Rules and Order


Jerry Chandler just posted a great piece on zombies, and how various “experts”–or is that zexperts?–on zombies have declared that there are “rules.”
That gave me a new line of thought. Horror movies work because they change the rules. People die, they stay dead. If Micheal Myers was an actual real guy, as soon as Loomis shoots him the third time, he should at LEAST be incapacitated. Instead, all there is is a shape on the grass where the Shape was.

There’s a popular theme in police movies. The “Loose Cannon Cop” who always knows what the real situation is. Martin Riggs, Harry Callahan, others. Makes for great storytelling. Problem is, does that work in reality? I was loose cannonesque at my last job. I knew how to fix things. Spots that the Average Operator would have flagged, I fixed. Got a reputation amongst the crew in there for being able to fix things, so much so that once one of the managers asked me to check over all the spots that certain other operators flagged to see if they “missed” something. That didn’t sit well with me. I have more experience with editing than the other guys. Was it the smartest thing I ever did? Well, that’s not what got me out of a job, so it was probably a pretty good thing. It wasn’t the right thing, though, according to procedure. Sure, I saved having to get another producer mad or the AE not getting paid a couple times. My partner and I talked once with a producer who was making spots in Windows Movie Maker. Now, we thought that was both sad and hysterical. Also made me a little angry at myself. I’d spent all kinds of money on my Adobe software and worked to master that, meanwhile this guy is producing spots, getting paid sweetly, and using software that doesn’t have a quarter of the capability that Premiere has. But, since I paid for the software, since it has a “Pro” label on it, the rule in my head said I should be more able than this guy. That’s why I was working overnights and just dealing with other people’s work rather than getting paid for my own.
People get too caught up in rules. Not just the ones that are on the books, but the ones that either the person or Society gives. Another example–next time you go into a supermarket or convenience store to buy one or two things, are you going to put it in a bag? Paper, plastic, I don’t care. Do you NEED to put that jar of tomato sauce in a bag to carry it out of the store? But the Rule is, you buy something, hey, you get a free bag!

I want a house. Why? Because my Rule is that a man gets a house for his family. Sure, this neighborhood that we live in is in the third best school district in the country. Is that good enough for me? No. Because by my Rule there needs to be a private yard. our own space.
People need rules. People need the important ones and the not so important ones. Americans drive on the right side of the road. That’s kind of an important rule. I need to work, to feel like I’m doing my best for my family. Does the rest of the world care if I break that rule? No. My bank account does, but it’s not going to be Earth-shattering if I don’t.

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~ by Sean on November 2, 2011.

One Response to “Rules and Order”

  1. Rule #1 – There are no rules.

    Rule #2 – If there are no rules, how can there be a rule #1?

    Rule #3 – Is this really Rule #3 if rule #2 was a question and will it effect the numbering for…

    Rule #4 – See Rule #5

    Rule #5 – There is no rule #4

    Rule #6 – See Rule #1

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