By now, most of you have probably heard Christian Bale’s expletive-ridden tirade from the set of Terminator: Salvation, a four minute+ outburst triggered by the Director of Photography stepping into Bale’s line of sight during filming. A lot of you are expressing outrage at the actor’s behavior. Others, seeking to defend him, are quick to point out that the audio clip was taken out of context and that we’re not privy to the circumstances surrounding the incident. Maybe it was very late in the day, everyone was exhausted, and they were struggling to wrap a crucial yet emotionally-charged scene! Yeah, and maybe the DP in question was a notorious puppy-killer and slumlord directly responsible for the shutting down of three separate orphanages. But I doubt it.
Let’s get one thing straight. Production can be very stressful and the occasional outbursts do happen. It’s to be expected and, frankly, in most cases, excusable. But not when it goes on for over FOUR FREAKING MINUTES! And to do it in front of the entire crew?! THAT is the height of unprofessional behavior. I mean, seriously. At some point, you cross the line between justifiably upset and thoroughly unhinged. By my estimation, it’s the one minute and twenty-three second mark.
So how does something like this affect an actor’s prospect for future employment? Well, quite honestly, it depends on the actor. If it’s someone like Bale who has proven himself highly bankable in the past, it probably won’t. If it’s some schmo who just landed his first big acting gig, it probably will. No one likes dealing with unpleasant people but, at the end of the day, it’s a reality of any workplace. Happily, however, there are occasions when the squeaky wheel gets the shaft – and don’t discount the sweet surprise of karmic retribution.
And what has this incident taught us, if anything? Well, how about the fact that despite the good vibes you may get off your t.v. screen, a magazine interview or, say, a daily blog, people can surprise you. Sometimes, in the worst way possible. The seemingly reliable combo of public persona and your own gut instincts may prove fallible and fail to provide an accurate read. So what’s an interested fan to do? Well, they can read interviews from fellow actors, directors, or producers but, let’s face it – at the end of the day, anything they say should be taken with a grain of salt because they’re always going to be very politick. But crew members, on the other hand, don’t have to be politick, only discreet. So here’s my secret advice to the congenitally curious: If you want to get the real story and truly separate the princes from the pricks and the beauties from the bitches, then get to know the men and women who spend the greater part of their days on set with these people: the grips, the gaffers, the sound mixers, and, oh yeah, the directors of photography. After a few drinks I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to dish on which actors are the self-centered knobs, which directors the temperamental control freaks, and which producers the type to kick a craft service guy in the nuts for serving them a lukewarm latte.
In conclusion – don’t trust your instincts. Just because someone plasters pictures of their pooches all of their blog doesn’t necessarily mean they’re generous, good-natured souls. Remember, Leona Helmsley was a dog-lover!
A gentle reminder to those of you looking to take part in next month’s book of the month club discussions that you can find the titles and discussion dates on the right sidebar. And for those you not looking to take part – a not so gentle nudge. PICK UP AND READ THE DAMN BOOKS! Weigh in with your questions and comments and win some swag (Check out BOTMC regular Sparrowhawk’s recent haul – pictured above).
INFOQUAKE, David Louis Edelman
“Infoquake is a stunning debut novel by a lucid, precise, and talented new voice in the genre.” (Rob H. Bedford, SFFWorld).
“A high-speed, high-spirited tale of capitalist skullduggery.” (Norman Spinrad, Asimovs).
“The book deserves all the praise it has garnered, and then some! Only rarely will a debut author produce the sort of work which habitually comes from celebrated veterans.” (Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist).
Discussion the week of February 23rd with author David Louis Edelman
THE BOOK OF JOBY, Mark J. Ferrari
“A decidedly unorthodox twist on the personalities of God and the devil that offers much to ponder as well as enjoy.” (Booklist).
“…one of the more surprising and delightful fantasies that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in years …could be the fantasy debut of the year.” (Robert Thompson, FantasyBookCritic.blogspot.com).
“The Book of Joby is a rare gem, the kind that is only seen once every generation or so–a novel that sparkles with wit and charm, humor and wisdom, courage and compassion.” (David Farland, author of Sons of the Oak).
Discussion the week of March 2nd with author Mark J. Ferrari.
DOGS, Nancy Kress
“… Dogs is the kind of thriller that continually makes you want to turn the pages faster than you can read them.” (Greg L. Johnson, SF Site).
“The suspense ratchets up in this perfect vacation read.” (Booklist).
“A spine-chilling, suspense-laden story of pets turned unwitting killers. Kress brings her thorough knowledge of genetics and biology to bear in this nicely creepy thriller.” (Publisher’s Weekly).
Discussion the week of March 9th with author Nancy Kress.
By the way, I’m truly loving all of the childhood misconceptions you’ve been posting! Keep ’em coming! Your entries reminded me of one more: There were snakes in the sewer that could slither up out of your toilet at the most, uh, inopportune moments.
Jon K. writes: “ Any news on when we will hear the rest of the SGU cast announcements?”
Answer: Hopefully by early next week at the latest.
Alexandria writes: “I’ve been pondering what was first mentioned about SGU and how it will be written differently than SGA and SG1. Will it have a similar style to Supernatural?”
Answer: Sorry, I can’t answer that. I’ve never watched the show.
Patricia Lee writes: “What ever happen to your special Weird Food Purchase of the Day: Liquored Up edition in which you sample a shot from each bottle in your Liquor cabinet?”
Answer: I lost my guest host with the departure of Marty G. Happily, several other candidates have been kind enough to volunteer for the position. We’re thinking maybe next weekend.
Kups writes: “I have a bit of a favor to ask. Could you post your Vancouver Resto Recommendation List now?”
Answer: I’ll post it tomorrow. Remind me!
Anais33 a ecrit: “ 1)Savez vous bien skier?
2)Dans le premier épisode de SGU allons nous voir des personnages de stargate SG1?”
Reponses: 1) Non. 2) C’est possible.!
Translation: 1) I don’t ski. 2) Will we any SG-1 characters make an appearance in the SGU season premiere? It’s possible.
AvatarIII writes: “talking of your BOTM, i was wondering if i will ever see, or have ever missed, any of my 3 favourite authors featured? (being Peter F Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, and Dan Simmons)”
Answer: Not yet.
GateFanSamJack writes: “How many script pages should a series like SGU come in at? What’s the count at the act breaks?”
Answer: The length the different acts vary. As for the scripts – aim for longer when you’re writing dialogue-heavy stories, shorter for action-heavy adventures. So far, it’s looking like the SGU scripts will average about 54 pages.
Banderas writes: “What kind of uniforms the Destiny’s crew will have?”
Answer: Depends on the individual.
Shadow Step writes: “Do you plan to do an episode of Universe in 3D?”
Answer: No plans to produce a 3-D episode. Yet!