February 3, 2009

That Christian Bale freakout is now the "Bale Out" remix.

You know about the original, horrible rant. So then there's this (audio completely NSFW):



IN THE COMMENTS: I and others defend Bale.

AND: slhamlet, in the comments, points us to Ain't It Cool News, where Henry Knowles is giving the background to the story:
The DP on TERMINATOR SALVATION, Shane Hurlbut, is a apparently a light tweaker. He's a fairly young DP and likes to fiddle with his lights on set during action, which is a big "NO NO" on most productions unless worked out in advance with performers. But apparently Shane was a pretty unrepentant light tweaker.

The scene in question, was a very emotional and tough scene between Christian Bale and Bryce Howard. A scene that required soul bearing and a deep level of immersive concentration. The sort of scene where everyone on set knows not to get in anyone's eye lines, and definitely not to move lights around while FILMING. You lock that shit down before the scene starts.

Bale had indeed warned the DP on multiple occasions about messing with lights while the cameras were rolling, and Bale was in the midst of a painful scene with Bryce, what was described to me as being the emotional center of the film and his character for the film.

Now, the reason I know all of this is because the person that was there, felt that it should be made perfectly clear that Christian Bale was the utmost gentleman and cool guy on set. And the DP really was doing something that professional DPs with experience just don't do. Not during a performance.
We love you, Christian!

AND: Knowles isn't really a Henry. He's just a Harry. I know that. I knowl that.

131 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

I knew eventually someone would do this. Love it.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The Streisand bit elevates this to genius.

traditionalguy said...

Your tongue can become your worst enemy, said some wise writer somewhere.It can set your life on fire and hurt people seriously. As a former practitioner,I can attest to that truth. A soft answer turns away wrath, says the writer. Rants like this one are the nuclear weapons of human interractions only to be used on an enemy that you have decided you never will need anything from forever. Even when it's use is justified, you will also lose the friendship of the people you used it on behalf of and saved. They will not want to be around such a dangerously tongued person in the future. Ask Gen. George T. Patton how that works out in practice. If you have command of several armored divisions, go for it. Otherwise stay firm and respectful.

Palladian said...

"The Streisand bit elevates this to genius."

I agree.

BTW, if I were the director of the film, I would have thrown Bale off my set. NO BODY treats senior crew like that. The DP made a mistake, but Bale's response is completely unprofessional and disgusting. I'm glad he's being humiliated for it.

Palladian said...

The director, however, is allowed to yell at people. Watch Stanley Kubrick go off on Shelley Duvall (while she is hilariously brandishing a huge knife). Yet in the end, she and everyone else that worked with him respected him and understood that all the emotion was for a purpose. With Bale, it's just a whiny testosterone display and no one in the business is going to respect him for it.

traditionalguy said...

This actor has had a hard set of roles. He was the child lead in one of my favorite movies, The Empire of the Sun. Then he re-did 2:10 for Yuma.I hope he gets counseling and rejoins the human community.

Lem said...

This is the sound of someone who did not get a bit he wanted.

PJ said...

The worst thing bout the original is not so much his temper tantrum, but having to listen to everyone else kiss the psycho's ass -- which is purely economic chains put on normal human interaction. No wonder they turn into such twats. I hear that I don't hear "the serious actor" I heard Naomi Campbell slapping her assistant and burning her maid with a straightening iron.

traditionalguy said...

Someone told me that all anger arises from the hurt of loss. That's why counseling helps you find out where you were hurt and by whom, and to direct your anger better... or the best is to do a forgiveness in order to release the emotional bondages keeping that hurt alive. Or you can take drugs and suppress it until you Blow.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Oh! Palladian's comment reminds me of
this.
Remember!?

AJ Lynch said...

He is a great actor and stuff happens. I suspect he just did not hear the director yell "Cut".

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I love remix rants. Streisand addition is absolutley brillant.

Did you see the guy that did it is doing Rupauls next album?

Lem said...

I heard Naomi Campbell slapping her assistant and burning her maid with a straightening iron.

As if Noamy Campbell has appeared in any serious film for any longer than one minute?

Comeon!

Lem said...

You cant compare a playboy model and Christian Bale!

Glen said...

How unprofessional. Just disgusting. I've been doing this for 36 years. Very few people will forget behavior like that. Mr. Bale can expect anything in his proverbial closet to be fair game now.

Palladian said...

"Oh! Palladian's comment reminds me of
this. Remember!?"

To understand why Lily Tomlin acted like that you have to see what a wonderful, sensitive director she was working with.

Lem said...

Very few people will forget behavior like that. Mr. Bale can expect anything in his proverbial closet to be fair game now.

No no..

If he is any good, as he has shown to be, (he almost died fasting for a roll) this is nothing!

this is nothing, compared to his body of work.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yeah I heard David O'Russell is a major prick and that's what caused Lily to go off. I loved Dustin Hoffman and Mark Walhberg and Naomi Watts' (she's in the back seat out of view) reactions to her.

