So the last thing you need in a situation like that is someone treating you poorly: How you deal with them will have a tremendous effect on the path your career takes — for better or worse. Recently a reader who wished to remain anonymous told me
I work for a asshole story about her experience with a director of photography DP who was treating her terribly:.
I got along well with the rest of the cast and crew, but the DP was arrogant, sexist, and condescending. Should I just have called it quits and walked away from the production?
Working with anybody with a toxic attitude like that is tough. With Option 1, you potentially lose I work for a asshole, experience, and further networking.
Option 2 may backfire and cause you to get fired or intensify the problem. Option 3 has you putting up with abuse without any vengeance. Finally, if it still continues, you leave the set. But that raises another question: How long is the shoot? You may get a few more days of peaceful workbut you may also lose your gig for that week.
They, in all their directorial power, may leverage their position to get you I work for a asshole. Basically, it leaves I work for a asshole bad taste in their mouth. If, however, the shoot is longer than a week, you should strongly consider escalating the situation. How big of a jerk is the person being? Are they simply micromanaging your work? Or are they making broad statements about you as an individual?
Sometimes people just have undesriable personalities and you have to put up with them to get work done. For instance, if you make a mistake and they yell at you for it — they may be an asshole for yelling at you, but they may also be justified. When things get personal, consider escalating the situation. Or if they call you out constantly in front of other crew. What kind of network do they have?
What kind of network do you have? Who has more leverage in your respective film communities? Further, consider how powerful their influence on their network is.
Do you want them to say to all their buddies: They ended up quitting mid-shoot. Think of the effect it could have on your career.
Maybe it has I work for a asshole effect because their network is small, but it could have a profound effect if they are a heavy-hitter. Your network, your crew, and your community will trust your opinion. If you were to walk away from the set, it would not have as major an effect on your career and maybe even strengthen it for standing up for your principles.
What is the gig worth to you?
How will it help you pay your billsget the next job, or start your career? Put in the work, get the money, then make your voice heard. The same goes if you need the job to jump start your career.
Almost everyone agreed he could be nasty, mean, and downright cruel, but they also acknowledged "I work for a asshole" that attitude pushed them in a positive direction.
I mean this, of course, on a professional level. Like mentioned above, if things get personal, than there is no excuse for being an asshole. If so, then do you want them to stop? What if it means you put something on screen that is less than ideal? Or not fully realized? And perhaps your boss is one of those people: After all, the reader who left the comment said worked
I work for a asshole and better after the DP was an asshole.
What all of this comes down to is determining how much leverage you have against the asshole and how much of an effect their assholeness is having on you. Depending on where you fall along those lines, you may find standing up to them to be a worthy cause or a fruitless one.
But above all, do everything you can to keep your reputation while standing against theirs. I work for a asshole all, a reputation is one of the most valuable things in the film industry. I was thinking of phoning a job in tonight because of this.
Although you did not cover this particular case, in detail anyways, I decided to go ahead and show up anyways. As a result, I am often the most experienced on set. He often blames others for things he can avoid by being better prepared or a better communicator.
Although he has a long way to go, he does show promise. I just wanted to point out that in my opinion I would never walk away from a set unless there is a risk to life and limb. In most cases that I have worked with an asshole, that person happens to be a hired hand and walking off the set screws over someone more important. I believe that in the end all you have is your reputation and if you are able to handle working with an ass it exponentially improves your rep.
If the abuse gets to the point that it threatens your own self respect then you have an obligation to yourself to speak up, but do it professionally, calmly and not when you are mad. In the end you may suffer for a while, but you will maintain your self respect and your rep.
I have often found that when done tactfully the person takes your words to heart and everyone on the set remembers you as the guy who solved the asshole problem.
Just my two cents. Thanks for all the good info.
I have pointed many newcomers to your site and the results have shown on set. I agree with your advice to gauge the situation and escalate your methods based on the situation. This may be one case where the confidence you have in the quality of work that you do — regardless of the perception of another party — and your confidence in yourself as a person may help you triumph over the situation.
Despite the fact that this is particularly difficult to deal with constructively, I also feel strongly that it must be called out. Silence is consent, and sexist behavior needs to be called out for the good of the industry as a whole.
If the DP had been making racist comments, would his behavior have been tolerated by the set as a whole? Humor is often a way to call attention to the inappropriateness of the comments and behavior without putting the offending party
I work for a asshole the defensive.
I would also ask if the DP belonged to any kind of Union, or was trying to get into one. I remember when I was working on a job, and we had 6 months of pre production on and off for a 5 minute short film. I was co producer, co writer and co director. As I had been helping with the areas which entitled to being credited for such roles. As we were all not being paid.
I should of walked off the job and taken all my equipment with me. However I stuck with it, and it got worse and worse. He ended up cutting another day of filming so the short film was shot in a day.
What made it even worse was the one shot per scene was the main actor talking to the camera as if it was the other character. So the 6 months worth of pre production that I had helped with was basically for nothing.
After I said I wanted nothing to do with the post production process due to there not being much that could be done, the guy I work for a asshole charge tried to convince me that it got into Sundance and after a quite google search that was a load of lies. What I learnt from that experience is to be willing to walk away whenever you start to doubt the project. I totally agree, trust your gut. So I layed into him. There are tons of ways people can be a sphincter, and some can be interpreted that way just because of a personality clash.
However, I think the good sense seen here on The Black and Blue is a good general rule… in essence, always be polite. In over 40 years in the biz, I certainly ran across a number of people I would classify as assholes.
I only walked of a set once, and I made sure to seem in control of the situation. Damn that felt good. Always walk away looking like the good guy.
Recently I work for a asshole reader who wished to remain anonymous told me a story about her experience with a director of photography DP who was treating her terribly: There are three ways you can handle a situation the one encountered above: So which one do you go with? Length of the Production How long is the shoot? Level of Assholeness How big of a jerk is the person being? Importance of the Job to You What is the gig worth to you?
You have more to benefit from putting up with them than you do trying to break them down. The Effect that It Has Finally, is being an asshole working? Fight the Power, But Keep Your Reputation What all of this comes down to is determining how much leverage you have against the asshole and how much of an effect their assholeness is having on you.
Have you ever worked with a person so nasty that you hated going to work? I work for a asshole
It's sad, but some people can spoil everything. In an ideal world. This is one of the major themes in my book, The No Asshole Rule, I have been writing about this topic for years at my personal blog Work Matters, and I get I work for a asshole. How to Handle Working for an Asshole. I wish I could tell you that everyone in the film industry is nice as cherry pie, but I know it's not true.