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Cake day: July 2nd, 2023

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  • Right!? Your average person does not understand the basics of how performance arts in general interface with the law. The perceptions of Producers is really messed up.

    In film it is exacerbated a little because some people are primed to look at actors producing as an honorary role and not a practical one. Sometimes the bar does get lowered a bit to accomodate a big name by delegating a lot of the less fun bits but they are still effectively an employer and they can swing their weight around .

    There’s also a bit of a perception of above the line crew members by the rest of us where Producers and Directors are basically allowed to break a lot of the rules. Due diligence means we inform them of the risk but they are free to ignore it if they really want to do something that damages equipment or wastes time they are the ones paying for it so if they want to be dumb that’s their privilege.

    When it comes to human safety though there are a few people authorized to veto things. Crew and cast are allowed to refuse unsafe work (which is risky because we don’t need to be fired, we can just not be hired on for the next job), the 1stAD who acts as the executive representative of the production liability on the set can say veto directors and producers and the Production Manager is the authority who operates on behalf of the Producers to protect their dumb butts from liability. But Producers ultimately have final say and often no consequences.

    It’s really interesting to me that fire dancing gets the same perception even without all the mess in the middle.


  • It is a sad fact that our industry is treated and often treats itself so often as an exception to the conventions of a workplace. A lot of it has to do with novel input and output. At our core though we are an industry and the rules aren’t different. It’s just the context of process is more difficult to grock then in other applications of the laws. Producers on indy productions tend to think of their creative role primarily and often consider that they are an employer with responsibilities and duty of care of their employees only belatedly… And society tends to treat them as though they are functionally airhead babies who can’t be held accountable because “how could they know better”.

    It’s their job to know better. They often don’t because a studio tends to have internal means of enforcing safety to protect their investments… But if there’s nobody and no process to stop you making decisions that kill someone then liability is your reward. Indy shows don’t have the safety valve infrastructure and protections union or big studio shows do and that cuts more than one way.


  • Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally discharged a live round under very similar conditions to the lethal event shortly before the fatal accident. Crew members had lodged formal complaints to the Production Manager and many left in protest when these issues were not addressed because it being a non union show there was no other authority to appeal to for better safety standards. The number of armourers they had was not nearly enough for the volume of the show. It not just that they hired crappy ones that violated every common sense rule that exists in the wider body of film. This was a firestorm of factors.

    A lot of the issues are that people do not understand film structure, safety culture and just how regimented things are when done properly. The burden of context required is high and the structure of productions as temporary entities makes it really hard to prosecute and honestly if we weren’t dealing with a face people know this would be easier. The fact he was literally holding the smoking gun means you have two separate but related culpabilities.

    People have been charged in film for these incidents in the past. The fact the prosecution didn’t adhere to proper process does mean there should be a redo… But to dismiss it with prejudice sends a message to these indy films that playing with fire and ignoring flagrant safety violations that would have you instantly shut down on a union show is okay and that is unacceptable.


  • The issues with the US bulling their way in here is that while they set themselves up as the arbiters of free speech… these are not your counties. These are democratic institutions who have made independently made these decisions based on their concepts of what constitutes safeguarding the welfare of their citizens. They have determined that repeat targetted provably untrue propaganda based out of intellectual dishonesty that is designed to leave people angry at minorities creates conditions where people logically come to the conclusion that the killing, oppressing and subjugation of people to the point they see death as preferable to life is not okay.

    The version of “free speech” that constantly gets toted as a universal good is essentially an experiment. When you see how something is functionally shaping your society and you see that while aspects of it are very healthy and cause additional stability and protection to people but a misuse is causing some people to be treated as subhuman then it’s time to amend the rules. A government should be held accountable for the welfare of all it’s citizens and those non-citizens whom it has temporary sovereignty over. Each country has the right to determine how best to initiate that directive. You are very welcome to defend your version of free speech as defined by American sensibilities on American ground, but American meddling in the ethics of countries whose value systems deal in more nuance would be very unwelcome. Quite frankly since the application of “free speech” under American terms has caused so much political stratification in their own homeland to the point where civil war or a breakdown of other democratic norms are snowballing they need to see to their own house before they can critique other nations.


  • I work film and am outraged at the dismissal. What a lot of people neglected to grasp is because they were focused on whether or not Baldwin pulled the trigger is that the trigger wasn’t completely relevant to the crime.

    Even if Baldwin wasn’t the one holding the gun, even if was in the hands of a completely different actor, he should have been charged as part of the Producers for failing to provide a safe work environment. When these sort of things happen we should be asking who was in charge of providing a safe environment, were they made aware of the dangers and why didn’t they stop them. If you are fronting the money, have creative control and hiring and firing power and are cced on safety issues your crew brings up as concerns it’s your duty to make sure your crew is safe… And there were so many red flags on Rust you could have seen them from fucking space. People were leaving the show because they didn’t feel safe. Saying a seasoned actor / Producer would have been unaware while not just being on set but directly interfacing with the process is complete ludacris.