Lem said...

You do this for a roll you earned the right to gripe!

Gripe, have you ever griped?

Don't you think people can gripe?

Si estubieras mas delgado ya no existirias..

Synova said...

It depends if it was a bad day or a habit, I think.

Chris Wren said...

"With Bale, it's just a whiny testosterone display and no one in the business is going to respect him for it."

Oh Dear Sweet Lord, I'm in agreement with Palladian about something.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

Let's watch American Idol. I haven't watched all season but I am ready.

Lem said...

It depends if it was a bad day or a habit, I think.

Yes, I agree Synova.

But I dont think we are talking about some millimali second rate actor here.

This guy is bulnerable and he may need protecting.

God knows we had these before, this is not virgin territory.

All I'm saying is, if we dont destroy him, he can still give us more.. for pay ... the way God intended ;)

Palladian said...

"Yeah I heard David O'Russell is a major prick and that's what caused Lily to go off. I loved Dustin Hoffman and Mark Walhberg and Naomi Watts' (she's in the back seat out of view) reactions to her."

Hoffman acted like a total professional amid that chaos.

Having worked on my share of film and television sets, I can say that nasty, angry, abusive tirades from infantile people towards their underlings is the rule rather than the exception. But it almost never crosses the crew/cast barrier. Actors generally either respect the crew or are indifferent towards them. The only reason this was tolerated (and I'm kind of surprised it was tolerated) is because Bale was yelling at the DP rather than a lower member of the crew. Hence it becomes sort of management yelling at other management. But of course we heard the audio... released by a member of the sound crew. The crew looks out for each other.

Lem said...

Put it this way, If Woody Allen could weather his storm...

I definitely want Bale to weather his tempest on a tea pot.

Lem said...

released by a member of the sound crew. The crew looks out for each other.

Exacly, this is inside politics.. you cant hardly give up on somene for that.

At least I will not.

Lem said...

Actors used to be national prized positions...

Something happened.. suddenly there is new sheriff in town... the sheriff and the audience became one and the same.

I laughed, but then I cried.

traditionalguy said...

This is like seeing John Wayne losing it.We feel that the strong type also should be the silent type, and let his strength do most of his talking. This Bale tirade revealed a deep weakness, and that's unsettling. Then again, John Wayne in True Grit used the strength of Battle Words when attacking his true enemy, not a substitute who couldn't fight back. The young girl in True Grit knew "The One Eyed Fat Man" used pretty bold words, and she never really approved of such conduct. But she gave him a measure of respect because she knew why he had used those attack words, to kill the killer of her father.

Fake Barack said...

We have right now a 30 second glimpse into one moment of his life. I try not to judge a person on such a small sample size. You look at his work in Rescue Dawn, or the Machinist, or The Prestige, and you see a very talented actor who is extremely dedicated to his craft.

Michael Jordan would constantly scream at his teammates, and is said to have thrown a few punches at his teammates as well. Yet most people love him.

The reason Jordan was so great, is that he had this incredible drive to be the best. That made him very difficult to be around. Perhaps Bale is another such individual.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fcai said...

Lem wrote "almost died fasting for a roll" - that made me laugh.

Shall I reference Sam Kinison and the Haji/sandwich post? Or fat actresses? So many choices, so little time. I think I'll just say that I would rather see Lem posting repeatedly, that is, be on a "role" rather than ever see Micheal post again. As for loaves, I shall leave those to scat queens.

Lem said...

It's hard enough to pretend to ba Dashle and yet cheat w/o telling, and indeed rewarding your audience for having the ability to fool them..

What do we do?.. we go after the actors!.. while kissing our politicos ass.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Actors are supposed to be passionate. I don't care what happens on the set (I don't work there), as long as the film is the best it can be.

Now I can't wait to see the new Terminator movie.

Don't hold it in, let it all out.

Lem said...

I think I'll just say that I would rather see Lem posting repeatedly..

I'ts not late enougf ;(

fcai said...

And just who is this Bale fellow? I have never seen any of his work. But I have heard a remix of his temper tantrum now, so that, I guess, counts for something. Barbra I have heard of.

And I know, it is spelled "Michael". Typos 'r' us.

Fake Barack said...

Check out The Prestige, 3:10 to Yuma, American Psycho, The Dark Knight, Rescue Dawn, Empire of the Sun, and of course, Newsies. Bale is a fantastic, and underrated actor.

Lem said...

When I was rooting for Blago, some people asked me but Lem how can you be serious?

After much argument I told a few the best way I could. It appears that we are not electing good people to office.. the more Blagos to surface the better. Blago is exhibit .. fill in the blank.

Now why is that?... you know how people for a long time have been saying political people are crooks?

could political office become a self fulfilling prophecy?

Lem said...

Remember the joke?... why do you rob banks?... because thats where the money is?

Why would you go into politics?

traditionalguy said...

