Saturday, June 03, 2006

declaration of principles

work can come out of nowhere in this freelance life.

today i turned on my phone to find a message from some guy in salt lake whom i knew by name only. he was looking for a loader on a movie in town next week. monday through friday, paying good rates with a good-sounding crew; three panavision cameras [easiest cameras to load] on a nice truck and shooting all days [no nights]. just what i needed, i called my baseball boss to see if he could part with me for a week. it turns out they had called him for the same job... he told me to go for it, so i called the guy back and said to count me in.
wow. maybe i could afford to ghana to next month.

when i gave him my e-mail address,, he asked if i was a byu student. i replied that i was a cougar, and he told me that this movie was rated-r, and asked if i was uncomfortable with that. i appreciated his consideration on that, i asked to have some time to think about it.

talking about it with a friend on the phone, the answer came more clearly than i thought it would.
most jobs outside of the mtc [which happens to be where my friend teaches] are going to bring with them a less than ideal environment. coarse language is unfortunately difficult to avoid. and i have worked on several projects where the crew members cursed so frequently that they may as well have been doing a scene from 'goodfellas.'

but the difference with doing an r-rated movie is that my name will be attached to it. i will be working to produce a product that will not be something i am pleased to be connected with [and i am speaking from a moral standpoint, not artistic; i did work on 'the r.m.', after all]. i try to take my job seriously, giving my effort and time to and end result that i feel is worthy to have 'jeff gustafson' appear at the end of it.

that understanding provided the answer and reasoning i was looking for.
the choice was no longer a question.

i went through nearly every camera-friend in my phone in trying to find someone to take my job--it did give me a chance to get caught up with some old school friends, and in the end i did find someone to take the job.

that has always been a bit of a question for me.
it feels good to have an answer now.


Alyssa Rock said...

Interesting moral dilemma, Jeff. It's important to listen to your feelings.

Speaking of R-rated movies, I wanted to tell you about a handy little contraption that our Mormon neighbors have. It's a DVD player by a company called Clear Play. For a monthly subscription, you can download an unlimited number of DVD filters for any movie. You put it into your Clear Play DVD player and it will edit the stuff out for you. The extra nice thing about it is that you can personalize the settings... like you can change which content it filters out and how heavily it edits it. So, it gives you a little more personal control over the editing process. Our neighbors like it because they don't have to live by a CleanFlix to filter their movies.

As you know, it would be against my principles to own such a machine, but I did think it would interest you nonetheless. :P

Oh... and the first movie you should watch on it is Run Lola Run. Such a great film and definitely one that you would like. Only R for three German f-words (and some mild violence). Sometimes I think the rating board says "Oh, it's German? Don't bother watching, just give it an R."

Em said...

Jeff - that's a hard decision to make, especially when you need work. I'm not entirely certain what I would do in your situation... so good job working it all out inside. And I appreciate that you would find someone else to take the job instead of just telling them know - shows what kind of an awesome responsible person you are.

PS - I got your postcard from Kyoto yesterday, made my day!