Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dollar Day Redux

The rich really do get richer...

In a post about "Dollar Day" a couple of weeks back, I mentioned that none of the shows I've worked on over the past five years had bothered to exhume the tradition. You can imagine my surprise, then, when the set PA on my current show brought out a big plastic jug for "$5 Dollar Day" on our last shoot night. A very select group of people on the crew even know about this blog, few of whom actually read it, so I don't think that post had anything to do with it.

Still, this is a welcome change. Maybe it was just time.

Whatever the cause, the crew got into the Dollar Day spirit, and after the audience filed out, our star drew the winning bill. I lost once again, of course, continuing a personal tradition stretching back to 1969, but I'm not complaining.*

The winner of the $250 pot? Rather than a PA, grip, juicer, prop man, standby painter, or on-set dresser -- any of whom would have been thrilled to win such a fat bonus -- the big jug 'o bills went to our Director of Photography, who probably grosses close to five grand a week. But hey, it's better to have a happy boss than a surly one, and after counting out his haul, at least he gave the set PA fifty bucks off the top.

All in all, a good night. I'm hoping Dollar Day is here to stay on this show -- and that it doesn't fall prey to the pot-salting greed monsters...

* That win was a big one that may well have saved my life...


Peggy Archer said...

It seems to be show to show. Some shows still do it, others don't.

I'll do dollar day or five dollar day, but lately some of the movies have been doing ten and twenty dollar days.

Too rich for my blood.

Michael Taylor said...

Peg --

I talked to a juicer the other day who worked on "Mad Men" for a while, and reported winning a $2500 Dollar Day pot. A later pot reached $4000 -- but after that, they dialed it down.

I'm with you -- anything more than five dollar day starts getting crazy.

D said...

We do 5 dollar Fridays on just about every show I do. I haven't really ever seen any "abuse" other than the occasional department "seeding" the pot (grips or electrics putting in 20 dollars for the dept etc) It's one of those movie set traditions I like, though I've only won once in 20+ years.

Michael Taylor said...

I like the tradition too -- it's fun, and serves as a a bonding ritual for the crew.

Maybe "abuse" is too strong a word, but I just don't want to see a repeat of the kind of insane frenzy the previous "Dollar Day" post was about.

Then again, that's just me -- other people there that night didn't seem to have a problem with it.