The best way to explain politics is that one half of the people who do not know you hate you. The other half, who also don't know you, think you owe them something. This is not an easy job for anyone, and should be avoided at all costs by Sensitive people. Abe Lincoln did it thru years of being a trial lawyer that had toughened him up under similar situations.

Lem said...

I was booked once for driving drunk.

The people that booked me.. I would not have choosen to have their job ever.

They had procedures in place that only because people abused the blessings of freedom, they had no alternative but to have those procedures.

It becomes very difficult for me to have Obama come in and say the FBI FD UP!

F you Obama and the ship you rode in. To blame the civil servants...

shame on you.

Lem said...

I'm listening to CNN right now blaming the civil servants.

Lem said...

Waht if you tube is our new coliseum?

only worse because anybody with a camera can produce a death match.

Lem said...

At least with porn we have the Motion Picture Ass of America say it's porn.

Who says TMZ is porn?

Lem said...

Who says why Lady Di could not die of cancer or some other malady?

Dewb said...

Bale versus O'Reilly:
http://balevsoreilly.ytmnd.com/

Revenant said...

Hoffman acted like a total professional amid that chaos.

Yeah, but Hoffman reportedly had his own prima-donna asshole moments back when he was Bale's age, e.g. with Lawrence Olivier on "Marathon Man".

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh.

Bale's probably one of the five best actors alive today, so I can't imagine this will affect his career. Plus, as Palladian said, he was yelling at the DP, not some underling. He shouldn't have acted like that; that was bad form. It would be really annoying though, having some fool walking in your sight line while you're doing a scene.

Lem said...

Hoffman reportedly had his own prima-donna asshole moments

Could you imagen what they would have done with him with a camera phone?

Lem said...

Thanks Freeman..

Piling on is easy.. I was ruding for Arizona. If only becase the Steelers play dirty... as every football fan knows.

Same thing with Phelps.. He made a mistake bla bla bla ,,, second chances?

We give it to the least of ours!

Ann Althouse said...

I like Bale too. I was going to write about the blowup yesterday, but I didn't because I thought it was nothing really. His scene got screwed up and he had uncontrollable pent-up emotion. Big deal. I don't care. But I thought the remix was hilarious.

Lem said...

I like Bale too.

Should I Dare to dream ;)

Lem said...

Waht?

Obama just said he wants to set new "rules of the road" for ceo compensation..

there goes my dwindeling investment in Wall Street tomorrow.

Revenant said...

It would be really annoying though, having some fool walking in your sight line while you're doing a scene.

Rod Steiger had a good observation about this sort of thing during his appearance on "Dinner for Five". He described yelling at a member of the crew who was discussing a horse-race off camera while Steiger was trying to do a scence. Steiger pointed out that when a crew member screws up, he might get fired, and some people in the industry might find out about it -- but when an actor screws up, the whole world sees it right there on the screen. So actors are naturally bitchy about people messing them up.

Mark O said...

It reminded me of my Civil Procedure professor.

Lem said...

So actors are naturally bitchy about people messing them up.

The importance of a "court chester" I believe still alive and well ib the culture .. see Academy Awards.

It's the reason why when they fup in public (they get drunk or whatever) we need not be so hard on them.

Let's be hard on the politicians, not on the people who pretend to be politicians.

Synova said...

I think that with Phelps and stuff, the problem is that we won't let people be really good at one thing and screw up elsewhere in their life. It's like, in order to be admired they can't be admired for a particular accomplishment. We do it in our personal lives, too. Don't we?

That said... I thought that Bale got in trouble for domestic abuse not too long ago. Or at least that the cops were called.

Lem said...

If Althouse was the captain of her Interprise (she can't, she dosent have the dicipline) She would have Freeman as her No 1.

After Althouse, Freeman rules.

OMG - Cooper just rolled the POTUS!

Lem said...

I think that with Phelps and stuff, the problem is that we won't let people be really good at one thing and screw up elsewhere in their life. It's like, in order to be admired they can't be admired for a particular accomplishment. We do it in our personal lives, too. Don't we?

The thing that hurt me the most about the DWI was not the fine or the cost of paying a lawer to do nothing.. so much as the permanence of that public record... Imagen that when you are a public figure allready..

Put it this way, my parents dont know about my DWI. Dont need to.

Lem said...

Can you imagen trying to hide a human mistake from your parents if you are an actor?

I would not want to.

TMink said...

Actors are prima donnas like golfers. Both have gold leaf fragile concentration.

Think of the people who concentrate and perform in much more hostile environments.

Then there are people whose sense of entitlement almost forces them to treat others without a shred of dignity or respect. I wonder if that is Bale?

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

"Actors are prima donnas like golfers. Both have gold leaf fragile concentration."

Professional golfers have rock solid concentration or they would not be where they are. But there is a convention for the spectators to be absolutely respectful of the playes' concentration. There's a huge ethic of sportsmanship at a PGA tournament, shared by the players and the fans. I've witnessed it many times. And I've never seen one of the players behave badly.

Susan said...

