Pro Tips

Over the years I've come up with various "old-man" grumpy things which either irk me or actually make it more difficult to do business with you.

Your email address.

Please, for the love of all that's holy use a gmail.com address if you're not using your own domain. There are so many things like the calendar application in Google which really require you to use a Google account. Maybe sometime in the future your AIM account or your Yahoo! account will somehow be helpful and meaningful. But not today. No, today you either have to use your own domain and/or use gmail.

Firstname.Lastname at gmail.com

Firstname at yourpersonaldomainwhichisyourname.com

Please don't use silly juvenile names like magootrivia23 at yahoo.com. Nobody will remember such a dumb email address. Use addresses like that for dating sites and for 4Chan. Not in your "real" life.

But whatever you do, please do put your actual name in the header of your email. That way when someone doesn't remember your actual email address they can start typing your name and your address will magically appear in the address bar. So even if you have to have some odd characters in your email address, you'll at least be findable. For example:

"John Smith" <jsmith23@gmail.com>

Nobody's gonna remember you're "23", but they will start spelling out "John" and a list will come up with your name on it.

Have your accounts all linked together. Don't make people guess which account they should write to you at.

I don't have to tell you to check your email regularly, do I? I do? OK. Check your email every day.

Business cards

Back when I was an actual teacher I was surprised to find that many students were rather resistant to the idea that they would get business cards.
Business cards are cheap. All they need is a phone number and an email address and your name. You don't even have to say what you do on them.
But if you meet someone and neither of you are close enough to a computer to email one another, or one of your multitudinous devices isn't getting service or what have you, a business card is the way to go.
Some people feel it's a bit presumptuous to have business cards made for themselves (this seems to be something important in a number of Asian cultures, and I apologize for not having a better understanding of the meaning of business cards for some people).
But this is America. You don't need letters after your name. You don't even need a high school diploma.
What you do need is a way for me to contact you.

Show up on time, don't touch anything you're not supposed to

There are whole job categories in the movie business where if you follow those two rules, you can have an actual career.
Of course, if you want to be more proactive, you can do things like:

  1. Ask your department head what they need — don't wait to be told
  2. If you don't love to carry stuff back and forth all day long, then just pretend that you do. And then do it. Smile.
  3. See the big truck? Ask "Can I help unload the big truck?" You will be appreciated.
  4. Don't actually run. Even when someone tells you to run. Say things like "Flying in!" loudly and with much gusto but walk that C-stand in rather than running. You really do have to be safe. Walk quickly, with purposeful steps, sure. But don't actually run.
  5. Keep cases latched at all time. If you're working actively out of a case, then just latch one of the latches on it. I assure you, that at some point during the shoot, if you haven't been religiously keeping cases latched, you will pick up a case and it will spill its contents everywhere.