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Michele Peterson

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Everything posted by Michele Peterson

  1. Contact CSATF first. They'll tell you want they want. They'll probably tell you to show proof of days worked by showing payroll records. Hopefully your jobs were paid through a payroll company. That'll make it easier for you.
  2. In my opinion no one should touch equipment that does not belong to them without premission. I don't like people I don't know touching my stuff. Too many people break things, lose things and damage things that I either own or am going to look bad to production for it being L&D. My biggest pet peeve is people who go into my bag and take things without asking because they see it. People who don't have the manners to ask first are the ones that don't have the respect to return things. If someone asks, I have no problem helping them 99% of the time. I've been dolly grip before and once a camera intern I had not met before that moment started booming up on the dolly cause I was busy doing something else. It was a low budget show where I could not be standing by the dolly all the time. The 1st, 2nd and I discussed the situation and they had agreed to help and I gave them permission to move the dolly when I was not there. The camera intern I had never met. I did not know his level of experience and I had no idea if he knew how to properly operate it or to do things like check for the DP's foot being clear before booming down. If he messed up and injured someone, it would come down to the question of where was I when the injury happened? If he damaged the dolly somehow, I would lose my job. It makes someone else's job harder when they have to search for their equipment because they don't know who took it. The best crews are ones where everyone helps each other out, this includes union too, but sometimes trying to be too helpful if you don't have rapport, can make things more complicated.
  3. As for age, when you get into large studio productions, many people will be around your age. It takes experience to get to that level. Plus many have spent careers as 1st, 2nd or loaders because the are content and satisfied in their craft and have no desire to move up and take on what that entails. Small, low budget shoots are more often younger crews who are gaining experience and working up to bigger productions. As with anyone starting, or starting over, it all depends on who you know as far as getting work. How easy it is to find a job is crucial dependent upon your network. Do the people you know follow the work or stay local? Do you know people who can hire you? What the pay will be depends on what you are working on. Union rates can provide a decent middle-class level. Low budget and indie stuff can be decent at a $400 a day or it can be down right insulting for ultra low budget stuff where they want to hire you as an independent contractor and pay below minimum wage with no overtime or worker's comp. My advice would be to start reaching out to people you know that might help you before you leave your current job. Get back in touch with people if you need to. Get a feel for who is in a position to hire you. Find out what they are working on and how much it makes. Let people get a feel for you and you for them, then you can make a better decision.
  4. While I have not had this exact scenario before, I have found various types of glue can be removed with the following, in order of my personal preference: Lighter Fluid - Best in my experience for glue residue (I've used it on bumper stickers with great success) Acetone - Very handy for cleaning many various unknown residues off things in my experience Goo-Gone - I second the person who already mentioned this. I've found it equal to lighter fluid, just a commercial product.
  5. There are a lot of AC positions in LA, but there are a lot more people who are competing for those jobs. I don't know the going rates in Canada, so I can't say the difference. In the US rates vary depending upon the type of production ie corporate video, indie film, broadcast tv, features etc and if it's union or not. Unions have their set pay scale and if you are union, you already know them. Non-union can range from as little as 0-$100 a day on very small spec shoots to $200-$300 for non-union TV shows (shooting video, typically reality). How realistic it is to move here expecting work really depends upon who you know. If you know someone who can get you a job, great, go for it. If you don't know anyone, don't expect to walk right into a high paying job. AC's are 99% of the time working freelance, (project to project) so don't expect to get a contract with a company to guarantee you regular work. Usually the only people that have a staff position are people who work as a tech and then go out on set with their equipment to AC. Those jobs are usually for highly specialized equipment though and the tech works though the equipment house as staff, not working through the production company. Getting a job at a rental house is pretty common, but they only send their top techs who have lots of seniority and experience out on set, that's if they send anyone.
  6. Very Nice. I'll most likely replicate yours. Thanks so much for sharing!
  7. I have a magliner Jr with a top shelf. I am looking to add a bottom shelf but am debating between 1. this popular 24"x36" carpeted and lipped standard shelfs 2. A Carpeted, flat (no lip) shelf 3. Cheapest, flat (no lip), metal shelf Soemtimes the lip on the bottom shelf gets annoying when moving heavy cases on and off, but it does help keep them from bouncing or sliding off. Does anyone have an experience with any of these that they'd be willing to share to help me decide?