Dark Knight indeed. Christian Bale can be heard in newly surfaced audio delivering a long, profanity-laced verbal thrashing to a cinematographer and anyone who tried to calm him down on the set of the upcoming movie "Terminator ...
http://www.google.com/reader/view/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds2.feedburner.com%2Fgoogle%2FJGYV?source=email

Ann Althouse said...

"Actors are prima donnas like golfers. Both have gold leaf fragile concentration."

Professional golfers have rock solid concentration or they would not be where they are. But there is a convention for the spectators to be absolutely respectful of the playes' concentration. There's a huge ethic of sportsmanship at a PGA tournament, shared by the players and the fans. I've witnessed it many times. And I've never seen one of the players behave badly.

Lem said...

CNN is playing that rant..

They have nobody defending him!

Lem said...

And I've never seen one of the players behave badly.

They are held to a very high standard.

So high that you as a plyer are trusted to keep your own score.

Thre is no other thing like it.

PJ said...

I don't buy the whole creative asshole genius meme, sorry. They deserve to be compared.

A. Who is he ultimately? Who the fuck is Christian Bale? No one. Not really.

B. As far as it goes, Naomi was a great supermodel in her day. That's why people put up with her shit. Same with Bale. Now they do it because she has money as they will with Bale as he gets old.

It's people that put up with this crap who help push these types into a life of total narcissistic unreality - and build them up to an ever more spectacular fall - which they will enjoy watching.

Lem said...

The Bale rant is playing unanswered on CNN.

While CNN believes you should enjoy it.. maybe you should also enjoy this..

Freeman Hunt said...

Steiger pointed out that when a crew member screws up, he might get fired, and some people in the industry might find out about it -- but when an actor screws up, the whole world sees it right there on the screen. So actors are naturally bitchy about people messing them up.

Yes! Also, people like to pretend that an actor's job is easy, but it's extremely hard to do well. It's not like another job that's tough where you concentrate and perform. A screen actor's face is going to be fifteen feet high on the screen. Any flash of distraction, any errant thought will show up. Usually people on sets respect that and keep still and quiet while the camera is rolling--as they well should.

Lem said...

And who the fuck are you PJ? that I should trow my actor under the bus for?

Freeman Hunt said...

Re: Phelps

Am I the only one who thinks smoking pot is stupid but could not possibly have been less shocked by the Phelps thing? In fact, the biggest surprise to me is that anyone else was surprised. After all the interviews and profiles on him, couldn't people see that he was exactly the sort of guy everyone has known who smokes pot? Didn't most people go to college with scads of guys just like him, swimming talent aside? Given the total lack of surprise, I couldn't care less.

Lem said...

If we were to look at something foreign and yet something we know.. Why did the russians try so hard to hold on to their stars when their stars shine only when allowed?

PJ said...

Who the fuck are you, Lem?

Do you not understand the essential value of every human being or are you the type to draw a little circle around one inflated ego to protect your $$$ at all costs?

If so, you have a lot to learn. Your family will teach you and one day when you are weak, as you will ultimately be even if it's only at your deathbed, a little light will finally go on.

Ting. Ting. Ting.

TMink said...

"And I've never seen one of the players behave badly."

I am glad. I have not been so lucky. I have seen them curse, get red in the face, and call for security when someone 15 yards away took a photo.

Tiger has been known to blow a gasket when someone photographs his drives as well.

Can you imagine them trying to hit a free throw to win a game in overtime against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium?

That is why I call them prima donnas as far as concentration goes. I believe it hurts them because they conceive of themselves as having this easily damaged concentration. It sets them up to be distracted because they believe that they need close to complete silence in order to perform.

I was playing golf with my dad and two of his friends. I was the youngest, and I said something inane while one of dad's friends was putting. The man stopped and waited for me to shut up. I appologized, and he smiled and made the putt (a 6 footer) while saying "That is OK my boy. My concentration is so intense that I can talk during my own putt."

I have used the line myself, but I always miss the putt!

Trey

Lem said...

Didn't most people go to college with scads of guys just like him, swimming talent aside? Given the total lack of surprise, I couldn't care less.

It should not take away from waht he did.. waht he acomplished.

If it does.. are we prepared to have angels (not baseball angels) real angels come and do the things we cant?

Lem said...

Why do we pay them so much for if only for doing the things we cant.

and then when they show to be human we want to judge them harsher than any one of us?

Lem said...

BTW Freeman, sometimes my mind goes ahed of my ability to post and it may seem as contraditory ,,, it's not I assure you.

Palladian said...

"I was going to write about the blowup yesterday, but I didn't because I thought it was nothing really. His scene got screwed up and he had uncontrollable pent-up emotion. Big deal. I don't care."

Well you might think it's funny and you might not care, but the DP is not some replaceable nobody in a production. The technical crew is just as important to the effect of the film as the mugging "talent". I think it's kind of a big deal. What would happen if someone from the university accidentally interrupted a particularly emotional lecture you were delivering? Would you react like Bale did? Or would you behave like a human being?

