i am a gaffer and after waiting for the relevant authorities and/or producers to make an enforceable ruling re maximum hours worked i made my own.
my deal memo/working conditions contract includes a rule which states.
i work a 10 hour day and will work up to two hours overtime at double time if asked politely in advance but:
LIGHTS OUT AT 12 HOURS (THIS IS NOT NEGOTIABLE)
i make it quite clear from the moment of first contact by producers that i will work a maximum 12 hour day which is not negotiable. that is one of my working conditions
and if that is not suitable for you, find someone else.
i have had to enforce this condition 3 times in the last 12 months. needless to say several of the producers have not spoken to me since. (do i look worried....)
i am good at what i do and consider myself an asset to any production, so really it is their loss.
i envy you guys..12hours in a day? i would cut my leg for this :) in Turkey min. worktime is around 20hr/day
The times when I experienced dangerous situations on sets (twice people got close to being killed) was after having worked long hours for multiple days with short turn around times.
Once I was on a production that offered to drive us on long days. Made a huge difference.
I have done 18 hours days for months on end, with no days off, each time I opened a new Restaurant, that got me no life, and a serious draw back on health, in moviemaking business, I decided that this would be much different, I don't work in the Movie Business, I am the Movie Business as much as the Movie Business is Me, I love what I do, and I don't ever fill as if I'm working, and surely I will not only put myself or my crew thru making the work fill heavy and not loved which at the end this is what long hours do, exhaust you, and never get the best of you.
I have my own way of working, and it is and will be so both now as an independent and later with one of the largest facilities this modernized world has ever seen.
Because I firmly believe that the quality of work is always more important then the quantity of it, the fact that I'm no longer a healthy person, (well actually I never was) makes me not been able to afford physically to do so, and I do have great respect for Humanity and their lives.
Oh and also...
Because we are Humans not F^%$#$ing ANIMALS!!
And this article is only discussing the people getting paid decent wages for their work. It gets even worse at the low, ultra low, and micro budget level. Sometimes you're working for a flat day rate, which means ZERO O.T. Less money means less crew which means everyone is working even harder and the physical toll is greater. An 8 hour day on these can be brutal, let alone 10 or 12 + hour days.
I even think 12 hours shooting a day is too much. We have 12 hours days from leaving home to returning home, with 10 hours of shooting mostly. But 14 hours of shooting is insane, for a commercial of a music video once in while it's oke. But for a feature or tv show, with 10-11 hour days i'm already exhausted, have no time for anything else, and the off time i'm worth nothing.
It's all about money and actually its ridiculous people accept it. A union should forbid going overtime more than 14 hours, and overtime hours should be 400% just so producers and studios will plan different. It's to cheap for them now, so they don't really care. If it will cost them a lot of money, then they will care, and start finding other solutions (like more shooting days, less shots, better planning)
It's funny how when a producer tells a director that he has 12 hours max to get the work done, suddenly most directors figure out how to do it.
The problem is that, especially now, work is incredibly scarce, so if you're lucky enough to end up working on a feature film or a commercial, you just don't complain about the extra hours because that's money that gets in your pockets, and no one complains. The good thing is that the minimum turn-around time is applied most of the times.
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