Monday, January 18, 2010

(James Caan and Debra Markowitz from the set of "Henry's Crime." The Film also stars Keanu Reeves)

How to Become a Photographer on a Film Set AND She Was Then, I Am Now

I’d like to thank my location scout and production manager friends for this helpful information on how to become a photographer on a film set.

"I'm pretty sure you can just pay your initiation fee and get into 600 as a still photographer. Easy enough to call Chaim Cantor at local 600 and ask. The issue is, once you become a member, and pay the high fee to get in, it's very hard to get work. Even the best, struggle to work full time. Clearly, it's one of the best jobs to have on a movie." – Ged Dickerson

"From what I understand, people usually get in working some non-union jobs. Sooner or later, they'll work on a job that gets organized for one reason or another. The crew members of that job are then given the opportunity to join the appropriate IATSE union. In the case of a still photographer, that would be Local 600. It's also worth calling Local 600 directly to inquire about other ways to join. Also, to get started on non-union jobs it's probably best to call around to some low budget production offices an offer to work for free / very low pay. It's like anything else, you have to get your name out there any way you can."-Jason Farrar

She Was Then, I Am Now

Lots of interesting things come out of social networking. New people who want to know you, whether for personal or business reasons, old friends wanting to connect, and current friends who want an easier way to keep in touch. Lord knows in this busy world it’s easier to jot a comment about your well-being than it is to pick up a phone or meet for dinner. You also get to learn how multifaceted your business acquaintances are. That part I like a lot!

What I find most interesting is touching base with those old friends so that you can ask, “What the hell happened?” This has happened to me twice already. From the best friend who decided I was the anti-Christ decades ago and just never spoke to me again without explanation to the old boyfriend you finally get to ask, “so, why did you dump me anyway?” and getting the answer, “I didn’t dump you, you dumped me, but yes, I was a jerk.”

Sometimes you just want to know where people are and what’s happened to them along the way. Who ended up doing what they wanted to, who ended up where you thought they would, and who has totally re-invented themselves. It’s a way to remember the past by bringing it into the present. Of course there is some danger there if you get too caught up in it.

But I love it! Asking the things you couldn’t ask 10, 20, 30 plus years ago because you didn’t have the confidence to do so. Okay, so our skin might be slacker, the hips a bit wider, but the courage… WAY up on the scale. And don’t you just love it?

I guess it’s a trade off. You can be young and beautiful and feel like you can take over the world, or be strong and vital (oh okay, maybe still beautiful in a mature way) and know you really can do anything as long as you’re willing to do the work.

Someone recently said to me, “Oh, to be young again.” No way!! Sure, the physical stuff does has a certain allure – but I’d never want to give up what I know now, nor would I want to relive the painful experiences of the past or wait for them to happen again like a time bomb. And rest assured, if we could avert certain events, others would fall in our path that we’d have to navigate through.

I was so shy in junior high school that I had to acknowledge my agreement to date a guy and break up with him through a written note. I was the quiet one who felt like she never fit in. Heaven forbid I say the wrong thing and everyone think I was a jerk. Now you pretty much can’t shut me up. I think nothing of being interviewed by the media or speaking before groups of hundreds at a moments notice. Where did this come from? I guess you could go with the old adage, “I earned it.” I learned my stuff, learned to accept myself as I am, and surround myself with people who really like me. Reading helped. Whether self-help or just great writings; there’s so much to learn from everything that’s out there.

I am who I am, and I will make no apologies. Well, if I hurt you unintentionally I will apologize, but I make no apologies for who I am or how I got here. I am not necessarily proud of everything in my past, but I’m proud of who I am. And I am constantly evolving, because truly, with everything I know now, I still don’t know much.

So I guess I went from a shy outsider to a self-assured, cocky young person who thought I knew it all and could have everything at my fingertips to a more evolved person who knows I know hardly anything, yet have achieved much. There’s still so much more I want to do, and I will if I’m willing to do the work and take the time. It has always been me, but I’m not the same person. I know more who I am, and more who I want to be around. This “old” thing isn’t so bad if you know where you’ve been, and where you’re headed. So if you’re an “old” friend, look me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace and drop me a line. That may be who I was then, but who I am now is pretty cool too.