"Yes! Also, people like to pretend that an actor's job is easy, but it's extremely hard to do well. It's not like another job that's tough where you concentrate and perform. A screen actor's face is going to be fifteen feet high on the screen. Any flash of distraction, any errant thought will show up. Usually people on sets respect that and keep still and quiet while the camera is rolling--as they well should.

Well the DP's job is hard as well. Without him, there would be no beautifully lit 15 foot Christian Bale head up there. I hate that some people here act like the only important people in the production are the "talent". Well without the crew, the "talent" would just be standing around mugging to each other and trying to film it with a camera phone. A film company is a team, and you don't shit all over the people who are making you look pretty in front of the camera. I don't care how talented you think you are. Bale was acting in a fluff ball movie about scary robots. It wasn't a soliloquy from Hamlet for God's sake.

sonicfrog said...

Oh Fuck That's Brilliant!

Looks like Christian Bale is the Russel Crow of the 21st Century!

BTW. Pallaidan is right on in the last comment. The DP aka Cinematographer is not an underling by any means. I had the pleasure to do some film work for the American Film Institute (as a second assistant to the director in the last thing I did), and worked with people who had come off the sets of the second Tim Burton Batman and T2 (coincidentally). They were very professional and did their best to keep out of the way when a scene was filming. But they had a job to do and would sometimes have to do something during a shot. Sometimes it's unavoidable. Bale was being an ass.

Palladian said...

"But they had a job to do and would sometimes have to do something during a shot. Sometimes it's unavoidable."

Yes, and probably the director or AD had just finished telling the DP: "We need the next set-up ready to shoot as soon as Bale's done with this scene! I don't want to have to wait! Get it ready now!" which is why the DP was working while the camera was on. The pressure on the crew is just as high (or higher) than the pressure on the actors. And unlike the "talent" the crew (except the director) has nobody mopping their brows or bringing them organic cranberry agave nectar cooled with ice cubes chipped off a glacier in Greenland when the pressure's on. I repeat, I have never seen an actor or actress behave this way toward the crew, ever.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian: Would you react like Bale did? Or would you behave like a human being?

Actors human beings? Most of them would work for free if they could land the lead in a snuff film.

They're different, if they weren't we'd live in a much blander world.

Palladian said...

Anyway, enough preaching from me. It just irks me to hear people disrespecting the crew and commenting as if the second most important creative person on the crew after the director is some sort of expendable hired help. The DP is responsible for every memorable film image you've ever seen.

But I certainly concur with the opinion of the hostess: the remix is hilarious!

Freeman Hunt said...

Well the DP's job is hard as well. Without him, there would be no beautifully lit 15 foot Christian Bale head up there. I hate that some people here act like the only important people in the production are the "talent".

No one said that the only important people are the actors. Of course the DP is important. I imagine the DP wouldn't like it if he were trying to set the lights and Bale started strolling around the set making shadows.

Bale acted like a jerk; that's not at issue. Even so, the DP shouldn't be wandering around in his line of sight.

Revenant said...

Well the DP's job is hard as well. Without him, there would be no beautifully lit 15 foot Christian Bale head up there.

Yeah, but the quality of the movie wouldn't be all that different. Good acting or writing can survive incompetent framing and lighting, but no matter how prettily you film shitty acting and dialogue the end result is still shit.

jdeeripper said...

fcai said...Lem wrote "almost died fasting for a roll" - that made me laugh.

Orson Welles got pretty upset once about Mrs Buckley's peas.

AllenS said...

I quit listening at the 14 second mark.

jdeeripper said...

Kermit the Frog NEVER loses his cool.

Never.

Ann Althouse said...

TMink said... "I am glad. I have not been so lucky. I have seen them curse, get red in the face, and call for security when someone 15 yards away took a photo. Tiger has been known to blow a gasket when someone photographs his drives as well."

You are absolutely forbidden even to have a camera (or a cell phone) at a PGA event. They search your bag at the entrance. There are tens of thousands of dollars hanging on every stroke for the players, and they rely on the cooperation of the spectators, which is incredibly good. You aren't even supposed to move when the player is taking a shot -- even 15 yards away. Taking a photograph is completely out of line and everyone knows it.

"That is why I call them prima donnas as far as concentration goes. I believe it hurts them because they conceive of themselves as having this easily damaged concentration."

I have often said it would be cool to have a different culture in golf where you could taunt the players and so forth, but that is not the culture, and they play within the culture, so it becomes a matter of fairness for that to be preserved in an equal way for all the players. I'd like you to imagine yourself taking one shot knowing that a quarter of an inch deviation could cost you $100,000. Your basketball players are not dealing with that sort of situation.

"I was the youngest, and I said something inane while one of dad's friends was putting. The man stopped and waited for me to shut up. I appologized, and he smiled and made the putt (a 6 footer) while saying "That is OK my boy. My concentration is so intense that I can talk during my own putt.""

