Thursday, June 14, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 10 - Abby Green

Those of you who were reading this blog in January and February will already know a fair bit about Abby Green who is one of M&B Modern and Harlequin Presents newer siginings. Abby had her very first book - Chosen as The Frenchman's Bride - out in January, her second The Brazilian's Blackmail Bargain was published in May (and you can still find it on Amazon if you missed it). This book will be out in America in August.

Her third title - the Kouros Marriage Revenge (she's been pretty busy!) will be published in UK Paperback in September.

As you'll know if you've read her author biography in her books and from the fact that I talked about it on my blog - Abby still works in the film industry in Dublin - she's probably out 'shooting' two football teams of five year olds as I write this! Abby's 'day job' is why she was able to arrange the wonderful dinner Anne McAllister and I enjoyed with James Nesbitt when we visited Ireland a few months ago.

So when I asked Abby to write something on the theme of 50 for the blog party, she naturally turned to her life pre-publication to do so. She's also included some great photos of life on a set.

So here you are -

Abby Green's FIFTY…lesser known truths about the film industry

1. All sparks (electricians) have hairy bums
2. The first person in the lunch queue will be a spark
3. The second person in the lunch queue will be a spark
4. The extras will always go back for second helpings…of everything
5. Extras always arrive at least an hour early, even if the call is for 5am
6. The crew, despite a movement order and map to the location will, without fail get lost
7. The assistant directors are the universal scapegoats
8. The director is never the smart, gorgeous, intelligent person he is usually portrayed as in books or films
9. The second assistant director is, except no-one knows who they are so they’re never portrayed in books or films
10. The photocopier is a production runner’s (lowest of the low) best friend
11. Paper cuts are the only way they know they’re still alive
12. For the duration of a job, much of it is done in a sleep deprived stupor
13. It really isn’t glamorous
14. At all
15. Especially in the rain
16. And muck
17. At six am in the morning
18. The drivers are the wisest people on the crew and it’s good to recognize that early on
19. Wisest after the second assistant director
20. Wardrobe, Hair and MakeUp people are sometimes called ‘the fluffies’
21. But if you call them that they will kill you
22. When a MakeUp artist tells you they need ten minutes with an actor, add ten minutes
23. When a Hair person tells you they need twenty minutes with an actor, add ten minutes
24. Despite their intelligence, if a driver tells you it’ll take 45 minutes to get an actor to the location, toss a coin and either add fifteen minutes or subtract fifteen minutes, either way (pardon my French) you’re screwed
25. When an actor tells you that no, they don’t want to be allowed time for breakfast, add fifteen minutes to their call time because when they arrive, they will want breakfast
26. The locations department have the worst job on a film, after the production runner
27. The camera department works under a hierarchy that dates back to the ark
28. The Production Manager is an elusive creature, they hire you and then they disappear
29. Especially when you need them to sign off on a time sheet
30. As an trainee assistant director/runner/PA, you will spend many, many boring hours stopping cars/people from walking up a road that is ten miles away from the camera
31. This is as exciting as it gets for a long time when you start out
32. And this is invariably in the rain when you still haven’t cottoned onto the fact that rain gear is vital
33. Generally and bizarrely, the more famous an actor is the nicer they are
34. The less well known an actor is has a directly proportionate effect on their obnoxiousness
35. If the special effects department is required to blow out one window in a street of terraced houses, guaranteed when it comes to shooting, every other window will blo

w out except that one
36. And then locations have to pick up the pieces, literally
37. The Sound department can actually hear a plane fly over New Delhi
38. Or so they would have you believe
39. Even when in a field ten miles outside Dublin
40. The Script Supervisor will always be late for work
41. And they can always be found on the back of the props truck hiding in a corner doing their notes
Assistant Directors'(ie Abby's) Production Office
42. The best boy on the credits is a misnomer
43. The best boy is just another hairy bottomed spark who does paperwork
44. The Grips invented the dolly (like a mechanical pram) on which the camera sits in an effort to learn how to walk upright
45. They’re still learning
46. The first assistant director shouts a lot
47. The third assistant director shouts even more
48. And the trainee, ten miles away will shout Rolling! even louder even though no-one can hear them

49. The last week of a shoot is always consumed by finding out what job is coming up and how you can get on it
50. That’s why a lot of producers go up to pretty young girls and tell them they’ve got a big one coming up and they want them on it


Abby has a signed copy of her new book - The Kouros Marriage Revenge - to give away. To win just answer this

What's the worst job and the best job you've ever had in your life?

