One thing rarely discussed is how the majority of production skills are hired in a freelance capacity. A project brings together a team that may have little experience of working together. Then over several months, a production that might be worth tens to hundreds of millions of dollars will be miraculously be complete. The financial risk involved in these is enough to make most other industries baulk. And yet the majority of these creations get completed as the team is so passionate and truly invested in delivering the best they can.
Being involved in such an industry is a complete privilege. You often get to travel to remarkable places and see amazing things. You get to work with truly, incredibly, talented people that bring their unique vision to the script and bring it to the screen. When you then see these stories in completion, there is an immense sense of satisfaction, knowing your contribution played a part in bringing it together.
However, with this privilege comes a great cost. Technicians are often required to work incredibly long hours and often spend a great deal of time far away from home. Working in a freelance capacity gives you little protection from when the industry is quiet or comes to a grinding halt as in the case of the recent pandemic.
Then there is the aspect of danger. The nature of what we do, means we are constantly pushing the boundaries for the greatest stunts and explosions which always presents an element of risk.
As a freelancer, you often feel pressured to just say 'yes' mindful that this is what the industry expects and will keep you in a good stead for the next gig.
We are incredibly saddened by the recent tragedy of Halyna Hutchins, who lost her life filming in New Mexico. It naturally brought home the pain of the loss of Mark Milsome, who was killed when filming a simple car stunt went wrong. A community has come together on both occasions to recognise the loss of these two individuals, that everyone has only positive words to describe.
When describing Mark, you often hear people say 'I know everyone says he was a truly nice person, but he really was'. From all accounts we have heard the same said of Halyna across the US.
Putting this calendar together is our little way of giving something back. We recognise this industry is full of hard work and pain, but for all the trouble it has caused we wanted to find a way to show you we still love you.
Enveloped in this year's Prints for Mark Calendar are images we love, that show the magic of making movies.
So from us to you, we want to wish everyone a safe and productive 2022.
Andra Milsome and Mark Purvis