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Annie Wengenroth

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About Annie Wengenroth

  • Birthday 02/17/1982

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  • Occupation
    Sound Department
  • Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Specialties
    analog synths, film, music, coffee, tattoos

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  1. I have two follow focus cranks, an Arri SR core adaptor, a Moviecam eyepiece heater cable, and a wireless system antenna. I also have two Arri parts books...SR and 35-3. If anyone wants/needs any of this stuff, (or all of it) PM or email me with a reasonable offer!
  2. So it seems that other work and events in my life have finally piled up to the degree where I no longer have the time to work as an AC even if I wanted to (and I don't, ha ha!). I know I've made a few posts in here about selling my kit and I know some people have already contacted me, but it was a while ago, so I'm starting over and posting this again. I have a Harrison changing tent, a Harrison doctor bag, a slightly beat-up but still clappable (if that's a word) slate, and a few other odds and ends; a Panavision iris wrench, a couple of those t-shaped sandbag markers, a small tape measure pouch and Lindcraft belt, and some random tools. I would prefer $200 for the whole nine yards but am open to reasonable offers...I just want to see this stuff go to someone who will use it well! I would prefer local pickup (I'm in NYC) but if you don't mind paying for shipping, I can do that too. I also have a few camera books for sale; the Panaflex users manual, the Arri SR3 book, the Motion Picture Camera data book, and the David Elkins camera assistant book. Contact me for specifics if you're interested and by all means, if you want to buy the kit and a book or two, I can throw it all into one package and save you a little money.
  3. I have three books which all you AC's might find useful. I have the Panaflex User's Manual, the David Elkins Camera Assistant book, and the oh-so-coveted Optics And Focus For Camera Assistants. All paperback. I'm asking $40 firm for Optics And Focus but make me offers on everything else, or take the whole lot for $60 plus shipping. I'm in New York City and will also do local pickup. Also, I know this is kinda unconvetional, but if you have any books to trade, let me know and I'll consider it. I like science fiction, graphic novels, art books, and Stephen King. :-D I'll be most likely posting other AC items as I go through my stuff. Eventually I will be selling the whole kit, so if you think there's anything you need, send me a PM here or email at anniehalo82@gmail.com and let me know and I'll see what I can do.
  4. Yeah, don't do it unless you've already been working on a ton of union jobs as a camera PA and are absolutely sure you'll have the money to continue paying them.
  5. David, That's a good point about how it's so different for AC's than DP's. Which honestly, I hadn't really thought of. As for the union being a rip-off or just bad luck, when I think about the fact that I probably could've paid off my entire initiation fee just by working on one union feature as a loader, I suppose I have to conclude that it was just bad luck. ...But it still sucks! :lol: Anyway. Like I said, I'm not trying to start a pity party. I just think that there's so much sugar-coated bullsh*t out there about the film industry. I forgot to mention that the biggest problem I have with the union is the way their health plan is structured. I mean, THAT'S a rip-off. It's just seriously not fair at all, no matter how you cut it. It's one thing to gamble your money for a chance at being successful at your job or not. It's another to gamble your money for your HEALTH. When I finally found a union member who could actually explain the way the health plan works to me, if I understand it correctly, I realize right away how catastrophically f*cked one would be if they got hurt badly enough that they couldn't work...and then fell off the health plan because they weren't getting enough hours to qualify...so then they couldn't take care of their injury...so then they still couldn't work...and so on. I mean, seriously...good job, Local 600. Good job. Anyway. Off the soapbox I jump.