As always, post your answer in the comments and Abby will be along to chat with you when she's finished shooting


juliemt said...

The worst job I ever had was teaching English as a foreign language to a bunch of hormonal sixteen year olds who were more interested in flirting, the beach and getting drunk than in learning the present participle.

The best job I ever had - working in a bookshop. Pure bliss! (And the employee's discount is just fantastic!)


CrystalGB said...

The worst job I have ever had was working in a hot, unairconditioned car parts factory during the summer.
The best job I have had is my secretary job I have now. It is easy and the people are nice.

Anonymous said...

Worst job: Working at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan--$6/hr and you have to have a college degree. Plus it was just opening and the management decided to appoint a bunch of entry-level obnoxious people as 'first booksellers' which meant they wielded authority over everyone else in ridiculous, petty ways... ugh! Just thinking about it...

Best job: What I have now--writing for Mills & Boon! Also teaching drama to choirboys in Cambridge when I was first married. I was pregnant, and to get my attention, they'd poke my bump and say 'Pardon, Miss'. It was very cute :)

Anonymous said...

The worse job I ever had was working in the NAAFI kitchens in Germany - I had to give it up because I ended up allergic to something there and had a nasty rash all over my legs :(
The best job I ever had (and still have) is mother to my five children.

Anonymous said...

Best job has to be my job now: I get to fall in love with a new hero every couple of months, can pick up and put down the work around my children, and I have to do research...

Worst... being a trainee accountant. I could do the work but I loathed the atmosphere and attitudes. And all the clients kept asking me how come I wasn't working in marketing or PR :o) (Took me 9 months to escape, but I did indeed go to a marketing job. Where I wrote for a living. Phew!)

Anonymous said...


The worst job I ever had was raking blueberries. You were at it in a hot field from 8 am till 6 pm, bent over double raking in the sun, at the mercy of every mosquito and black fly in Maine, and just when you were starting to get into the rhythm of it, you would rake up a big pile of bear s**t. And to top it all off, at night you would dream of blueberries--the biggest, hugest, juiciest ones, just out of your reach.

My best job is boring as it's being a writer. I actually started writing my first romance novel after blueberry raking, most likely in a desperate bid to escape.

Though at least I never had crows of doubt when I was raking blueberries.

Lois said...

Well, I haven't had a best yet, but I guess being a hospital volunteer, that would be in the rewarding category, if not easy. LOL

Worst, the healthy fast food place I worked at for a month full of weekends. Pooh.


Anonymous said...

The most fun job that I've had was as a flight attendant. I'd pretty much always work by choice in what they called the pit of a 747. The pit was the underfloor galley where all the food was cooked and sent up for the first and business class passengers. Sometimes the elevator would become inoperative and I'd have great fun in seeing the surprise on the faces of the passengers as my head popped out of the escape hatch in the middle of the cabin floor.

The worst job probably would have been working as a nanny to a little boy from a super rich Greek family. I love children but he was an absolute monster, spoiled rotten and just a brat. Now if he'd had a Presents type uncle I might have been persuaded to stay longer as his nanny..No such luck.

Once I sell my first Presents then writing will be my best job to date.I have to admit I'm loving the process,m all except the waiting that is...


Cherie J said...

The worst job I have ever had was the time I worked as a cashier and was let go on my birthday. Talk about a lousy birthday gift. My favorite job was a temporary one doing mailings. My boss was very sweet and was always treating his employees to free lunches. I thought it was nice of him to include me even though I was a temp.

