No one can deny it's a fickle time in our history and now that the government isn't paying us contractors anymore, finances are getting (more) stretched.
Luckily productions are starting to pick up again, mostly in the South Island, which I'm so thrilled about because the South Island crew deserve to get a decent slice of the Production Pie.
One of the ironies with Film Drivers is that once I provide a production with drivers, the transport crew have those details for future reference so I've found that I only hear from them once. Also, all of the Transport Captains have their own extensive lists that also include most of FD's drivers so I'm being called on less and less.
That's not a bad thing. All I've ever cared about is drivers getting work,.
But over the lock down, I was excited to diversify and arrange Border Exemptions for many film crew. This included Covid protocol advice and updates. Of course we're all relieved that these restrictions are over but it showed me that I have the ability to pivot so I'm now open to other opportunities such as arranging travel for independent swings, helping busy owner drivers with vehicle maintenance and I've even been researching accounts with the ferries and fuel suppliers with the aim of sub contracting stretched productions movement admin.
With my background as Operations Manager in my pre-film life and beginning my career in film as a Payroll Accountant, I'm open to any diversions.
Behind a steering wheel is my preference but behind a computer screen isn't all bad either.
In the meantime, as always, I'm available to find a way to help drivers and productions any way I can.
While I feel for those who are struggling post lockdown, I'm so so grateful that the film industry has gone into hyperdrive. Literally. And that means an unprecedented demand on Film Drivers. I just finished working on Cowboy Bebop recruiting over 50 drivers for their next block of filming all around Auckland and the biggest thrill was being able to bring on so many highly experienced and qualified drivers from other industries whose normal driving (or flying!) jobs are on hold.
I'm sure everyone internally roll their eyes every time they hear me say that all I care about is getting people work but after 16 years, I'm still madly in love with the film industry and bringing others into our whanau is what motivates me.
So - if you're a driver, hit Get Listed and if you're a production needing any drivers across any department anywhere in New Zealand - from runners to long haul, one off transfers of vehicles to longer gigs, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
In the meantime, I'm currently writing this as I sit on a bus that's taking me to Hamilton and my new dream car that I've been lusting after ever since I had the privilege of driving Mindy Kaling in one on A Wrinkle In Time in 2017. This really truly is a dream coming true and every day I can't imagine how life could get any better but every day it just does...
This was my awful day at work today. It was torture having to entertain ourselves for the whole day in Matakana in between swings. We dragged ourselves round the markets, stuffed ourselves silly, sat through Ad Astra then trekked up the Omaha beach, getting back just in time for wrap.
We're so happy to welcome Robyn, Ness, Frances and Angie in Auckland, Lisa in Wellington, Rick in New Plymouth, Tony in Taupo and Rory and Maurice in Chch to our expanding team. Branded Hi Viz's on their way ;-)
We've now hit the 50 Film Drivers mark. I've always said that when we hit 50, the freely downloadable list will come off the website and any enquiries will come through me.
It's both exciting yet hectic times for the film industry right now so we're looking forward to slotting as many drivers into the mayhem as possible...
Lets get this Power/Base Set Up gig on the calendar. No-one put up their hand to run it but a few of you said you'd be happy to contribute. Our goal is for every film driver to be able to rock up to a new unit or tech base and at the very least, power and level up their own vehicle (if it's needed). Ideally we could have access to the different versions of power and cables they might need to know about then tactics for adverse weather, access etc. And you'll think of more aspects we need to know.
So many of you have been in the game so long I'm anticipating there will be a lot of information coming from all angles including best practise, learnt-the-hard-way short cuts, reasons why something is done a certain way etc and, personally, I can't wait to learn from the old hands (get your minds out of the sucker truck - you know what I mean!)
I propose Nov 2 somewhere out West Auckland. Leave a comment if you're interested and/or if you can help with venue/vehicle/gear etc to use as demo.
One of our favourite filming locations in Auckland is www.jonkersfarm.co.nz The owners, the vehicles, the animals, and scenery and back drops as far as the eye can sea! If you're looking for a superb location just out of Auckland, get hold of Greg asap. They've got a few windows of availability between mayhem...
Kia ora Film Whanau. Film Drivers is needing drivers to represent in the regions that we can call on for the smaller gigs. It doesn't matter so much if you're normally in another dept or even if you've been out of the circus for a while - it's more that you've been crew, have a few clues, can read a call sheet, operate a radio and know the location/on set process. Any licenses and endorsements are helpful. Looking forward to hearing from you or yours here...
With our 12+hr long haul swings up and down the country recently and still having to manage this new and rocketing business, I had to find a way to still communicate.
I downloaded a few different apps but they would only do one thing well, and not much else. In the end, I went back to "Hey Google". The first time I downloaded the assistant, I found out that Tech Rage is worse that Road Rage but I persisted and now we have a patchy but functional relationship that has cut my need to pull over by 90%!
Having blue tooth on the stereo helps immensely too so in future, any vehicles we buy will have bluetooth installed - safety first - sweet sounds second!
A few of our drivers have those mic/ear piece gadgets. How much does this cut down phone interaction?
Any other tips we'd find helpful?
What do you do?
This from the Taranaki police...
When Production give you three minutes notice that you have a flight in 4 minutes and security take a year to measure your swiss army knife!