  8. I'm working as an outside vendor, not an employee on a non-union show. I've been lucky enough to never have a forced call before, so I'm not sure what to bill. What is the going rate for forced call penalty?
  9. My half day rate (for 6 hours or less), is 3/4 of my normal 12 hour rate for that company. It isn't half because, like you mentioned, you are not able to take a fully paid job for that day. 3/4 to me is fair. I get enough to make it worth my while, while they get a break because they are not working me a full day. I don't take half days regularly though and it is pre-negotiated so I can decide if I have a full-pay opportunity that day, and I dont' get sent home a bunch of times losing money I was counting on. Many others I know still charge the same 12 hour rate, even if they only work one or two hours, but you have to have some clout to do that, especially if your rate is high.
  10. It took me 8 years in this industry to find a crew that I truly am friends with and enjoy going to work with. Some days are still crappy for other reasons though. It took 3 years after first working and meeting each other before we started working regularly together. Before I got in with them, I got into the union and I still pay my regular dues, yet don't get much meaningful work out of it. Some people take less time to meet the right crew, others take longer. For me, I have decided that it's not worth taking crappy, low paying jobs, or jobs with a**holes, or both. It's not fun that way and there are too many other ways to make a living in this world. Only you can decided when it's no longer worth waiting for the right opportunity to come around. As for me, I found that having a side career in the medical field gives the freedom to turn down gigs that are BS because of the low pay or the bad people. Getting to change gears completely every so often really prevents burn out.
  11. Most large companies separate their assets into separate legal entities. That way is someone gets hurt on the stage and sues the stage for an injury that happened on it, they cannot collect on revenues from the show. They two are usually insulated from each other, which will work to your advantage in this situation. Either way, your instincts to call the local is your best bet.
  12. It depends where people are. I'm certainly not a lawyer, but my understanding is that anyone who goes out in public view is fair game to be photographed. The standard practice, in my experience at least, when shooting people at a place that is open to the public but privately owned, is to get permission of the owners and then make a properly worded legal release in the form of a sign, that is clearly visible at ALL the entrances of this area. This sign informs people that entering the area constitutes their agreement to be photographed. I always get a quick shot to document the release sign. Now if you are trying to do this on a public street or something, it might not be practical to control all entrances or feasible when working with government red tape, but if you are in a building, or mall or such, it might.
  13. The stage isn't the one who is signatory, it's the production company, so if you continue to work for the non-union company, I doubt there will be an issue. I also doubt anyone will be so concerned as to question you about it. Sounds like a good networking opportunity to me.
  14. Why don't you try this and see if you can get a film made under this scenario. Just as likely as your scenarios, crew could band together (in say a union) and set their own demands and then just like what happens in real business negotiations, the two parties make an agreement and meet somewhere in the middle. Nothing is as unilateral as you try to make it seem. What good are these scenarios for studios if they can't find a workforce to work under them, then they can't make their product.
  15. Where did I assume all workers are union? And who says I'm suppossed to define an employee? It's been discussed on here and if you look it up on the state labor board website. You're making assumption yourself and there are wrong. I never professed to be an expert on paralegal, but maybe you think you are. I merely said I doubt it based on what Matthew brought up. Attacking me and calling me bitter doesn't make you right. The law is clear on this. Oh and by the way, your assumption about me continue to be wrong, I have a formal college education, managed a resturant and have been a producer hiring people and I did it all the right way!
  16. That's one hell of a way to get rid of termites, too bad they got rid of the house with it.
  17. Many companies are in favor of calling people IC because it saves them a lot of money in taxes, unemployement insurance and workers comp. Taxes in the US are designed so the employer pays 15% and employees pays 15%, IC pay all 30% on their own, so it costs the IC more. THe employers wins at the IC expense. Healthcare is a benefit anyway, and you have to work enough hours to qualify, even in the unions, each company only pays into health care on a percentage of how much you worked for THEM. The advantage of the union are it pools each day here and day there together to equal up to the total hours you need for healthcare and other benefits. I highly doubt paralegals would be considered IC if it was reported. Just because it happens a lot, does not make it legal. If someone is your boss, instead of being your client, then you are an employee not IC.