  6. David, You're right about the dues; granted, $1000 all at once is still a lot of money for me these days (not to mention, that's a new synth right there...arrrgh! haha). But I don't see how there would be any way out of not paying the rest of the initiation fee. As much as I kind of want them to f*ck off, the fact remains that my experience was my own and that the union has been much better for others...so I feel like it would be really dishonest to just never pay them. It's not in my nature to be a bridge-burner. I mean, I just don't feel right about that. So, I don't know what to do. Tonight I will see if I can dig up the booklet they gave me when I joined and try to read all the fine print b.s. to see if I can figure it out. Part of me also wants to write them a letter that just says, in short, that I appreciate the structure they have, they prepared all of us reasonably well for the test, but I think they could definitely stand to do more for new members...because I went running out of CSC like my ass was on fire thinking I was going to get union work once I joined, since my name would be on that new kid roster or whatever it is....and then I essentially starved all winter and slaved away on low-budget crap in order to keep paying my dues. I'm not even kidding, like I actually pretty much starved and got really sick because I was a stupid poor kid who just wanted to f*cking work. It was the worst winter of my life, and this was before the economy took a big poop. There was even a stretch of time during the first couple of months in the union where I turned down NON-union stuff thinking that I absolutely wasn't allowed to work on it unless I called them....and being afraid to call it in, but not wanting to get caught. I didn't even get a union job until late August of 2007 and I joined in late October of 2006. The job was a 2-day commercial so it was barely worth it. The other union job I got was Top Model for maybe 7-10 days of work. And that's it. I f*cking paid an amount of money that I could have lived off of for 6 months, to work on less than 2 weeks' worth of union jobs. With that money, I could have bought all the gear I lust after every day now. I could have recorded an album. I could have gone on a really cool vacation. I could have paid off all my student loans. The list goes on and on...it sucks. I just didn't know how to talk to the right people or maybe they just had other people they wanted to hire instead, or were working with already. I had the skills and the drive to succeed, but I can truly see now, standing away from the industry and looking at the past 4 years of my life, that I was never given enough opportunity or support to make the most of my abilities. I got in tight with a few old skool people who don't work much anymore but were really helpful and just good to learn from, but it didn't help me connect to the people who are out there now who are working a lot, especially since a few of these guys were more into features and I had come out of a rental house that does more commercials. I mean, I ask for no pity, but seriously, what a goddamn rip-off. It's in the past and now I'm doing things I enjoy more and starting to make the money I deserve, surrounded by people who I know respect and appreciate me, who are connected to people who could give me additional opportunities to get me where I want to be. And this is a beautiful, priceless thing....but when I think about that money I spent on the stupid union, man, I wish I could have it back....it kills me.
  7. So as of last month, I've now been honorably withdrawn from 600 for two years. I occasionally lie awake in a cold sweat thinking about the money that I still owe them (which includes part of my initiation fee). I vaguely recall signing something stating that I was responsible for dues up to two years' worth...in other words, I will owe them whatever dues I would've paid if I were still an active member, for up to two years. My stupid question of the day is, what happens after that point? Not that I'm complaining, but nobody from the union has called me, and I haven't gotten any kind of warning or anything. I realize eventually I'll have to cough up and am obviously hoping they put me on another payment plan, since coming up with thousands of dollars all at once is f*cking impossible for me. I also realize that if I were to call the union office, they might be able to answer my question...but if I were to do that, I'd also be reminding them of my existence. If anyone here has experience with this sort of thing, please reply...a PM is fine, or an email, since I don't check this forum that much anymore (address is in my profile). The other question I had was about retirement from the union as an AC...what then? Can you retire whenever you want or do you have to be a member for a certain amount of time? Thanks to whoever can help...just trying to take care of unfinished business.
  8. Thanks Rob, I will definitely check out that studio! Re: Drums. Never even thought about that, I guess a lot of it comes down to ergonomics or physics or whatever. I'm ages away from buying my own kit, but it's something worth considering.
