In light of the incident at a recent soccer match, where a soccer player decided it’d be fun to trip up the Steadicam operator as a prank and walk away laughing (easily found on youtube since it’s gone viral), I’ve gotten to thinking that maybe some of you have forgotten that you are dealing with real people. I hear about, and have witnessed, some appalling behavior from celebrities ranging from actors, to singers, sportsmen, to even directors and producers. This disgusts me and it needs to stop.
Crews everywhere work insanely hard for long hours at increasingly ridiculous rates to make you famous. The reason we do this is because we have a passion, a love for this industry. However lately it is starting to seem like this industry does not love us back anymore. It shows in the increasingly lower rates we are offered, the increasingly longer hours we are forced to make, and the increasingly disturbing disrespect we are being shown more and more while trying to do our job, as seen in vivid detail in that awful video. Please remember that we are just there to do a job and make a living. We are not there to inflate your ego, nor are we there to be your fans. Your celebrity status means very little when we work together because egos get in the way. You are a person we have to work with and that is all. We want to make you look fantastic because that is our job and we love our jobs. All we ask in return is that you treat us as human beings because that’s what we are. We are not extensions of a machine, automatons, or your personal slaves.
I am certainly not saying all celebrities are like that but there are enough examples of appalling behavior out there to justify some questions and rethinking. There’s a pretty old saying that goes “treat others how you’d like to be treated”. It’s pretty simple and self explanatory and I am sure you’ve heard of it. It’s also quite simple to do, which makes this behavior all the more baffling. However you’d like to act in public is your choice but once you are on set and working please try to leave that behavior behind you. We don’t ask that you give us your couch to sleep on and you don’t have to invite us over for Christmas dinner with your family, we just ask that you treat us with some respect and dignity, that you behave yourself like a normal human being when working with us. Acting like a spoiled celebrity gets in the way of all our work, helps nobody, and just keeps us away from our homes and loved ones longer. Or, in the case of this video, can almost kill someone. It’s bullying behavior and it’s disgusting and dehumanizing.
If you’ve watched the soccer video with any other reaction than disgust then you are the exact person this letter is aimed at and you should really do some hard thinking about who you’ve become and if your mother would be proud of this person. You know who you are.
I doubt this letter will have much of an effect, and I know I’m just another anonymous crew guy that few of you will know, but writing it is certainly cathartic. This industry, and your fame, is built on the hard work of amazing crews everywhere. We are not a magic trick to be concealed and hidden from sight and treated like a disposable piece of equipment, we are real people working really hard in a very tough and brutally unforgiving industry. It’s team work and you are part of that team, whether you like it or not you will have to deal with us. If you treat us well, or even just normal, then we will go out of our way to make you look amazing. It really is that simple.
We are all very lucky to be allowed to do this work and we should treasure it and enjoy it because ours is a unique and wonderful industry. We make entertainment, be it movies, television, music videos, sports, etc. We’re not saving lives or changing the world. let’s keep some perspective on this and treat each other, and the work we do, with respect.
Please…don’t be “that guy”.
HDW : What can I say…shocking behaviour from a so called football professional, I have tested various “steadycam” type rigs in the past and they are heavy and very dangerous…you do not mess about with that amount of sprung metal attached to your body.
What about the cost involved, a pucker steadycam vest and arm could set you back £20K not to mention the camera and lens, so the next time an idiot wants to trip up someone doing his/her job think of replacing £60,000 worth of gear plus the medical fees…plus loss of earnings !!!