The drawback is that I feel far less comfortable letting loose with my actual internal monologue, curmudgeonly thing that it is. Luckily, Below the Line has no such compunctions, and can freely call it like she sees it. Snip:
But there are a few details that can clue you in, either during the initial meetings about a production, or on the first day, to the fact that you are in for a bumpy ride. Here are some of them.
1) "This is such a great project!"
Hearing this from someone who is trying to hire you for a movie is generally an indication that
a) You will not get paid or
b) You will get paid very little and, in fact,
c) Probably nobody is getting paid, because
d) There is no money in the budget for just about anything.
This generally can lead to conclusion
e) The job is going to most likely have inexperienced crew, bad/tiny locations, not enough equipment, bad catering, long days because they're trying to cram an insane amount into them and don't have to pay overtime…so in other words, it ain't going to be pretty.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard this particular refrain here in indie-friendly Portland, Oregon. I don't mind it, but I do mind getting the self-righteous indignation that I inevitably encounter when I politely refuse free work for strangers. Just because you're convinced you're going to Cannes doesn't mean that I'm making the mistake of the century by not recognizing your particular brand of cinematic genius.