You were failing to respect the culture of the sport, which is annoying quite apart from whether people are able to concentrate. The older man was teaching you about tradition and sportsmanship -- and doing it with good humor.

Palladian said... "Well you might think it's funny and you might not care, but the DP is not some replaceable nobody in a production."

I'd feel more sorry for the "replaceable nobody." The DP should know how to behave.

"What would happen if someone from the university accidentally interrupted a particularly emotional lecture you were delivering? Would you react like Bale did? Or would you behave like a human being?"

Oh, I think he behaved like a human being. He could have behaved better, but I understand why he snapped. His performance was destroyed. How would you react if some unthinking person stepped on one of your artworks and ruined it?

"I hate that some people here act like the only important people in the production are the "talent"."

I don't see anyone taking that position.

"A film company is a team, and you don't shit all over the people who are making you look pretty in front of the camera."

And the DP in question wasn't doing the team work properly and it destroyed some of the work of another member of the team, which pissed him off. You know, the DP should have said: "I'm sorry." Notice that he didn't? I'm inclined to infer he really was some sort of idiot/asshole. He may have even stood his ground quietly with an annoying smirk on his face to get Bale to go on in a way that would embarrass him when it was all people heard.

Freeman Hunt said... "No one said that the only important people are the actors.... Bale acted like a jerk; that's not at issue. Even so, the DP shouldn't be wandering around in his line of sight."

I agree.

Palladian said...

So because the DP "broke Bale's concentration" you think it's acceptable for Bale to threaten him with physical violence? Remind me never to work with you!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Leo Bloom: Actors are not animals! They're human beings!
Max Bialystock: They are? Have you ever eaten with one? (The Producers, 1968)

author, etc. said...

There's no more damning indictment against a so-called "eminent person" than to abuse and belittle a subordinate. When I see people tee off on waiters or receptionists or whatever, that's it for me--they're pricks, and I don't want to know them. Bale is clearly a prick.

slhamlet said...

According to Harry Knowles, at least, this is the context of the freak out:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39984

The DP on TERMINATOR SALVATION, Shane Hurlbut, is a apparently a light tweaker. He's a fairly young DP and likes to fiddle with his lights on set during action, which is a big "NO NO" on most productions unless worked out in advance with performers. But apparently Shane was a pretty unrepentant light tweaker.

The scene in question, was a very emotional and tough scene between Christian Bale and Bryce Howard. A scene that required soul bearing and a deep level of immersive concentration. The sort of scene where everyone on set knows not to get in anyone's eye lines, and definitely not to move lights around while FILMING. You lock that shit down before the scene starts.

Bale had indeed warned the DP on multiple occasions about messing with lights while the cameras were rolling, and Bale was in the midst of a painful scene with Bryce, what was described to me as being the emotional center of the film and his character for the film.

Now, the reason I know all of this is because the person that was there, felt that it should be made perfectly clear that Christian Bale was the utmost gentleman and cool guy on set. And the DP really was doing something that professional DPs with experience just don't do. Not during a performance.

TMink said...

Althouse, you are missing the point. I LOVE golf. It is my favorite sport. I was going to PGA events before they searched your bags.

The man who instructed me was making 2 points. One you got, and so did I. The other you missed, he also talked during a 6 foot putt that he made to show that the pros were prissies!

I am the model of decorum at golf matches. My daughter competes, I get lots of practice.

The reason I am the model of decorum is that you cannot hear it when my eyes roll at someone spazzing because of train or car noise.

And those basketball players face the exact same kind of stress as golfers. We are humans, our stress is neurologically the same. The basketball players just have the attitude that they are tougher than the dookies in the stand, and that they will be damned if some little noise or movement will distract them. Then they would not get the yips, a pychologically induced putting disorder based on poor attitudes toward concentration.

Golfers could take a lesson in that area. As could other sports from the wonderful and character building sport of golf. Just ignore them being weenies about their hallowed concentration.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

"The other you missed, he also talked during a 6 foot putt that he made to show that the pros were prissies!"

Did he have a million dollars riding on it?

I did notice the point, btw. I just reject it. Once people have an expected set of conditions, they care about them. And at the pro level, the game is very much about controlling nerves, including little involuntary twitches.

Freeman Hunt said...

With the context provided, I don't feel sorry for the DP at all. Sounds like he had it coming.

Further, if the context is correct, the arrogant one was the DP, not Bale. Who doesn't like a guy who knocks an arrogant jerk down a few pegs?

sonicfrog said...

Slhamlet, thanks for the info. If that is true, then Bale would definitley get a bit of a pass on this one, although he still went way overboard. That said, I do find it hard to believe that Mr. Hurlbut would still be working on that movie or in the industry if this was a continual problem. One thing I learned about the business is that, unless you have achieved superstar status in your area of expertise, there is always some guy in between jobs who can take your place.

So. Don't. Screw. Up!

