Shooting the Trailer (The PA’s)

The PA’s, oh my god, the PA’s.

Jian—I hope you’re not reading this, dude—was someone I had met at a day job.  He loved the idea of being on a film set.  Jian thought—but didn’t express to me before I hired him—was that his job was somehow supposed to consist of hanging out on set watching sexy, half-dressed actresses.  Kathy the caterer is fat, sloppy and has a lazy eye.  Jian’s job was to pick up Kathy the caterer every morning at 4:00.  Jian quit after the first day, saying, “You don’t really need me, do you?”

Kimberly, given a roll of quarters at lunchtime to feed everyone’s meters, disappeared and did not materialize again till the next shoot day.

Brian and Paul had never been on a film set and wanted to see what it was like.  Paul had gotten us the office building for the evening’s location, and he volunteered to be a PA and brought his friend Brian to work, too.  Paul and Brian DID get to see a bunch of half-dressed actresses, since we were all changing wardrobe in big, open conference room with glass windows.  Unhappily for the lads, all the half-naked actresses that day were not young but middle aged and full of neuroses.  No parading around in their undies that day.  That night the first setup took two hours.  After waiting for two hours and not hearing anyone shouting “Action” Brian and Paul, pleading early work the next day, left the location and left our employ.

The day we shot on the busy street, I found Leela sitting in her car asleep with ear buds.  She awakened after I screamed and pounded on the window.  Leela, having been asked to find a place to charge the DP’s cell phone, had plugged it into her car and grabbed a wee nap.

Hannah, who came to work for us only so she could flirt with our director, took it upon herself to dress the set.  Well, overdress the set.  Or perhaps inappropriately dress the set.  We were shooting a scene in the office after the workers had had a pizza party.  We’d scattered dirty pizza boxes, empty Coke cans and other detritus on the desks.  When I looked for Hannah who was supposed to fetch actors for their call times, she was gone, baby, gone.  Several hours later she returned with a stack of 40 brand-new pizza boxes.  She had taken the initiative to go—where???  —out of fucking town??  —and get clean boxes.  Yeppers, but we have DIRTY boxes and that’s what we want, dear Hannah.

The funny and strange moral to this tale is that we actually managed to have a PA on set for every shoot day, even though never the same one twice.  People learned what they don’t like about the film business and we got some chores handled.

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