  9. It is really sad to me that it took me more than a year in the industry to even understand who is supposed to do what on a film set because of the level of jobs I was on. Then before I knew it, I was one of the better people on the crew. And that bugged me. I'm one of those people where I need to surround myself by those who are better than or at least equal to me, in order to grow. I'm striving to do that as a musician too. Honestly, deep down, I have a very hard time not hating the film industry for crushing my dreams and making me decide that I'm not worth it or that I have no right to ever think I can "make it" in whatever I do. My boss told me today that he thinks good talent will not go unrecognized. I went home and cried... because in my oh-so-humble opinion of myself (har har), I believe that judging by the past 4 years of my life, he might be wrong. And I hate the fact that I feel that way now. Once I realized that I was having the same conversation with everyone in this business year after year, I knew that I was sinking like a goddamn stone and that nothing would change. I think actually it started when I ended up on a union job and felt equally ill-at-ease. This was the first new year I rang in since 2005 where my stomach wasn't tied in knots about how much money I had and when my next job would be and how the stupid f*cking footage turned out, feeling like the world was passing me by and I was missing it because I was stuck on set. I went to a party in Queens and we all watched the ball drop on TV and I was surrounded by bandmates and interesting people who do all sorts of things for a living, and it was like a warm embrace after years of being locked outside in the cold. I know it isn't like this for everybody, but damn, I need to finally say something about what this business really did to me. Never mind the fact that I am learning how to play drums and my snare hits are flamming all over the place because the strength in my arms is so lopsided after 4 years of lifting things awkwardly and carrying the stupid camera. We can blame Panavision the most for this. ;) Wow, sorry, I'm totally ranting. This is officially the "The Film Industry F*cked Me" thread.
  10. @ Paul: I get what you're saying and I've thought about it. It's funny because I actually enjoy working for people. And I enjoy working consistently with the same group of people. Right now at the studio, I've been working steadily with the same few guys for a couple of months, and it's really nice to be able to say that...to learn how they think and what their preferences are, instead of having to go into it cold every day and have to guess all over again. I'm well aware that people will probably treat me like poop on occasion in this business too and I know I would be naive not to expect it. I think one of my secret weapons this time around (ha, well as soon as I tell you it won't be secret, but that's okay! ;) ) is that not only am I [at the least] better prepared for this after 4 years of it, but I'm being far more open-minded about what I end up doing and what my goals and standards are. Instead of 3 possibilities for work (1st/2nd/loader), I have quite a few. And again, the biggest surprises on a session will doubtlessly come from either a client throwing me for a loop, or the gear doing something surprising. I'm being trained by an audio technician to make basic repairs; how to solder and tin cables and read schematics, how to build circuits, and so on. So I've got that covered, and as you guys probably know from my years with camera, I LIKE working with the gear, so it doesn't bother me anyway in the first place. As for a client occasionally springing something on me or putting pressure on me, again, I was always able to detach myself from that end of it and just get the job done and then go home. It was the relationships I had- or rather, had a hell of a time building- with fellow crew, that started to get to me, whether dealing with the politics on the production end of things or not gelling with the rest of the camera crew, or whatever. This didn't happen ALL the time, obviously, but there were enough instances where I had to make extraneous efforts, to go out of my way, to please people. The way I see it, there were always a couple of possibilities: working on a good movie with good pay and good people; working on a bad movie with bad pay and good people; or (etc...) with bad people. It was the third possibility which got to me the most, and it was the second possibility which for me seemed most common and just became impossible to cope with over time. By the time I got good enough at my job to enjoy it and finally relax about it, I was working on jobs which quite frankly, didn't deserve me and shouldn't have been able to afford me. Then I started to psych myself out and get complacent; my standards started to shift because it was getting harder to show up on a non-union, low-budget set and treat it the same way as I would a union commercial...it was just a different world. When I first joined 600, my eventual justification for continuing to pay them was that I mistakenly thought that 15 days' worth of low-budget work would add up to the same thing as less than a week of commercial work. In my bank account, yes...but as far as general effects on my well-being, not really. Phil, I know we've butted heads a bit in the past, but you hit the nail on the head here. As I learn the ropes of being an assistant audio engineer, some of it is familiar from the mentality of ACing, in a way that makes it easier and even enjoyable; because like I said, there will always be things about ACing that I enjoy doing. But I'm constantly struck by the realization that even when I don't know something or if I make a mistake, it's not like it goes unnoticed by the people I'm working under...but so far, they're a hell of a lot more patient and understanding than a lot of the people I worked with on set. It seems like for me, that if the first step is walking away, then the second step is not looking back. But at the same time, if I hadn't worked as an AC, I would not be doing what I'm doing now, either. So the next challenge is truly understanding that in a way that works for me and not against me. I guess part of the reason I'm sharing all this is not only to ease my own mind, but just to illustrate that not everybody "makes it" and that there is a way out! Who knows, I'll probably write a book someday!