  18. In the US, independent contractor status was designed for people like plumbers, who are hired by a homeowner who is not a bussiness owner, but needs services. The homeowner does not have to set up a tax account to pay taxes just to get a clogged drain fixed, the plumber handles that. Since he determines how he will handle the task/job at hand, he is responsible for his own safety. Whether someone is an employee or IC is determined by things such as if they determine how to do the work, their hours, provide their own tools, if the job of the employer/client is the same field. As far as an IC being someone who has their rate set, I don't agree with that. If a given employer has a set salary they will pay for any given job, there will always be someone who thinks they are worth more and won't take that job. Most people negotiate their salary and raises anyway.
  19. Most rental houses have the rental agents (they are in the office part, take the orders, help you figure out what you need/want, handle insurance documents, and billing), the floor staff (that pull the orders check-in and out the gear making sure it is not damage, all parts are there etc), some rental houses have techs that do repairs/service. Some also have interns. If you have any basic knowledge of gear, there isn't much reason to intern for free. Some houses, like panavision offer both paid training programs and unpaid internships. Most people work at rental houses to learn gear better, so you don't have to know everything to start out as an entry level floor person. You'll start off cleaning cases anyway, unless you already have experience.
  20. Of course. I did not walk on the wall, and I was not one to get on the forklift that others did, but that does not excuse someone who is trying to break the law and not cover what is an innate risk in the job. Just because they took a job with inherent risk, does not mean that the employer does not have to cover those risks. Who would take those risk for nothing? Would you expect a fireman come to your house to put out a fire if he was going to be hung out to dry if he got hurt? You may find someone foolish enough to do it, but those are going to be the people that can't follow directions correctly and can't hold a job on a better set because the cut corners, like not following safety guidelines. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You seem to be really sensitive about this topic. I have a suspicion you might be one of the director (as your profile lists you) types that tries to save your dime at the expense of your crew, because that's the root of all this.
  21. You ought to think about what you're saying before you tell others to. You are making assumptions that the only possible injury is because of employee negligence. The real world, especially low budget shoots, are not the same as statistics in class. I've been on sets where I was told to walk on top of the wall. The key grip telling me to even admitted that it was against the studios policy, but still told me to do it. I've been on another set where others have stood on a wooden pallet sitting on top of a fork-lift 15' in the air. These are not employee negligence, but employers who do not follow OSHA regulations! As a set medic, I have seen many other injuries first hand as well. The employer has a legal responsibility to train employees on safety requirements and ensure they are followed by supervising employees. OSHA requires this. Worker's compensation is the law. The right thing to do is to follow the law. Anyone breaking the law, is doing the wrong thing! Simple as that. The right thing is to protect one's employees that risk themselves working long hours, at fast paces, for weeks on end in harsh conditions with heavy machinery and equipment.
  22. You can have them sign something, but you can never get out of the legal requirements. Meaning that even if you have them sign something, that does not mean you get out of OSHA regulations for working conditions and worker's compensation requirements. It's like company's forcing employees to signing arbitration agreements in order to be hired, it still doesn't mean they forfeit their constitutional rights to a court of law if it's appropriate. Laws are laws for a reason, not just guidelines you get to choose to follow. There are OSHA regulations and workers' comp because of employers like you trying to get out of doing the right thing.
  23. If I understand you right, you want a clamp that you can fix to either the manfrotto pin or a standard baby pin right? If that is right, you should look into the manfrotto super clamp. It will accept manfrotto's pin you are picturing. I think it fits a baby pin as well.
  24. I can barely believe this. I was recently hiring for a position on a really low-budget project and since I didn't know anyone who would work for that rate and was available, I posted an ad on craigslist. I received an email from one guy who used MY OWN cover letter that I created a while back! WOW, was I amazed and reminded of how arrogant, stupid and selfish some people are.
  25. Most everyone that is critical of freebies is because they have had bad experiences. I once did a freebie as a 2nd on a shoot out in the desert. What was promised to be done by sunset. It ended up being a 20 hour day, a 10minute drive to find bathroom, starting to rain, crafty ran out and 2nd meal was left over bagels from breakfast with peanut butter and jelly. Then I had to take over driving the 4 hours home because the producer was falling asleep at the wheel and would have killed us! I told them I wasn't coming back the next day, then the 3rd day they called wanting to know why I hadn't showed that day. They had no clue what they did wrong!
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