    We talk about Brandon Lee but we should be talking about Sarah Jones. When she was killed by unsafe choices made by Production three out of four Producers on the project, everyone who could not claim complete perfect ignorance of the choices made, were charged criminally.

    This is a sad day for American film labor. Appearantly bosses have no direct liability to keep us safe anymore.


  • There are many examples of House Elves in the books who treat essentially the single one who was freed and happy about it as an abnormality. Look at how Dobby is reacted to by every other house elf. Hermione’s advocacy that they have autonomy is ultimately treated as being something only an extreme minority of their population would want and her continued efforts treated as comedy.

    Effectively house elves are narrativly speaking a subservient slave species whom treating poorly is narrativly punished… but emancipation is not desired by the whole and they feel fulfilled as long as their masters treat them well. The profiting from their labor is framed as mutually beneficial.


  • I don’t know if Hermione is strictly a self insert any more than her other characters are, we just sort of assume that because she’s the girl. Oftentimes we see Rowling pop up in the framing devices and not the characters themselves. We are always drawn to some conclusion the plot wants us to. Often what Hermione does is a lampshading technique. She brings up the issues around moral issues but we are lead to see her concerns and advocacy as invalid as the plot makes them inconvenient or proven to be incorrect. It’s the actions speak louder senario. What the characters individually say is not wholly important because from an authorial standpoint some of them are intended to be misguided and Hermione is framed as good-hearted but ultimately misguided.

    Hermione’s sense of moral objection is treated more often as a flaw, an annoyance to her peers and unneeded or even counter to the needs of by the people she is advocating for. She is more closely aligned to a caracature of how JKR veiws advocates of minority rights then a reflection of her own advocacy. That every other character tends to just ignore Hermione isn’t veiwed as a tragic instance. It’s played for comedy.



  • I have a pet theory that facism is very much an inability to look in the mirror but when someone else does it it’s a different story. The first country out of the countries assumed to be… Let’s say predominantly assumed Christian in heritage and treat each other as peers - the ones who serve as the closest analog of mutually assumed standards - becomes the first adopter of Facism. That might be the actual shock that shuts down facism elsewhere. Wherever does it first seems to me likeliest to become the example that causes people on the fence to snap out of it.

    Pre WWII there were facist groups on the rise everywhere. While it’s possible it may have been more in reaction to Germany’s sudden expansionism the drop off of those who were heading into moderate support towards facist groups could have been essentially just realizing what your ideology looks like fully complete from the outside for the first time and being repulsed.

    I have zero anything to back this up. Maybe it’s more just a hope than anything.








  • You miss my point. What mens advocacy groups are missing is that they aren’t doing the primary work required. They just kind of expect that stating the issues are enough.

    Like let’s take the mens shelter thing. Cool. I agree… So Where do I donate? Who is doing the admin? What’s the aim, the targets. What is the method? Who’s talking to the accountants and doing the paperwork and signing the papers. Are you seeking a grant? Who’s filing it? Who’s name is on the lease for the property? Who do I contact to volunteer my time?

    … Wait you want me to be that guy who creates all that framework? You want me to pay for the lawyers and, wrangle the committee and spend my nights arranging experts and to set up the charity? Okay… Why me exactly? I am a transmasc non-binary person fighting for my union to cover trans healthcare and showing up to city halls to stop book bans and bathroom bills. I totally have like 5 hours free on a Tuesday you can have or maybe $50 out of my pocket to an organized cause but that’s not exactly gunna help you unless someone does the framework to make that useful…and I am sorry but like hell am not about to throw myself on that particular beaurcratic sword. Doing that for a cause that directly effects my security to exist in public is hard enough.

    Saying “we should have men’s shelters” is not giving someone a actionable task. People love actionable tasks! They are easy : show up here and protest, go here and donate, go here to run a fundraiser, volunteer here sign this petition etc etc etc… But just plunking "We need mens shelters somewhere is basically low key implying you aren’t personally asking the listener to do anything… Or you are asking them to do everything. Like I can totally agree all these things are worthy endeavors… But you aren’t giving me a framework here for my endorsement to translate into anything helpful. Okay. Shelters got it I agree. Job done, argument won. Victory. Woo.

    Doing the primary work is not fun or intuitive or easy. But what it CAN be is managed by a very small team. The initial investment is always in personal time money and extreme frustration and growing the thing takes patience.

    Look to the LGBTQIA model and you will find a myriad of different small independent groups generally focused around singular letters of the acronym who have a diehard core and damn near always the people who founded them were the people who experienced the problem directly or the surviving loved ones of people who died. The circle of secondary supporters are usually more varied but the Leaders basically need to be able to devote at least around 100 man hours apeice per year doing pretty intense work that involves a lot of key decision making. If you really are fired up about making this thing real that’s the bit that needs to be done so other people can push it. Or find someone already doing the thing and support them. Amplify their message and organization. Grow them.

