Getting ready to put some things on ebay and found this invoice for the bridge model. It's funny the things I've found and saved. I'd probably toss all this stuff out, but it seems like some of you are interested. Maybe?
I also didn't finish answering all of the schedule info. In the previous post I discuss the normal film season schedule and the normal episode schedule. The "normal" work week schedule was Monday through Friday. The normal work day began at 6:00 a.m. and ended at 6:30 p.m. with 1/2 hour deducted for lunch--although lunch always went a little longer than that. A lunch wagon travels with the show to feed us. If there was to be night work, then maybe the call time would be noon or later with the 12 hours extending into the night. Back then if you worked a Saturday, you received 1.5 times your normal rate--even if you only worked that one day. If you worked a Sunday, you received 2 times your normal rate. It was very rare that we ever worked a Sunday and sometimes Set Dressing worked a Saturday--usually the film company did not. Today work is based on a 5 day week--any 5 days with the 6th day at 1.5 and the 7th at 2 times your rate.
There were no sick days or vacation days. If you showed up for work too sick to work, you got 8 hours even if you went home earlier. It was an unfortunate way to spread the flu or colds since you would get your 8 hours anyway. Department heads were usually on a weekly rate. I used to say to my crew that the only way I could make more money was to go home early. The only way they could make more money was to work late. It didn't always work out that way. Some L.A. people had other deals like getting Saturdays "worked or not worked."
I know the stereotype is that we are all overpaid and have all these benefits. Truthfully, it is a very demanding business without excuses, explanation, and no reason needed for being fired. If you are a daily hire, you are only guaranteed that day. I often wonder if I had started at McDonald's back then instead of Magnum, if I wouldn't have been better off financially? But am I bitter................
Another rule we had back then but has since gone away is that all department heads had to be driven while they were at work by a teamster driver. While I won't go into the history of this policy, it was just a given back then. I was allowed to drive from my home to work and park my car. After that, all shopping, scouting, dressing, etc. during work hours, I was in a company car or van and being driven by a teamster driver. No, this wasn't a luxury or even necessarily always desirable. It just was and you didn't question it. Over the years this rule slowly eroded and now I am able to drive a van, shop alone, and carry things. Company vehicles and trucks are still driven by teamster drivers today who are an accepted and valued part of the company.
These are fairly standard situations for most film and TV companies. There is potential for abuse in these intense working conditions. Costs are high, demands are great, conditions often extreme, egos sometimes huge, hours are long, and the work intense. Sometimes it is difficult for the "outside" world with a 40 hour work week, regular breaks, vacation time, same location each day to always understand the hours and conditions of a film / TV company. As someone once said to me, "I've never worked on a show that wasn't cancelled."