I heard the Bale Wail. At first, my jaw dropped. Then I began to feel sorry for the DP. But ultimately, I felt disgust for Bale. head. The outburst had clearly more to do with Bale's anger issues than "being distracted" by the DP. Pathetic. I've witnessed day-players get snapped at by celeb actors on the set, and what bothers me most is how the directors will coddle the "star" and throw the "little guy" under the bus. The DP in Bale's situation apologized a couple times, tried to explain, then eventually back down. I would have done the same, however, when Bale threatened an aggressive attack (it seemed like he want to throw-down with the guy). I, personally, would have taken a stronger defensive stand (yes, he would have kicked my ass, but I would still take a stand).
As far as SAG strike, the word I hear "out there" is how many projects are stalling because of the "threat" of a strike. That should be enough... and enough IS enough.
I frankly have no idea how I'd respond if an actor went ballistic like that. Hopefully I'd have the presence of mind to keep rolling, because having that on tape after the fact is going to be worth something.
What I didn't hear on the recording of Christian Bale was the Director stepping in and cooling everyone down. Shame on him. He lost a great opportunity to show some leadership, and totally blew it.
I have a different take on it. Bale went too far, but the DP acted in a very unprofessional way. You do not walk around and tweak lights during a take. That is as disrespectful (IMHO) as any of the crap that Bale spewed. When the DP did that, he was basically saying that what he had to do was more important than the work that was going on around him. If there was a problem with the lights, you ride out the take, tell the director, or (if you have the authority) yell "cut". Anybody that's been on a set more than a day should know that, and this guy is an experienced DP.
And, again in my opinion, although the DP apologized, this seems to be a pattern with him, based on his reputation. So, if somebody apologized to me after doing the same thing over and over, I'm not sure how sincere it would seem. Especially if it was such an obvious and blatant no-no. About halfway through Bale seems to be getting a handle on himself, and then the guy starts to make excuses (I didn't see that as an explanation), and that's where Bale really lost it.
I'm not saying Bale was right, but he wasn't whining about the amount of cheez whiz in his trailer. He was angry about the work, and the lack of respect the DP was showing. Which is, in my opinion, understandable.
I work behind the camera, but I can see why Bale was so angry.
So how come we never hear the Director intervene during any of the tirade? I wasn't there, so I can't really say who was right and who was wrong. But I'm surprised the lead actor had such a meltdown with one of the crew, and the Director didn't once step in. Was the Director asleep at the helm?
You can hear Bale refer to him (McG) once I think. But it's usually the first AD's job to keep order on the set. Although one has to wonder what would have happened if this was a John Ford, Howard Hawks, Bud Boeticher, Raoul Walsh or Sam Peckinpah directed film ;-)
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