Working in the film industry in New York for 7 years, I have seen some things that would shock and amaze any number of people. Some examples: a grown man throwing a temper tantrum over a cup of coffee, a man hiding in the forest for several hours just to try and get access to a set, actors showing up for work more trashed than I’ve ever been on any Saturday night, etc.
What I’m trying to say is, film sets are weird places. The weirdest thing is how quickly the insanity becomes normal to you. I have officially drunk the Kool-Aid (or more accurately, the Diet Coke; I have straight up seen a set shut down because we ran out of Diet Coke). However, one thing that I don’t think I will EVER get used to is the paparazzi.
I don’t understand how or why they make money, I don’t understand why they have to be so aggressive in their quest for the “perfect shot," I don’t understand people’s obsession with looking at said “perfect shot," and mostly I don’t understand who would choose that for their profession.
They’re a fairly permanent fixture on set and if we’re on public property, we’re not technically allowed to kick them off. We can ask them to stay in a designated area out of the way of the crew and out of the eye-line of the actors, but they almost never do.
It’s probably pretty silly of me to be so annoyed by them, as I’m sure there’s some direct correlation between movie ticket sales (and thus my ability to be employed) and paparazzi images from sets but I can’t help it. They turn the set into a spectacle (making my job harder), they annoy the actors, and are a general thorn in everyone’s side.
Luckily, my particular job involves very little interaction with actors and that usually translates to very little interaction with paparazzi. My friends who are production assistants or costumers or prop people are always getting caught in the paparazzi crossfire.
It's a drag for them, I know. Think of it this way. You’re shooting outside on the streets of New York City, you’re either sweaty or freezing (no one is ever comfortable on set), you’re just trying to get your job done, and the next day some inevitably unflattering picture of you shows up online. Everyday I thank my lucky stars that no one is following me around trying to take pictures of me doing whatever it is I do.
Unfortunately, a couple weeks ago my good luck ran out.
And I happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and the results were...ridiculous.
My job can be pretty absurd at times and apparently, it shows on my face.
I may not always (ever) appreciate the paparazzi but at least they given me the gift of this insane photo. Yes, that's me looking at Will Ferrell like I'm giving him the evil eye.
I suppose this photo will always serve as a little reminder to stop and have a laugh from time to time. After all, nothing is so serious that it should make me give Ron Burgundy the stank face.