Throwback Thursday…enough!

Stop. Please. Just stop it with this Throwback Thursday business. I try my best to have an even keeled blog. I’m well aware that it’s my opinion on things, whether entirely mine or other’s that I’ve sifted through and formulated… but I really do try to be somewhat rational, logical and calm……AND I CAN’T BE WITH THROWBACK THURSDAY!!! Seriously! Stop it. Enough is enough. I don’t care about that picture you took in 1989 with Bo Jackson or that polaroid of you and Aunt Wendy from 1993. I don’t care!! Ya know who should care about that crap? YOU!!! THAT’S IT!! YOU. So stop clogging up my news feed with bullshit!!!


I’m glad that you’re appreciative of your past, that you want to share in it with your facebook friends and that you’re aware of the passage of time…..BUT STOP IT ALREADY!! You’ve gone too far. I’ve even seen people on facebook doing Flashback Friday!! Oh, so posting 5 old pictures on Throwback Thursday wasn’t enough you narcissistic buffoon? So, you’ve gotta post MORE BULLSHIT for us to look at on friday? Great. Thanks. I couldn’t have gone on with my day without seeing that cute picture of you with your Cousin Tommy when you were 8. I don’t care. No one should care. Except for YOU!!!!! And possibly your family…and maybe your partner/spouse/lover. But that’s it! I don’t really give a flying fuck when I see a picture of you with Louis Gossett Jr. when you met him on the set of Iron Eagle (1986).


So here’s the deal. STOP BEING A PRETENTIOUS PIECE OF CRAP!!! No one cares!! The only thing that posting a throwback picture does is to enable others into a call to action for them to post their own throwback photos because they think that they’re missing out on some cool fad. But it’s not cool! IT’S FUCKING STUUUUPPPIDDDDDD!! Here’s an idea. Just post photos to your albums if you want us to see them. If I happen to come across your profile and look around at your photos….I’ll click ‘like’ if I like it. You don’t need to THROW IT IN MY FACE!! Here, here, here!!! Look how awesome I am!! I existed in the past!! Isn’t that cooooooll?? I met Bill the hot dog guy at Yankees Stadium in 1971. Isn’t that great!?! It’s thursday. Click ‘like’ now. Now. NOW. NOW!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!


Look…whatever….I’m just being cynical about this whole Throwback Thursday thing. I’m being a bit abrasive……but you know I’m right. And I get it. You’re just having some fun on social networking and have the need to be ‘liked’ by your Facebook peers. Great. Super duper for you. Advice to myself: Stop using Facebook on thursday because it makes me mad. Advice to everyone else: Stop posting so many Throwback Thursday Photos!! God forbid you miss one Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday. The world will surely crumble if random people don’t see you and your best friend Nishka at the family BBQ in 1974. Welllllll……on the other hand….maybe we want to see that photo. (CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN MAIL ORDER BRIDES)


I hope this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. has entertained and/or enlightened you. As always. Be good to yourself. Be good to others. And if you’re mad…..use a punching bag. Don’t kick the dog. Have a great day!!!…..oh yeah, sorry for cussing so much.


Joe McConnell’s Film School 102

Alrighty then. I shall continue the free filmmaking lessons that I started back in December. If  you haven’t read part 1 HERE IT IS. Films. Movies. Hollywood. Most people think it’s magic to make a movie. Even I still think it’s magic sometimes, and though some facets of filmmaking are very special, I know better than to think that it’s ALL magic. It’s actually just pretty simple stuff that you can learn without taking out a 120K loan to go to film school. Because seriously….who in their right minds wants to do that?


Ever seen the film Swimming with Sharks (1994)? Or Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder (2008)? Well…..give those a watch. Now, I haven’t worked on 200 million mega-budget Hollywood films, the biggest budget I was ever on I think was about 1/4th of that, but it’s pretty much the same deal every time. Someone/some company has lots of money. They hire producers to control that money in the film production. One of those producers or production managers is very mercurial, frugal and unsympathetic. They, ya know….kinda like having power over others and get off on it. Usually….that’s your boss. And that boss will put you through hell unless you follow the rules, are ALWAYS prepared, bust your ass and never complain. Even when you’re blocking traffic on a dirt road near a swamp and there are 10,000 mosquitos ripping you apart for 16 hours. Don’t complain. Just do it. Even when you have to drive 2hrs roundtrip to the nearest Home Depot and when you return to set they don’t need the materials anymore….so then you drive another 2 hrs roundtrip to return the stuff….but when you get back to set they need you to GO BACK to Home Depot for something else. Don’t complain. Just do it… with a smile on your face.


The people at the top aren’t always that bad. But….90% of the time someone in the group of investors, executives, producers and managers will be MORE THAN HAPPY to be a dickwad to everyone on set. If you’re lucky….you’ll only get those 10% of the time jobs when EVERYONE IS SUPER COOL. Anywho……What are those rules and ways of being prepared that I mentioned before? Well…it varies depending on your boss, your position and the production that you’re on (because there are no set rules…just general rules) but what I’ve found to be tried and true are these (if you’re working as a PA or anything comparable), ya know…a bottom of the ladder job. 1) Always have some paper on you. A small pad is fine or just some scratch pieces 2) Always have at least 4-5 pens on you. Producers/Production Managers are always on the phone and they’ll snap at you for a pen/paper many times. If you ALWAYS have them ready, you’ll be their best friend…for a couple of minutes. Some people like to have pens, pencils, highlighters and erasers on them (and that’s great!!) but that’s too much for me and it always weighed me down. So….a few pens and you’ll be golden.


3) Keep your mouth shut. Keep it shut when they’re filming, when they’re rehearsing….hell….JUST KEEP IT SHUT. There will be time to goof off with friends you’ve made on set during lighting set-ups, lunch breaks and general WTF is going on!?! breaks. You’ll slip up for sure…most people on set do. We’re only human. But if you follow that rule 95% of the time you’ll be A-OK. 4) Have a good attitude. I’ve said this before. You don’t have to smile like a retard all the time….but just have an optimistic viewpoint towards the shit-storm of a movie that you’re working on. After all…it’s JUST A MOVIE. 5) This is the one I hate. Always pick up your phone…IMMEDIATELY. It goes without saying that during work hours you need to always answer your texts and calls….but when you’re off…..ANSWER YOUR PHONE. Yes…you just worked a 14 hour day and commuted home and have 8 hours to eat, shave, do your laundry and sleep. And then production calls/texts you. ANSWER IT. I’ve gotten into trouble with this one a lot because I hate cell phones and dig the off-the-grid style….but hey…..answer your phone.

There are certainly other rules…but those will do for now.


Whatever department you’re in….you’ll start to pick things up pretty quickly. Within 2 weeks to a month of production work, you’ll know more than most people in film school. It’s not really rocket science. Just do what you’re told, learn from your mistakes and anticipate when the demanding actress will want hot jasmine tea before she asks for it…and you’ll have a friend for life. Being on a movie set is kind of like babysitting. If you’ve spent time with kids, you’ll know that they’re selfish. They could be AWESOME kids….but still, they’re selfish. They wanna do what they wanna do. If they don’t get their way they’ll throw a hissy fit and you’ll have to spend 5 minutes talking them down or they’ll go out and randomly hit other kids. That’s like a film set…..just with a bunch of grown ups.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this M.A.V.B.L.O.G and it’s helped in your film pursuits, your knowledge of the filmmaking process or that it just generally entertained you. As always. Be good to yourself. Be good to others. And have an awesome day!