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Josh Smith97

First Union gig

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I have my first union gig, as a 2nd AC; Ive worked union as an electric (so I understand the environment), and non-union as an AC. I just dont know what may be different going to union as an AC

 

Like on the electric side of things, you dont have to keep up with hours etc. (thats the best boys job), you just sign the papers and get paid. But what is the responsibility of the AC in that regard? Do I track my own hours, turn in a timecard everyday or what, and who do I give it to?

Im used to saying yes to a flat day rate send an invoice and thats it.

Also, am I responsible for anyone elses timecards (or whatever is involved), like the 1st or operators?

 

Is there anything major I should know thats different from non-union camera work?

Edited by Josh Smith97

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I was just offered the job, Im supposed to talk with him on Monday, just wanted to know what to expect. I just wanted to get ahead of the I dont knows etc., and be prepared for whatever he has laid out for me.

Edited by Josh Smith97

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David, you'd be surprised how many 2nds, 1sts, & Ops have no idea how to fill out paperwork or do timecards, whether they're the ones filling them out or not. The just seem to know when they're timecards are wrong, which they're usually not. So you jumped into the union as a 2nd?

 

How much experience in camera do you have? There's way too many people, at least in Atlanta that are skipping being Utilities and Loaders but are missing valuable experience that you'll need when one day you key a show. On most shows, the Loader does the paperwork, if there's a DIT, the utility does it. On rare occasions the key 2nd does paperwork.

 

I'd find the Young Workers Group. We do skills sharing that includes how to do paperwork. There will be one soon.

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Steve,

Yea, Im jumping in as a 2nd, but I have worked my way through utility/loader on non-union (mostly commercial or ULB movies) things. I worked with the DP on a few commercials last year.

 

I am a competent 2nd as far as set work goes, but I am unfamiliar with the payroll paperwork.

 

I really just want to come into prep with the proper information and bases covers; like if by chance I do have to track everyones time, what would that look like.

 

It is a tier 1 so theres no telling what will fall on my shoulders...

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Even on low budget, the Loader still does the paperwork, union or not. Commercials & music videos not so much. Everyone should know how to do paperwork, if you don't because you weren't a Loader, then you skipped a step. Because not only do you learn paperwork, you also learn contracts. Knowing equipment is only part of the job, especially if you're the key.

 

I'm not saying you're not a competent 2nd, but here's been way too many ppl who have bumped to 2nd that don't know paperwork or set politics. Union world and non-union are close but are different beasts, and Loaders are the ones who, sadly know more about set politics than the keys these days. And when people decide they want to 2nd and not load and end up being a key, the Loader, who is the 2nd lowest in camera, can't tell a UPM/PC/PM what the contract is or fight for rates. It's sad when people are more worried about getting and keeping a job than making sure their crew is safe and paid and paid right.

 

Sorry for the rant, but been doing this for too long and too many people failing upward.

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Another thing is as soon as you can, find out which contract you're on, then contact the 600 office to get a copy of the contract, even though it might be on the 600 site, you want to find out if there's any side letters.

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David, you'd be surprised how many 2nds, 1sts, & Ops have no idea how to fill out paperwork or do timecards, whether they're the ones filling them out or not. The just seem to know when they're timecards are wrong, which they're usually not. So you jumped into the union as a 2nd?

 

How much experience in camera do you have? There's way too many people, at least in Atlanta that are skipping being Utilities and Loaders but are missing valuable experience that you'll need when one day you key a show. On most shows, the Loader does the paperwork, if there's a DIT, the utility does it. On rare occasions the key 2nd does paperwork.

 

I'd find the Young Workers Group. We do skills sharing that includes how to do paperwork. There will be one soon.

 

Edit: I read that you were meaning contracts and other paperwork. Also the Young Workers Group, is this a Facebook Forum, or on this site if anything? I'm definitely interested in learning more about the A/C work.

Edited by Gerald King

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Gerald, are you in 600? At least in Atlanta, the Young Workers Committee is active. Not sure how much stuff they do in other regions.

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Gerald, are you in 600? At least in Atlanta, the Young Workers Committee is active. Not sure how much stuff they do in other regions.

I am not, but that is one of the goals that I want to accomplish. I'm in New York right now. I wish they had something similar to that up here as the Young Workers Committee.

Edited by Gerald King

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It's generally the lowest person in the camera dpt. who is in charge of processing paperwork and keeping track of hours for everyone. It's not your job to fill out start work but you should know how to fill out timecards. Remember all time is calculated in military decimal (.6 increments). Operators and Dp's are normally clocked out when wrap is called. Assistants are wrapped when they arrive back at basecamp.

 

Go read through the local 600 contracts when you have some time.

 

Also make sure you have copies of rental house orders and mid shoot add-ons etc.. Keep scanned copies of everything on your phone and have some sort of folder and/or binder system to organize everything.

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It's generally the lowest person in the camera dpt. who is in charge of processing paperwork and keeping track of hours for everyone. It's not your job to fill out start work but you should know how to fill out timecards. Remember all time is calculated in military decimal (.6 increments). Operators and Dp's are normally clocked out when wrap is called. Assistants are wrapped when they arrive back at basecamp.

 

Go read through the local 600 contracts when you have some time.

 

Also make sure you have copies of rental house orders and mid shoot add-ons etc.. Keep scanned copies of everything on your phone and have some sort of folder and/or binder system to organize everything.

 

 

*Lowest person or the loader is in charge of paperwork. *Operators and Dp's are done at wrap. Assistants are done when the truck is packed. All are clocked out when they arrive at basecamp.

 

Apologies for multiple posts, couldn't edit my original post for some reason.

Edited by Marshall Hendershot

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As an aside here...

 

I have found it best, for me, to fill out my own paper work and time cards. I have had instances in the past where the loader or designated time card filler out er, has put down incorrect hours (usually too many) on my time card, and then also signed my name to the card. Needless to say, when caught, this has not gone over well with production management. At a minimum you should review and sign your own time card as you are responsible for it's accuracy.

 

I don't think filling out crew timecards is an official part of the loader or 2nd AC job. Keeping a log of crew hours I can understand, but filling out and signing (forging?) crew timecards should not be part of the job.

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As an aside here...

 

I have found it best, for me, to fill out my own paper work and time cards. I have had instances in the past where the loader or designated time card filler out er, has put down incorrect hours (usually too many) on my time card, and then also signed my name to the card. Needless to say, when caught, this has not gone over well with production management. At a minimum you should review and sign your own time card as you are responsible for it's accuracy.

 

I don't think filling out crew timecards is an official part of the loader or 2nd AC job. Keeping a log of crew hours I can understand, but filling out and signing (forging?) crew timecards should not be part of the job.

 

I would agree that it is forging but so far every union crew I have worked with has expected me to fill out and sign all their paperwork (other than start work).

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I would agree that it is forging but so far every union crew I have worked with has expected me to fill out and sign all their paperwork (other than start work).

I would require each crew member to sign their own time card. And don't add time to the cards as a favor to the crew either...

 

Eventually there will be some dispute about the timecards with production. And you don't want to ruin your relationship with them.

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