Why My Life Is Not A Commercial


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This aspect of the work is what took me a long time to come to terms with. Often these fine people have little or no filmmaking experience or just enough to be dangerous. If you let it, this fact alone will make your life hard, perhaps joyless. Communication is essential in our commercial world as we try to put their fears to rest and assure them it will be great.

Then we tear it down and do it all again the next day with a different crew and for a different director and client in some high-rise or on nasty a pig farm. Like our brothers and sisters in TV and film, we work at every location imaginable. Hot or cold, often both in the same fourteen- to eighteen-hour day, as we do our best to make it sound like it looks. It still surprises me that this system works as well as it does. Our simple workflows of the eighties and nineties have all transformed into the new modern work style of multi-camera shoots, with all sorts of rigs to move cameras everywhere, and no money and time to do what is on a storyboard, so sadly we have even less discipline and protocol than before and therefore, sound wires them all to their own tracks as we try to create useful mixes for the director, agency, and the editor in post production.

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Still, we do this with a two-person Sound Department, even though it would be a full day for three people. The key for my team is the ability to look two, three steps ahead of what we read on paper and are told by production and actively stay evolved on set, and then have the gear to do almost anything that comes our way. What starts as one woman talking on the phone can morph into a car-to-car shot with four people singing a song as they drive down the road with a video village bus trailing along with always helpful suggestions. Not so in commercials.

Somehow we need to make it happen. Our video assist brothers know this all too well.


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They deal with unrealistic expectations and demands all the time. Really a remarkable group of people who made this happen like John Hill, all the Cogswells, the Hawks, Willow Jenkins, Tom Myrick and his gang, and Cal Evans who makes it fun regardless the shoot. I know for many, the uncertainties of the day in the commercial world can be stressful but whether it is a personal defect or talent in me, I really like what I do.

I may work twenty days in a row, then have fifteen days off. Some in production want a known person to do the sound, others just want to cut a deal and sadly, there are those in our community who think low balling on rates and gear is a smart move. There are a lot of sound people in LA, so the competition is always there and at times, adversarial and short-sighted by a few, but most of our community is on the up and up and play by the unwritten rule that we never actively try and steal an account if a job comes to us from another mixer or undercut their rate.

Also, the energetic young women and men just starting their careers in Art, Hair, Wardrobe, and Production Departments who are fun to be around and prove that hope springs eternal. The athletes and stars can be fun but for me, the crews are the best part of the job. Ageism, while very real in the workforce in general, seems less so for a mixer.

At sixty-six, I am often a decade or two older than most of those I work with. While it would be impossible for someone to follow my career path today, that world is long gone and the future of commercials seems destined to a slow demise, as the world of new media is expanding, I do think a rewarding career can be had. Hopefully, the lessons of the past might be helpful for those going forward in what we call Hollywood.


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At some point in the next four years, I will hang up my headphones and get out of the way. I will do so knowing I met and worked alongside many of the most interesting and talented people in the film business and had a lot of fun doing so. And for the record, I do direct, shoot, and edit personal media projects so I guess my original game plan worked.

Just not the way I thought it would. Skip to main content.

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Volume: View Online PDF. They develop personal resilience, confidence and practical skills to help them find a job or future career that excites them. You can help us give them a chance to change and add to the inspirational life stories. The No Limits programme lights a fire of self-belief and ambition for young people who previously felt they had no hope. Print embeds skills-based learning in a real business environment. Print offers reliable print services with social value.

All of our young people work here as part of the No Limits programme. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have helped make a difference to Commercial Foundation and the young people we work with. From using We Do. Print to offering work placements or taking time to help with presentation skills. Commercial Foundation has transformed my life. The Foundation.

Some drivers get paid "practical miles" which amounts to practically every mile driven, unless you detour without cause or get lost or perhaps detour for a quick stop by home. They are not lesser people, just people who have less. Benefits vary from company to company. I am a military veteran so to save money, I use the VA Veterans Administration hospitals on the rare occasion I have medical needs. Not to get political; but it is my opinion that although the new healthcare policies are a step in the right direction; it would have been deceptively simple to just give the whole country Medicare not Medicaid coverage.

I never hear our retirees complain about Medicare. It is a single payer the government paying private medical practitioners and private hospitals both for profit and non-profit hospitals to provide care anywhere that retiree needs medical care in the country. The biggest mistake occurred immediately after getting my class A CDL commercial driver's license. I had to gain experience, and the school wanted 15, to 20, driving miles during a 30 day trainin' period. Learning to drive, while sleeping and eating in a truck that seemed to be constantly moving between shippers and receivers would have been perhaps more acceptable at a younger age.

Doing it in cramped quarters with a person you barely know is even less of a joy. I would drive up to 11 hours a day during my shift and turn in mileages of to miles a day.

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My trainer and I had many an argument during our time together. I wish there had been another way. I realized my mistake after talking to a woman student and her female trainer from another school who said she, the trainee, was required to put in hours of driving as a "trainee" but there was no 30 day requirement to meet those hours.

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A softer more sane "easier way" perhaps. These two women were sitting in the truck stop and having a meal together. What a contrast that was to my situation. My last week as a trainee I could hardly stand being in the truck with my instructor, let alone sitting together to "break bread". Want to be featured on the Guardian? Have a tip or suggestion for someone we should feature? Email us ruth. What's your typical day like?

Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial Why My Life Is Not A Commercial
Why My Life Is Not A Commercial

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