our director decided to call him. The Dp was confused why were calling him and he explained "Where the f*ck are you we are shooting today?!". So yea the Dp slept in and the director fired him. We didn't have our 2nd camera so we had to cancel the shoot which crushed morale. Long post I know but my question is have you had any morale killers on set? If so how did bounce back? Thanks :)

Dan MaxXx

it's a freelance job. U get paid and move on. Unfortunate but your production seems to be chaos, no communication or commitment from the main people. U can quit. You are not stuck to the job.

Tennyson Stead

Sure did! You might know this story from my blogs on the site: My contributions to the showbusiness community are primarily writing and directing, but one day when I was helping out on someone else's set... I was hit in the head with a sword, suffered a traumatic brain injury, was denied medical attention, and will live the rest of my life as a cripple. Major morale-killer, am I right? Maybe it sounds like I'm joking, but I'm not. My point is that you need to be prepared for much harder lessons than the one you're learning now. The short answer to your question is that you don't bounce back, you move through. Success in showbusiness requires the kind of sacrifice that will kill your passion many, many times over. Part of a filmmaker's (or an actor's) job is to keep discovering new reasons and new ways to love their labor, and to do so faster than those passions can be destroyed. Folks who get attached to a specific vision of their future in Hollywood will quit, sooner than later. Simple as that. Loving the circus is not a good enough reason to run off and join it. There's a million reasons I get up in the morning and throw myself into giving my community the next level in my craft and my showpersonship instead of just crawling into an assisted living facility and slamming the door... but "because it's my bliss" is actually pretty low on the list. Why do I do this? First, I have an obligation to my show and to my audience. Second, nobody can do my job as well as I. My ensemble and my theater friends are the people who kept supporting me during those times when it was the hardest to do so, and those people are counting on me. Theater is where I grew up, showbusiness is my home - hell, Hollywood needs good, strong, simple leadership right now and I don't see a lot of other people stepping up. Who can take care of my ensemble better than me? Who can tell these stories for my audience but me? I do this because I promised. I do this because the show must go on. I do this, if I'm being totally honest, because I have no place else to go. Also because I love it, but so what? I love a lot of things. Passion is not the point, Ian. Passion is not enough. If that's not a life you can live, I totally get why that is... and you owe it to yourself to find a less risk-intensive industry. So do your director and DP, for the record!

Tennyson Stead

One other reason I do this is that growing up doing theater, I got to know the classical playwrights pretty damn well... and I can't stand the idea that entertainment's best years are behind us. We owe it to Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Moliere, Marlowe, and everyone else who's influenced our work to do better. Chaplin. Wilder. Bergman. Kubrick. If there is an afterlife, that means they're all watching us. The way I see it, there's no room for weakness.

Tennyson Stead

In the words of Peter O'Toole from Lawrence of Arabia, "The trick, William Potter, is not caring that it hurts."

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

If you have one, and the way you describe things, it's not clear that you do, I'd say your producer failed miserably to do the job. If your director was also producing, then the lesson should be, next time, either do a better job or get a producer.

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