Around the world, in the Entertainment Industry, there is one name that is more famous than any other, and it's very likely a name that most regular people have never heard of. Only if you make your living on a set have you heard, "This is the Abby Singer!". Crew members become more alert, there is a pep to their step, the signal has been given!
The "Abby Singer" is the shot before the last shot of the day, which is called "The Martini", because the next shot would be in your glass at home. Abby Singer, an Assistant Director and Production Manager famously coined the saying, "This and one more", for the shooting day's end, and so that shot became known as "The Abby Singer". I have spoken to people in many countries far and wide and they all use this terminology even if some have no idea why.
Abby Singer was so well loved and respected, that a plaque was put up at the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood dedicating a building to his career. It reads:
Abby Singer began his entertainment career on this studio lot in 1946 for Columbia Pictures. For the next eleven years, he advanced to the position of assistant director working in both feature films and television productions. Abby became legendary by creating one of the most famous lines uttered by film makers around the world, "This shot and one more." It quickly became known as "the Abby Singer", signaling to crew and management that the end of the work day was near.
Celebrating more than sixty years as an assistant director, production manager, executive in charge of production, producer, instructor at the American Film Institute, and many years of distinguished service to the Directors Guild of America, we respectfully dedicate this building in his honor.
Today as in days past, scores have said:
"WE'RE ON THE ABBY SINGER"
CEO, Sunset Gower Studios
May 17, 2007
Abby Singer passed away in 2014, but his legacy lives on!
ABBY, WE SALUTE YOU! You became a legend in your own time!
For those who are also big DRAGNET fans, here is a picture from the Police Station set. Left to right: Tom Mankiewicz, Writer/Director; Tom Hanks; David Sosna, First AD, (With his back to camera); ME! Vicki Rhodes, 2nd AD (Obviously NOT having a good time!) and Chevy Chase, who had stopped by to see Dan Aykroyd but was talking to us because David and I had just worked with him on THREE AMIGOS!
This has been circulating around the internet of late. What a "Wonderful" Photo!
This is the Wrap Picnic for "It’s a Wonderful Life".
The camera was on a tripod about 10’ high. The photographer climbed a ladder and turned a handle. It was the first Widelux. Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart are on the left side. Once the lens was past them, they ran around behind to the right side, so they’re on both sides of the photograph. "It's a Wonderful Life" premiered in New York on 20 December 1946, 75 years ago.
Tap the image and see how many you can recognize!
I must agree!
Has this been your experience?
To what do you attribute this phenomenon?
Here's Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)
I love this piece from the Cinema Shorthand Society:
On this date in 1981, "Ragtime" was released.
Jack Nicholson had to drop out of the film less than a month before filming began, leaving the producers without a name star. Director Milos Forman recruited James Cagney, who he had met the year before at a private dinner in Connecticut. He offered Cagney any part he wanted, including (facetiously) Evelyn Nesbitt.
According to Forman, Cagney initially agreed to play New York City Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo on two conditions: he would not sign a contract of any kind, and he reserved the right to change his mind and quit the film until three days before shooting began on his scenes.
Cagney had been advised by his doctors and caregivers that making a film at this point in his life was very important for his health. The actor never flew, so he and his wife took an ocean liner to London, where his scenes were filmed. Despite his numerous infirmities, he stayed on set during his fellow actors' close ups to give them line readings. Because of the presence of the ailing Cagney, in what became his final big screen appearance, the movie was officially exempted from the long-running actors' strike of the early 1980s. It was the only production to receive that honor.
Cagney used a wheelchair at the time of shooting. Most scenes show him sitting. A stand-in was used for scenes showing him on his feet, shot from the back to obscure the stand-in's face.
Cagney was 81 when he filmed this movie. His character, Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo, was 32 at the time in which the movie was set.