PS. One of my responsibilities during my stint as 2nd Assistant Director was to change the film on the camera reels. The reels come off the camera, and you have to change the film in a "dark bag", quickly, without sweating. I was constantly reminded that each new roll was worth tens of thousands of dollars, and the exposed roll? Ruin that and you're done!

PatCA said...

Knowles is quite correct about protocol on set. No one moves or tweaks lights during a take except the actors--or you're fired!

rightwingprof said...

What I don't understand is why anybody mentioned this in the first place. Who cares? Why should I care? Exactly how is the relevant, and to what?

I couldn't care less if he ate rats on set, as long as he acts. That's all I care about.

Jon said...

author, etc said: "There's no more damning indictment against a so-called "eminent person" than to abuse and belittle a subordinate. When I see people tee off on waiters or receptionists or whatever, that's it for me--they're pricks, and I don't want to know them. Bale is clearly a prick."

Agree.

I'd be more inclined to give Bale a pass on this if there were a record of him acting in a similarly abusive manner towards someone who is not a female half his size, or towards someone who is free to punch him in the mouth without losing his job.

Palladian said...

"We love you, Christian!"

Yes! We love it when you berate and physically threaten your co-workers for doing something you don't like! It's so charming!

Glen said...

Was this a rehearsal shot with the cameras rolling? Or an actual take? It strikes me as very odd that lights would be adjusted in the middle of a take. That would produce subtle (or not so subtle) differences which might be difficult to edit around.

Cameras do roll in rehearsal and portions of that footage may make the final edit -- because fresh, inventive things often happen "in process".

But on a typical rehearsal-take everyone is working towards getting it right for the actual takes. All departments are trying to get it perfect before the camera records everything for the ultimate and final time. It's the equivalent to the Theater's proverbial tech rehearsal.

None of these circumstances excuse Bale's behavior -- which was just an self-indulgent explosion of power.

To threaten physical violence? To extend that threat to others who are simply trying to mediate the difficulty? I'm sorry. That's not acceptable, even in the world of creative professionals.

Jon said...

Freeman Hunt said: "Am I the only one who thinks smoking pot is stupid but could not possibly have been less shocked by the Phelps thing? In fact, the biggest surprise to me is that anyone else was surprised. After all the interviews and profiles on him, couldn't people see that he was exactly the sort of guy everyone has known who smokes pot? Didn't most people go to college with scads of guys just like him, swimming talent aside? Given the total lack of surprise, I couldn't care less."

The noteworthy thing isn't that Phelps would smoke pot, but that he would be reckless enough to do so in a public situation where there was a high probability of it being photographed. It would be one thing if he had been toking up alone, or with a couple buddies in his dorm room. But reportedly he was at a party surrounded by dozens of people when he just got in line to take a hit off the bong. Given that he is being paid millions of dollars to maintain a certain image, that was far more stupid than an act of pot-smoking by an ordinary college kid.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes! We love it when you berate and physically threaten your co-workers for doing something you don't like! It's so charming! "

It's like you didn't even read what Knowles said.

Ann Althouse said...

BTW, I just listened to the original rant again, and the guy does say "I'm sorry" right in the beginning.

Palladian said...

"It's like you didn't even read what Knowles said."

It's like you didn't even listen to the rant where Bale threatens to physically injure people.

Frodo Potter said...

If the DP had consistently screwed up, then I can give Bale a *litle* bit of a pass, but no more than a little. What a lot of defenders are missing is that class acts don't do this. Ask yourself: would this have happened with Tom Hanks? Would this have happened with Morgan Freeman? Would this have happened with George Clooney? This doesn't even take into account Meryl Streep, or Sally Field, or Susan Sarandon. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that none of these people would have acted like Bale. Think about that when you are excusing Bale.

Revenant said...

What a lot of defenders are missing is that class acts don't do this. Ask yourself: would this have happened with Tom Hanks?

If Knowles' story is correct, I suspect Tom Hanks would have taken the producer aside and said "I want the director of photography replaced, because he keeps messing up my scenes". Then the DP would be fired, and life would go on as before with a different one.

You're right that blowing up like that was neither classy nor professional. But tolerating incompetence in the technical crew isn't professional either -- not with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

Edmund said...

And the DP in question wasn't doing the team work properly and it destroyed some of the work of another member of the team, which pissed him off. You know, the DP should have said: "I'm sorry." Notice that he didn't?

He did at one point. He was contrite and said it wouldn't happen again.

I have family in the business and called one to ask if he'd ever heard anything like this. The closest is when he was on set and a cell phone rang in the middle of a take. The director yelled "Cut!" and tried to find out who had a live cell phone on set. Everyone had to take out their cell phone and show it was off. The probable guilty party was a producer, who didn't have to take out his phone.

Palladian said...

Notice that it's people who never worked in the film industry and are ignorant of how it's organized that are defending Bale.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Nevermind the one I deleted. No need to out someone as the guy with the arch conservative wife.

Palladian, you are wrong that no one defending Bale has experience in the film industry.

Palladian said...

"Palladian, you are wrong that no one defending Bale has experience in the film industry."

