This past Friday at work was a long day for me. It was my first Friday shooting the TV show that I’m working on and it was the first time that I was angered beyond just frustration or annoyance while working on a TV show. There is a member of our crew that tends to be very goal oriented when we are shooting. Typically this is a good thing but in reality television, you have to be flexible because you are usually shooting in the “real world” as opposed to a totally created world like on some shows, typically scripted ones. When you are shooting a TV show in the “real world”, you have lots of extra things to deal with, namely the “regular people” that will come into contact with the crew.
As one of the Location Producers for this show, I am extremely aware that we often incorporate “regular people” in our shows. I am also aware that these people can’t be expected to become actors overnight. With that awareness, I do my best to thoroughly prepare them for what to expect when we arrive and begin shooting. A member of our crew isn’t always so sensitive to this fact. This has been an ongoing issue but I am often able to keep the people from becoming upset or annoyed or frustrated, until Friday.
We were shooting at a location where the owner was an older gentleman. He was a feisty, opinionated, talkative guy. When this crew member arrived and attempted to direct this gentleman, he’s wasn’t the easiest to direct. Rather than taking the time to assess the entire situation, the crew member got really short and rude with the gentleman. This bothered me so I attempted to let him know that he didn’t have to do anything he was uncomfortable doing, he flipped out in the worst way.
I knew that he was really more upset with her but that it was me that set him off. I worked with another crew member to calm him down and we were able to complete our task. I got really upset because the initial crew member was so rude and disrespectful to the gentleman. I felt like he was an elder and we should always do our best to respect our elders. It didn’t help that the crew member was white and the gentleman was black. However, I didn’t see a race issue, I saw a respect issue. The other sad part is that she was totally unaware of the role that she had played in things going the way they did.
Eventually I felt better and we still ended up wrapping fairly early. As I thought back on the days events, I realized one important thing. One of the reasons why I got so upset is because being around this 70-year-old man, made me think of my grandfather. Although he didn’t act like my grandfather or even look like him, I just thought of him. I miss my grandfather and it really pissed me off to see someone be so disrespectful to someone who could be someone’s grandfather. Once I made peace with that I was able to move past the anger.
Learning experiences come at the oddest times.