This film reunited Cagney with Pat O'Brien (photo below), his frequent co-star from the 1930s and 1940s. It was the last theatrical film for both of them. In addition, Forman hired Donald O'Connor at the request of Cagney. O'Connor had been having personal and professional problems, and Cagney wanted to help him.(IMDb)
Thirty years ago today (Nov 2), Denise and I attended a memorial service for Gene Roddenberry at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles. Several hundred friends, family members, and members of the Star Trek community were in attendance. It was a simple event featuring a few speakers, including Ray Bradbury, Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, and Christopher Knopf, who told the story of he and Gene attending a Dodgers baseball game in the early 1960s, at which Gene came up with the kernel of the idea that became Star Trek. Nichelle Nichols sang, and we stood solemnly as “Amazing Grace” played mournfully on bagpipes.
At the conclusion of the event, everyone moved outside, standing under the Los Angeles sky to witness an aircraft flyover. I wondered what kind of aircraft would participate in the salute to Gene Roddenberry, who had served as an aviator in World War II, and had later flown as a commercial pilot for Pan Am. We looked skyward and saw four tiny dots in the distance. They weren’t military jets, but they did not seem familiar. As they got closer, I could hear that they were propeller-driven craft, but had an unusual swept-wing design.
Then it hit me: They were "Starships," experimental business aircraft built by Beechcraft. One of the futuristic planes peeled off from the group, in the traditional aviators’ “missing man formation” salute to a fallen comrade. I could not imagine a more fitting salute to Star Trek’s creator. For some reason, my eyes felt moist. I looked around me. I was not alone.
PHOTO: Beech Starship in flight by Ken Mist.
We are Halyna Hutchins (Local 600)
We are Sarah Jones (Local 600)
We are Warren Appleby (Local 873)
We are Brent Hershman (Local 600)
We are Gary Joe Tuck (Local 492 and SAG)
We are Michael Stone (Local 600)
We are John Sherrod (Stuntman)
Netflix & Amazon Film Crew EXPOSE Conditions On Set
Oct 7, 2021
From: More Perfect Union (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCehBVAPy-bxmnbNARF-_tvA)
Production workers at Netflix, Amazon and other major studios are forced to skip meals & bathroom breaks, working 12+ hr days at minimum wage. The workers, represented by IATSE, have hit a breaking point. This week they voted to authorize the biggest U.S. private sector strike in over 10 years.
On the eve of Sarah Jones' Birthday!
Safety for Sarah - https://www.facebook.com/SafetyforSarah
I’m writing this just a few hours away from Sarah Jones’ birthday, September 22nd. This, or course, invokes many memories of Sarah. Of the rich life she led. But allow me to jump to some scary memories.
On several occasions she called us in the middle of the night, let’s say at 2:00 AM. Driving home from a long shot she would call us and ask to just converse with her so that she would not fall asleep as she drove. As a side note, we imbedded into our children to call us, no matter the time, when they were in need. So, we were always grateful that Sarah would wake us in order to help her get home.
Shortly before Sarah met with her tragic death, she told me that she had just watched Haskell Wexler’s film “Who Needs Sleep”. She was concerned with the absurd and unsafe hours that were demanded of film crews. A fear that her mother and I understood in our prayers that she would make it home, once again, safely.
Shortly after Sarah’s death I had the opportunity to meet Haskell Wexler and to discuss his 12 on / 12 off philosophy. He clearly was concerned and shared that concern with me.
Now please understand that I am not of the film industry, and I am not familiar with the details of the important negotiations that are currently occurring. But I do understand and can personally relate to the vital concerns of working absurd hours, day after day, to the point of being downright dangerous.
The ‘Sarah Jones Film Foundation’ and it's ‘Safety For Sarah’ efforts were formed to make the industry that Sarah so loved a safe and freeing environment to help create wonderful films. But, at the end of the day, a piece of entertainment is not worth life!
So in short, these absurd long hours need to be stopped, before we loose yet more lives. We don’t need more parents celebrating their child’s birthday… without the child!
Happy Birthday Angel Sarah! We so miss you.