If I score a decent shot today, my month may work out alright. By ‘alright’ I mean I won’t have to move home to the folk’s garage sofa again. Of course, Hawk is right about money. Anyone would be a fool to do this without some expectation of compensation. Expectations don’t pay the bills though.
I’m sitting at Dr. Hogly Wogly’s, in the Valley no less, trying to collect my thoughts and grab a bite after a disastrous morning. I got the call to door-step Britney, too late. She was long gone by the time I got there. Then, en route to Shiloh’s birthday party, at Casa Vega, I got caught in traffic and construction on Lankershim. One lane in rush hour with a stop light about every twenty feet. It was insane! I could have walked there faster. No wonder no one lives in the Valley. So, I missed that too.
So here I am, thinking I found a quiet place to finally get breakfast at what, one o’clock? And this cockatoo behind me won’t let anyone in the place get any peace. No one will look at her, afraid to become a target.
Even when there is lead time to the shoot, you never know. Nowadays, it’s like a ravening pack of dogs, into it for the love of the chase. Fools think just because they have a smart phone, they’re capable of being pappies. No way.
Of course, if they weasel their way onto a team and get sent out… they may do alright. But ‘til then, you jostle with all the other free lancers, scratching at the pecking order periphery, praying for a flat fee. Then you’ve got your expenses…
Hold it. “Hawk. What you got?… No way! By the airport? LAX? I’m in the Valley. That’s like two hours away, if I’m lucky… What? Van Nuys has an airport? Since when?… Well maybe. Get me something back over the hill can’t you?… Speak up, will you? The woman in the booth behind me is having a baby… Long overdue. Why is JLaw flying out of Van Nuys?… You’re kidding! That was a long time ago. And anyway, that was Paris. She wouldn’t remember that. She loves me… Private jet? Where is the airport?… Oh, right, Van Nuys. Got it… If you say so. Thanks!”
Good. I can finish up here and try to find the Van Nuys Airport in plenty of time. Make my nut for the month.
Some celebs get lonely, or have a show coming out and want people to remember the hot ticket. Not yesterday’s news. They use us to promote their product – them.
Some pappies try to get the goods on them. Make them look bad. Figure someday the animal pix will be worth something. I made that mistake when I first started. Hawk was giving me the business about JLaw. But they need you. And if you can make friends with them, make them look good, they’ll work with you. Make them look like animals, they’ll respond in kind.
There was one time, some starlet of the month… no, not Miley… maybe… Cameron! Well, anyway, she gave one of the cheeky paps a roundhouse with her purse. She must have had a gold brick in it. He went down like a raw oyster. For the count. It took three of us to get him back to his feet again. But not before we got our shots in. Three papers published my pix. Cha-ching! Plus overseas!
I don’t know what he said to her but she let him have it. Her eyes were like pin points. You know, like a cornered animal about to attack? Well she did. Pow!
I wish I had a camera with an f-stop as small as her pupils. Tiny! Talk about depth of field. Everything’s in focus. Here to the moon! She looked psychotic.
Speaking of psychotic, this gal behind me is going to ruin her voice. What is her problem? Am I the only one who hears this?
Technically, it’s so much easier now, with digital and send. Back in the prehistoric film days, some real money could be made with the seller’s market. Now, competition’s stiff and prices are down. It helps to have Hawk watching my back. Couldn’t do it without him.
Hawk is very old school. Ancient history. Remember film? Hawk said, in his day, he had an army of runners taking film to his private lab at any time, day or night. No one could beat him. He’d be there at the clubs all night. What a life. He claims he was there when that Lady Di got it. I doubt it though. Maybe in spirit.
He never made the transition to the whole digital thing. He was there from the beginning though. Now he rides herd on all the baby pappies who think they’re hot salsa. He gets his cut from everyone.
Can someone shut this woman up? What’s the number to 911? How is the guy with her still sitting there? Is he on a leash? Enough!
Of course now, the photo-shop jockey is king. The primitive stuff had genius to it, and wit. But what they can do today makes the old collage style look like cave paintings. They put stuff out now, that never happened and you’d swear it was real. No wonder the courts threw out photo evidence.
Once Hawk told a bunch of us he doesn’t take half the shots he sees. Prefers to keep them in his head. Pure… Something about the moment, the big ‘now’ being lost between the past and the future. I didn’t really follow too much, but I think he was saying something like, you worry about where the shot will end up, in the future. But by the time you get it, it’s all in the past. And the key moment, the ‘now’, he says, gets lost for all the distractions. Really. What do you have if you lose the now?
Hawk says you don’t need graven images to be damned. That’s what he calls film, ‘graven images’. He says some people still worry the camera steals their soul. How ignorant is that?
Wait. The mouth and her hipster lap dog are leaving. She’s still upset. Over what? She’s just walking out. Leaving him to handle all the business. Oh, there’s a limo waiting. Chauffer… Wait. It’s her! You mean JLaw’s been the one revving the chainsaw up my back for the last hour? I could’ve gotten a gazillion shots!
Where’d she get a bouquet from? Then she hits him over the head with it – again! Like what Hawk says. The best shots never make it into the camera. They’re only in your head. But they live on, forever.
Catch ya later. I gotta get to the airport.