100+ hours/week for years as a UPM

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100+ hours/week for years as a UPM

DC Taylor
Just saw “Who needs sleep?” Great doc. I was a UPM for years, and routinely worked 100+ hours/week. Once had an accident from falling asleep at the wheel after a long night shoot.

I always advocated for my crews to get decent days and turnarounds but it inevitably fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the ultimate say. Producers do. The only way I can see this situation changing is if producers decide to maintain a sane schedule. Some influential directors can also do this (I’ve heard Clint Eastwood keeps fairly short days) but for the most part it has to come from the producer. They are the ones holding the purse strings.

p.s. Sorry to hear about Haskell’s passing. My first job in the business was on an anti-nuclear war doc he did in the late 70’s. Really interesting guy.