  11. I had a lot of people ask me why I was stepping from one cutthroat, impossible, floundering industry... right into another. I still can't put it into words. I don't know if I will end up meeting the same end or if things will finally fall into place...I just know that I had to make a change. I'll miss ACing sometimes. It wasn't ALL bad. And yes...I actually HAVE been known to cry about it. (I'm a girl, give me a break!) It's hard to walk away from something I was good at. But I just think fate has something else in store for me. Or at least, I hope so.
  12. So I've been switching gears recently from working as an AC, to working as an assistant audio engineer and focusing once again on music and sound design. In the process of doing this, in all honesty, it's forced me to take a really good look at the things that did not go well for me when I was working as an AC...whether it was just plain bad luck or whether it was something I could've done differently, I'm basically trying to lay it all out on the table and figure out how I can learn from the past. The problem is, now that I've truly stepped away, I'm starting to realize how much it all f*cked me up. As much as there were good people who I was able to connect with on some level and occasionally work with, sometimes even on jobs I enjoyed and made a fair amount of money on, for the most part I can't shake the feeling that I blew 4 years of my life spending more time LOOKING for work than actually working...or something like that, anyway. And I worked on a lot of poop jobs with a lot of a$$holes, quite frankly. I'm sick of sugar-coating everything and pretending like if it didn't kill me, it made me stronger. There were many, many times where actually, the way people treated me on set was pretty much unnecessary, whether or not I felt like wearing my crown of thorns that day and taking the blame for everyone else around me. Part of why I decided to step away from ACing was because I simply felt like it was putting me in a position where I could no longer feel good about my work, and I was sick of setting myself up for failure. I guess the questions I'm asking now are basically, who else has LEFT this business and survived, and how do you come to terms with it without making the same mistakes again in your next career path? Now that I've outlasted the phase of everybody trying to talk me down or telling me that if I get on a union job I'll feel differently (which by the way, is a crock of poop!), I'm forced to confront my own weaknesses and the difficulties I had dealing with impossible working conditions and impossible people. And I really just want to make sure it won't happen again, or that if it does, I'm stronger this time around. It's sad to me how kinda shell-shocked and jumpy and burned out I am now because of all the poop I worked on and the horribly depressing fact that I blew thousands of dollars on a union that didn't do a goddamn thing for me. Not a day goes by when I don't wish for that money back, whether to buy gear or pay rent! And it really sucks. I'm so used to working with people who treat me like I'm an expendable piece of poop who's not even worth minimum wage, that to a degree, it's like I no longer have any concept of my abilities. I'm not gonna go cry about it, I just am curious if anyone else seems to legitimately have what seems almost like PTSD as a result of this business, and how they dealt with it besides binge-drinking and compulsive spending. Because you know the whole thing about how if you don't learn from the past, you're doomed to repeat it? Yeah...f*ck that. Thoughts?
  13. Hey Karl, sorry I missed you, I ended up getting back from Boston pretty late and then got pretty busy with a couple of sessions at the studio. Then of course, New Year's Eve shenanigans. So yeah, that's my story. Next time! Happy New Year!
  14. Hi Nathan, Chiming in late...I remember you from SCAD (I used to work there and went there). I didn't know you were in NYC....Drop me a PM and let me know how you're doing!
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