Anonymous said...

carolc said...

Great post Abby, really made me lol.

I guess I could wrap my best and worst job up in one. Working in the banana fields on a kibbutz in Israel. Waking up at 5am (generally with a hangover) and working for no money wasn't great, but I had a whale of a time and it was quite nice not to have any responsibility whatsoever.

robynl said...

Best job was as a Confidential Secretary to the Labour Relations Manager at a hospital in the Personnel Dept.

Worst job was a housekeeper/babysitter for a blended family - six kidlets total. I cooked, baked, did the lady's hair before she went to work, etc. You get the picture.

Amanda Ashby said...

Abby - you are so funny- what a great post!!!

My worst job was sitting in a room filled with cut up foam and stuffing it into brown vinyl tubes so that they could become giant echidna quills (yet another weird Australian animal - this one looks like a hedgehog) for a float in a big parade. Surprising as it might sound, after a week of making flopping quills, the float people decided to try and make fibreglass ones instead!!!!

As for my best job, it would have to be the one where I sit around all day watching Buffy reruns and drinking diet coke. Of course there is a slight hitch in that I don't really get paid to do this, but it seems such a shame to waste my obvious talents in this direction!!

Unknown said...

The worst job I ever had was working in a factory making magizines. You would feed magizine pages in these machines 12 hours a day and they always gave you more machines then you could feed so you went at a dead run for 12 hours just trying to keep up.

The best job I had was working part time in a doctors office, the older patients were so sweet. That one only lasted 3 months, you win some and you loose some.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all so much for posting your best and worst jobs...Julie I can totally feel the back breaking nature of the work and that desire for the biggest juiciest blueberry!
One of my first jobs ever was in a restaurant in Dublin - it's an american place and run on american lines, so when I was told by the manager after my interview that I had a job as a busboy I ran home all excited to my mother but said to her: 'But she said something about getting a bus to work, she won't know if I really get a bus will she?' - this was because we lived about ten minutes from the restaurant. Needless to say I soon realised what the term 'bus' really meant...
Thanks again and will let Kate know soon who the winner is...
x Abby

Michelle Styles said...

Best job: being a mother. Being a writer is up there but I love my children and seeingthem grow up and become persons in their own right has been so rewarding.

Worst job: being a mother -- particularly when it involves cleaning up various things like sick etc. I do it out of love, not because I like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi there again. All your replies have been brilliant and thanks so much for sharing, I hope I didn't bring up too many bad memories for anyone!!! It was a toss up between Julie and Chris in the end, the thought of all those blueberries (!)...but I'm going to have to go with...drum roll...Chris!!! And it's because her horrible work of looking after a spoiled brat brought back my own memories of au pairing in France when I was eighteen. I had to look after a homicidal nine year old girl and a maniac eighteen month old boy who she kept trying to kill. Not a good summer! So Chris in case I don't have your address, will you email it to me again: again everyone and Kate for such a great party!
x Abby

Sue A. said...

I once got a summer job working at a seafood packing company. I did various jobs like vacuum sealing and packing. The worst day involved quality control when a bad batch of geoduck came through. The company was not one to waste anything salvageable, so they had us all doing a smell test to determine whether it was good or bad. The place already reeked, since processing geoduck meant putting in through boiling water to enable the skin to be peeled off. So having to take a close up whiff was at the very least unpleasant. And if you don't know what a geoduck looks like, imagine a giant clam with a large appendage protruding out of it. Its commonly referred to as "elephant trunk clam". Even The Discovery Channel thinks it is a dirty job since the program Dirty Jobs did an episode on geoduck farming, harvesting and cooking.

When it comes to food, what you don't know can't hurt you.

Anonymous said...

Sue! Eeeuuuwwww!!! Yuck...
x Abby

Anonymous said...

Thanks Abby/Daisy I'm delighted. I must admit that thinking about that little brat did bring me out in goosebumps..

Your experience sounded awful too..


Email address on the way to you.


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