OK. I'll rephrase: no one important who ever worked in the film industry or who understands how it works is defending Bale.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would also point out that the only reason people are having such a reaction to Bale is that it was recorded. It used to be that we'd hear that so and so actor or director or crew member had a big blow up, and it would be sort of mysterious. Now it's the YouTube age, so we all get to hear the rudeness, and so the mystery is gone.

Blow ups like that aren't common, but they're not unusual either.

A friend recently worked on a set with a director who was going through some personal problems. He'd lash out at crew members everyday over nothing. He'd scream at people, call them names, and yell that they were all fired. Then he'd storm off. But they wouldn't actually be fired. He was flipping out and leaving so often that someone else was having to come over some days to direct scenes. Finally one night he called everyone in together and apologized, saying he was just crazy at the moment. And all of that was on a big budget, mainstream movie.

Freeman Hunt said...

Knowles defended Bale. He's not ignorant of how the film industry works.

Freeman Hunt said...

Bale's beef was legitimate; he handled it incorrectly (should have gone to the director) and acted like an ass; but it's not as huge a deal as people are making it out to be.

And I still don't feel sorry for the DP.

Palladian said...

Well remind me to threaten you with bodily harm the next time you piss me off, Freeman. We'll see how not that big of a deal it is then.

Freeman Hunt said...

But isn't anything along the lines of "I'm gonna kick your ass!" pretty much standard, albeit low class, male on male tirade posturing? Do you think the DP really felt threatened or was he probably just thinking "Sure, man. I bet. Whatever," while mentally rolling his eyes?

Palladian said...

He might have been afraid that Bale was going to sic one of The Machines on him.

Revenant said...

Who was that troll who kept endlessly complaining that Simon had threatened to kill him even though no sensible person took the threat seriously? I'm reminded of that.

Jennifer said...

So the guy's a light tweaker. A little meth here and there is no reason to go off on the guy.

Joe said...

Everyone who is dumping on Bale apparently has never worked in the film or stage industry. I have. By comparison to many actors, Bale was a model of restraint.

Incidentally, I doubt the cameras were actually rolling; I suspect they were doing full rehearsal. I'm quite stunned by the behavior of the DP. When in college, I was a gaffer (assistant light person) on a small production and did something similar and got put in my place. How someone with that much experience would make such a mistake baffles the mind.

It's not just rude, it's stupid, dangerous and truly amateurish. The DP should have been sitting next to the camera or looking at the video tap to see how the lighting and framing as a whole was working. Plus, DPs don't tweak lights, gaffers do--he wasn't just disrespecting Bale, but his own crew.

Unless a DP is trying to obtain a specific look, tweaking lights is a sign of lack of confidence. I sat on a set once and watched a DP waste an hour doing this--I knew the results wouldn't be seen in the final film and I suspect so did the gaffer, but the DP had his own ego to massage. I was surprised the director and producer didn't get upset, but it was very early in the filming and they weren't yet behind.

Finally, when working directly around actors, you always keep them apprised at what you are doing and often ask their permission. Why? Because they may turn their head and look straight at a light or bang their head or trip or a myriad of other things. (Now during initial setup, the opposite is true.)

Kevin Walsh said...

Somewhere, Gordon Ramsey is seated by a computer playing the tape and furiously taking notes on how to ream people.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Ann Althouse said...

"It's like you didn't even listen to the rant where Bale threatens to physically injure people."

Yeah, I did, and I agree that it was wrong to say that, but I understand why he was so upset, and I understand how decent people can lose it and overstate things. We don't have the video. Did he lunge at the guy? Seems to me, in the end he got control of himself.

slhamlet said...

Thanks for updating with that link, Prof. Althouse. It's been goddamn disgusting to watch these gossip columnists and bloggers, these small-minded, heavily made-up wanna-bes, these supercilious, groveling, shiv-pulling, water-fly parasites on popular culture, do their maggoty worse on an artist who's done more for humanity in 10 seconds of acting than they will ever do in their entire lives. (Yes, even in a fucking *Terminator* sequel.)

Palladian said...

Mr Bale! How nice of you to join us! How's your little robot movie coming along?

Mark said...

Here's the perspective of someone who worked with Bale on a movie.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mr Bale! How nice of you to join us! How's your little robot movie coming along?"

Christian Bale can sock-puppet on my blog any time he wants!

Palladian said...

"Christian Bale can sock-puppet on my blog any time he wants!"

That sounds dirty!

Palladian said...

But even though I think he's an execrable pig, he could "sockpuppet" my whatever anytime he wanted as well.

Nichevo said...

Did I ever tell you, Ann, I look just like Christian Bale?

Well no, he looks just like me. When he's rocking the facial hair.

No, I tell a lie. I'm more of a cross between Bale and JFK Jr.

Ann Althouse said...

Nichevo, you obviously need to shave.

Mo-Face said...

If you enjoyed that you should check out he music video I cut to this remix using footage from "Newsies." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfO9InoTjUQ