    Allies are also more likely if you create solidarity. Try partnering with a women’s shelter group to learn their process, reach out to the Gay community to tap their activism networks by explaining how your interests intersect, cross promote. Be prepared to reciprocate. Nobody likes selfish people who take up all the oxygen in the room. People will find time to help people who make reasonable direct asks that respect the time and resources needed to attend to their own admin first.

    But in general I don’t see this engagement style from cis straight men’s activism groups. A lot of the time they seem to be fairly unhealthy because they just want to ruminate on how life sucks while practically nobody steps up to the plate to do the critical and nessisary front work. I just hear “women don’t care”, “nobody cares” “this should happen”… But what I NEVER hear “Okay, here’s our plan. Let’s meet.” “do this.” “support this.” “here’s how to effectively ask for this”, “support this court case” “I’m throwing a fundraiser” “let’s build our own shelter”… If you aren’t asking these things of each other then you have zero business demanding it of anyone else.

    And if someone comes at me with “well I DO run or support a thing but nobody seems to care…” there’s usually some kind of reason why people aren’t latching. Chances are good if you aren’t crowing your most modest successes as wins and keeping hope and optimism as your center people are going to doubt your ability to deliver on your intentions. You can’t afford to mope, you need to change your approach, experiment and figure out what your winning formula is, replicate it, amplify it CELEBRATE it.

    Because if no one actually cares… If you can’t advocate, If that actually is the implicit nature of the world there is no sense in complaining. You are fucked. You might as well go down fighting.

    I keep wanting to light a fire under your asses. These things are worth fighting for but so often you don’t realize what you are doing to yourselves. You keep reinforcing your learned helplessness while looking at stuff that people worked damn hard to make real through individual personal effort and sighing over how that isn’t happening for you. That stuff didn’t just pop up out of the ground because someone clapped their hands and believed in fairies. Somebody get boots on the fucking ground already!

    If you can’t find someone doing the admin for the thing that’s your ride or die issue then you have to create one and chances are good that person is gunna have to be you. Nobody is generally lining up to take that gig… You can keep trying to convince rando people to try and take on your heaviest burdens but chances are all its going to do is make you angry when they just shoulder their own pack leaving you with nothing but a few kind words of encouragement before moving on down the road. You get a lot more faith in humanity when you hand them an item or two from your pack to carry for you as most people will help you out under that circumstance.


  • That’s not quite what I mean. It’s not that they are enemies of each other it is just that reciprocity is a road to success. A lot of the LGBTQIA for instance is solidarity based. Everyone has their main concern that focuses their own needs. Like folks who push for asexual stuff is different than say trans stuff. You wouldn’t go to an allosexual trans person to get your marching orders for organizing for Ace things or vice versa. They have independent agendas and groups who do the main work. Successful adgendas put in the primary effort and give lower effort tasks to do to allies.

    Like okay, example. There’s the regular list of regular concerns from men’s advocacy groups. Education accommodations to close gaps for students and resources for domestic abuse shelters for men. Those are two very common issues. On their own however it doesn’t matter how often you say it, I could agree with you those would be good thing but that isn’t enough…

    You need someone dedicated to actually create the initiative. Maybe organize a group of psychology professionals to advocate to a school board for changes or set up a non-profit to get shelters going… Governments generally only adopt things once a model has been tested so just getting shit done to prove your model has to usually be grassroots : That’s the stuff that a primary organizer does. It’s tough work. It takes a lot of free time and dedication. There’s admin aspects where you need to talk to professionals, get a dedicated core of like minded people together and point them in a direction, deal with a lot of very impassioned ideas clashing against each other and hours of effort. It’s a frustrating blood, sweat and tears endeavor. Most people have the energy at most to do one of these maybe two during their lifetime. A lot of people can’t manage it even once. Chances are nobody is going to sign on to help you with this generally unless they got enough skin in your game.

    Look back at the history of the LGBTQIA and you will find hundreds of fairly small groups working this way for very specific initiatives. The main people of those group’s cores are usually either people of that specific queer minority who are directly effected or family or friends of a minority member who died.

    But what a primary group creates is secondary tasks. Maybe they create the charity that does the main work and other people who want to help but don’t have time to volunteer kick money into it. The primary group organizes the protest and post the posters and reach out to allies… and all the allies need to do is show up.

    With a lot of men’s advocacy groups there’s this toothless helplessness where they aren’t asking people to join in to do secondary tasks. They just state problems that exist. It kind of comes across to groups that are more used to organizing like they aren’t giving trying to give someone a job they are trying to convince you to start their small business for them from scratch.