Monday, July 21, 2014

My memory of the moon landing

(Actually, this is from July 21, 1969, but it all blurs together.)

More complaining about irrelevant stuff

Two spaces after a period is absolutely NEFARIOUS. The devil, I tell you!

I know people who do this, and I love many of them. But reading such copy is a mental case of the hiccups. Furthermore, editing extra spaces out of every sentence is a giant hassle, and is something that not even a group edit will always fix in full.

But what I like least about the practice is why people do it: more often than not, it’s because it’s what they were taught in typing class back in the typewriter days. It made sense back then, in the age of monospaced fonts, but it’s the computer age now. It’s just plain stubborn to stick to that.

Doing something strictly because it’s the only way you’ve ever done it is one of the worst reasons to do anything. There’s comfort in routine, sure, but sometimes it’s worth it — both for others and for yourself — to evolve.

Or, at the very least, break out the old Smith-Corona, which would be pretty cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Minding my Ps and social cues

For most of my life, I've gone by Ian McGibboney, save for brief phases when I introduced myself as Ian Paul McGibboney. For most of my life, I listed my initials as IPM, whether or not I was in a Paul phase (though now I stick mostly to IM, despite the inevitable questions of if my middle name is Bill).

But I have never, ever gone by Ian P. McGibboney. 

Paul is an awesome name. But P is a goofy initial. Try not saying it like Rosco P. Coltrane.

"Ian PEEE McGibboney!"


Also, Ian McGibboney is poetry. As is Ian Paul McGibboney. (My high school friends often sang both versions.) Ian P. McGibboney, on the other hand, is two lines of verse separated by a speed bump.

Nope again.

And it's not as if I have to differentiate myself from all the other people with my name, like others do. "Oh, Ian P! I thought you meant Ian J."

Nope a third time.

Then there's the OCD aspect. P and Paul have equal numbers of syllables (one). By abbreviating Paul, I save no time or breath, and I'm axing exactly three letters from my name, further throwing off what is already a significant letter-count imbalance. If I'm going to write my name out, why not write out the whole thing? I'm so close anyway. Ian P. McGibboney. It's like an itch that can't quite be scratched.

Strike four.

Finally — and the NYT article talks about this — middle initials can be pretentious. Not always (there are practical applications after all), but sometimes. It's no accident that they're favored in settings where being esteemed counts more than being approachable. That works for some people, but as far as I'm concerned, everyone can call me Ian — friends, family, colleagues, strangers, mortal enemies, whoever. Maybe it's the millennial in me, but egalitarianism sounds pretty good.

You either respect me or you don't. No amount of P will change that.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm supposed to be on IMDb, apparently

In December 2012, I worked for a few days on a film with the working title Boulevard H, but now is called Walk of Fame. This was possibly my best experience in films. In addition to getting what will have to be the most screen time I ever got (any reshoots aside), I also had the chance to mingle with real actors, some of whom actually gave me props. It was also the only film I've shot in a studio, which meant it actually didn't feel like New Orleans at noon for once.

What made this experience particularly interesting was that I was bumped up to stand-in for star Scott Eastwood, son of Clint (who was a good guy to me). Being a stand-in accounts to a break in the extra sphere; not only do you get a pay bump, but it's often a good way to get noticed yourself. As a crew member told me, many big stars started out as stand-ins for other actors. They actually wanted me to work a few weeks longer, but I was commuting to New Orleans each day from Lafayette at a time when the film was my sole source of income (theoretically, as it turned out). Anyway, they later flew in a professional stand-in for Scott. I did manage to get on camera as a drama student, but mostly served as a generic stand-in near the end of my stint.

One of the other stand-ins had gone to high school with me, but we didn't know each other then (though our brothers had played football together). She and I struck up a friendship. Yesterday, she excitedly posted on Facebook that she now has an IMDb page. Her first official credit? Stand-in on Walk of Fame. I was thrilled for her.

That's when I realized, holy crap, I might have an IMDb page too! So I scrolled down the full cast and crew list, not trying to get too excited, but also getting excited. Hey, I remember her and her and him and ... 

I'm not on there. Of course not. Bummer.

Then I remembered I never got my paycheck for the film, and that a complaint to the state board of labor got me nowhere. Then I remembered that I'd been a stand-in-stand-in for Beautiful Creatures, and never got credit for that either. I don't know if the nonpayment made the difference in this case, but clearly I had a bad-luck streak during my career as an extra. I guess I'll have to try harder in my eternal quest to land an IMDb profile. 

Nevertheless, I can't wait to see this film. I think it'll be an interesting, quirky comedy. I hope my face makes it in, even if my name never did.