Question about people behind the scenes in movies.

So, the PCP laced soup was the reason Titanic did so well?

Question for Bo: How do get your next gig? Union or temp agency? And how secure do feel about having ongoing employment so long as you do competent work? Any insurance or benefits?

I’ve played the same game through “job shops” as a contract engineer and I’ve always wanted to work with movie props or special effects…

I’ve always wondered about the catering on movie and television sets (what I think is called the “craft services table” for whatever reason). When I’ve seen this in movies and television shows, it seems to be mostly donuts, bagels, breakfast burritos and other not-so-healthy stuff, although it seems that there’s no limit to what you can eat.

So is it really that unhealthy? Do some people just bring their own food, just so they can eat better?

The vast majority of my work comes thru word of mouth via the reputation and relationships I’ve spent the last 35 years building. I am a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE). I do not work thru a temp agency except in the loosest sense (there are various companies that payroll the people who work on movies/TV/concerts/trade shows/conventions/etc. and I include them in the relationships and reputation that are so vital to my career.

I feel very secure about having ongoing employment; I’ve been gainfully unemployed for all but about 19 months of my adult life (which currently comprises almost 600 months) and I see no reason that might change. To be fair, this business has ups and downs, relationships shift and change, companies go out of business, etc. so some years are better than others, sometimes you take a step back before you can move forward again… that kind of thing comes with the territory.

As for insurance and benefits, yes, I have health insurance, an annuity program and a pension that I am building, all thru my union. Our contracts call for a small % increase in our base pay as a way to compensate for the fact that we do not have regular jobs that would provide 2 or 3 weeks vacation. The vast majority of my work now comes from trade shows and conventions here in Las Vegas; I used to travel quite a bit tho.

Soundstage craft services is donuts, bagels, english muffins, fruit, bread, peanut butter, jelly, jam, chips, candy bars, pretzels, crackers, cheese, M&Ms… stuff you can grab, put on a small plate or in a small bowl, and pick at with your fingers. Very rarely will it be full meals for everyone (like, pretty much never).

Location craft services wil prolly include most or all of that, plus have some serious catering truck to make real food. How extravagant depends on the production budget.

(I was pretty poor when I started working at Nickelodeon Studios back in the early '90s and I thought the fact that when they called lunch I could make a couple of PB&J sammiches and eat chips AND drink free sodas was the bomb. I thought the same thing the first time us locals got fed by a rock tour.)