I have several friends (including from this here Blogger site) who think that because I work in the movie industry, my job must be cool. Repeated denials that my job is cool have been mistaken for modesty. A description of today's activities at work should put this misconception to rest once and for all.
The movie I'm working on has finished filming, and we are clearing out of the offices this week. One of the final and most hated tasks when a movie wraps is the sending out of crew gifts. Crew gifts are usually a jacket and/or baseball cap with the logo of the movie embroidered on it. No one has ever been able to adequately explain to me why, in the temperate climate of Los Angeles, a jacket is the traditional crew gift. I've got like six of these things, and I wind up giving them away to relatives who not only think it's cooler than I do, but live in a state that actually gets cold. Besides, I work on terrible movies, and I'm not eager to advertise my part in some of these atrocities. "Look at that guy's jacket, he worked on Garfield 2! Get him!"
But I digress. We were shipping crew gifts. The gifts for this particular movie are a jacket, a cap and a promotional bar of soap. No, don't go back, you read that right. Soap plays a part in the movie, and someone thought it would be a cute idea. Someone that did not have to put 300 bars of soap in Baggies and add them to the 300 FedEx boxes with the 300 jackets and 300 hats. Real cute. Three of us were on the task - one typing and printing the FedEx labels; one stuffing the boxes with a jacket and a hat; and yours truly bagging soap. Our location manager came in the office and saw me on the floor surrounded by soap and Baggies and laughed out loud. He was not the last to do so. As luck would have it, virtually every member of the crew still on the payroll found their way into the office to witness my shame. Even my boss chimed in, asking me if FedEx-ing soap was one of the skills taught in the master's degree film program at Syracuse. An hour later, the location manager came back in. Seeing me still on the floor at my task, he said "Ah, I see Ol' Soapy is still at it!" To my chagrin, a nickname was born.
Eventually, 300 boxes were packed and sent to 300 recipients who will throw the jacket in the back of a closet, give the hat to a child, and toss the soap in the trash. Crew gifts are Reason #87 why it costs $10 to see a movie. To all my friends who think my job is cool...I told you so. Welcome to the glamorous world of movie production!