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Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Today’s Episode is sponsored by THE FILMMAKERS PODCAST

Today I’ll be tackling a form of behaviour which I see more and more often and it took me a number of years to realise that BULLIES are as much a part of adult life as they were in school - but I’ve had enough of them, and I have started calling them out when they raise their ugly heads. They don’t like it though. They don’t like it at all...

Let me forewarn you that today’s show will be the longest episode to date and in numerous examples, I am about to relate I’m choosing not to name names so many years after most of the events took place.

With all that said, hang on to your seats and let’s talk about BULLIES AND THE SILENT MAJORITY.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt UNQUOTE

As I sit and think of examples for this show, I find that only a few of these hurts still linger painfully on my consciousness – the majority of the bullying experiences that I have been the victim of over the years have actually been put to rest. These examples therefore are not exhaustive and I don’t look for pity by recounting them - Instead I offer them up as examples, warnings, if you may, of what you must look out for in life, and in work.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln UNQUOTE

I’ll kick this off by talking about assistant directors – for those of you listeners that are not in the business, these are the people who manage the on set dealings on a film and who lead and drive the productions forward. Most of the 1sts I work with are good people. They are focused on their work, and run a safe and happy ship, with a happy cast and crew, but which runs at a fast and driven creative pace that ensures it meets the planned schedule. There are those amongst the breed though which use game-playing, sarcasm and in effect bullying, to meet the same fast and driven schedule.

There’s one AD that comes to mind that treated me in a way that they would never get away with now – As I’d be sure set them straight if they tried it. I had been working as fight director on a feature and one day I was given a background artiste, who was monumentally miscast and totally unable to perform in a fight with any level of competence. Now I’m good at what I do, but I am not a miracle worker and on this film, I was just not given the support I needed. The way that AD spoke to me when he saw this poor guy try and perform, was utterly unforgivable. He spoke to me like some lower life form and treated me like crap during the whole production.

One day he even left me behind at a location in the middle of nowhere with a crash mat so huge that it needed a truck to move – If it wasn’t for a junior producer who I respect greatly and who has now become quite successful in his own right, I might still be standing there. We had to squash it into the last vehicle left except us - The honey wagon, or toilet truck as you might know it, in order to get it to the next location. To say I was upset at that stage by my mistreatment is an understatement.

That AD’s behaviour towards me was terrible and yet he was never brought to task. These days I like to know who the 1st AD is before I agree to work as I have a list of horrible 1st AD’s that I avoid. A very shortlist, and that guy is top of it, but a list nonetheless.

Next, today, are the actors – not all actors I hasten to add – but the needy actors that drop me in it for no other reason than that they are seeking attention. An example of this would be those who - some way into the filming of a fight scene which I have carefully worked out with the actors, and on which I have checked in with them after each and every take to ensure they are happy and safe and been given the affirmative - to my surprise suddenly announce that they are actually finding it very tough and are struggling on despite the pain when asked by SOMEONE ELSE in production, for example, a 1st AD or a producer. I REALLY HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS AND IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. This is really just attention-seeking, which has the side effect of placing me in a bad position and threatens my future re-employment, but it is a form of bullying nonetheless.

On another feature, I was working as both fight director and second unit director and I picked up an incredibly painful injury called shin splints whilst rehearsing fights pre-shoot in a cold cold warehouse set. On this picture there was a makeup guy, with a very egotistic personality, who decided, not for a laugh, but out of sheer badness, to move my chair away from the secondary monitors whilst I had briefly stepped onto the set- and I’m up and down a lot during these things... When I returned I found my chair gone, and the space in which it had sat, now filled with other people, and heard giggles from that group, I was baffled by the behaviour. I hadn’t seen anything so overtly bully-ish since I was a child, and here it was in a so-called professional environment.

At the time I let it go as I wasn’t exactly sure who had done it but the incident was quite upsetting and unnerving to me I am a genuinely hard worker with a pleasant professional demeanour. I had done nothing wrong, I was injured and I found myself to be the butt of some evil joke with no explanation. I was genuinely taken aback by the disrespect with which I was shown.

One thing I’ve noted over the years incidentally is that some people read my pleasant professional and relaxed manner as a sign of weakness and on occasion, I have to kinda strengthen my resolve to something more authoritative when dealing with certain types of people - still remaining professional of course. Here I found myself being put through extreme pain seemingly for the pleasure of this bullish makeup guy and his cronies, all over seemingly over the real estate space my chair had been taking up next to the monitors. All this didn’t change the fact too that it was UTTERLY ESSENTIAL FOR SAFETY AND DIRECTORIAL REASONS THAT I SEE CAN ACTUALLY SEE A MONITOR. I found myself, injured and in pain, having to stand at the back and look over these fools to view the monitors. AFTER THIS HAPPENED, AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, I NEVER SAT WITH THEM OR INTEGRATED WITH THEM AGAIN.

A more subtle form of bullying behaviour which I’ve experienced a significant number of times, and another key reason why I finally gave up producing and directing films, comes from THE SIDELINER. I’ve talked about this form of toxic behaviour in the past and it mostly happened to me at producer and director level - a SIDELINER is a person that you are collaborating with who starts to shut you out of communications, usually because they pertain to money or ownership of a piece of creative work, despite it being ESSENTIAL and CORRECT that you are included. If this starts to happen, let me tell you one thing I have learned from hard-won experience. You are being scammed. Either out of credit for the work or out of money, and you can guarantee you are being talked about in a negative light. If there’s one thing that’s happened all too often recently in fact - that really gets my goat - it’s people tricking others into believing that they to speak with my voice, my thoughts and my opinions.

Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It's a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than good Zack W. Van UNQUOTE

I’ve not been physically threatened very often, that’s just not the sort of behaviour I come across, but I know a crew member who was physically threatened on an independent picture quite recently.

The bully, in this case, had made an incorrect assumption about that crew member and they went barrelling after the innocent party, cornered them and gave them a ton of abuse about what the bully believed had been disrespect or uncaring attitude towards his “team”.

Now, this is something I do come across - There are people out there, who DESPITE HAVING NOT A CLUE, count themselves EXPERTS on many things and decide to give you their opinion on whatever it is you are doing. This guy took it further even than that.

Anyway, it reads to me that the BULLY was actually trying to show off to other crew members by confronting an innocent and trying to frame them for a crime they didn’t commit. Disappointingly for the bully, who was of the large muscly variety, the victim, in this case, a consummate professional, just calmly explained that his assumption was wrong.

In turn, the self-appointed righter of some imagined wrong took it as far as he could and even with a producer witnessing it, until the victim, and I use that word with a certain sense of irony as they were, in fact, a martial arts expert of very high standing, finally took bully took him up on their offer to fight. The bully, as you might expect in a bullying story like this suddenly had a change of heart, backed down and slinked off.

I’ll come back to these incidents later in the episode though as it’s not the end of the story or the lesson.

When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour. Piers Anthony UNQUOTE

It’s not always easy to identify bullying as it can start out quite subtly and quietly. A bully will assess just how far they can go and even kind of befriend you or try to win your trust in the first place before targeting you. They may only turn on you in fact when they realise that their beliefs or passions or attitudes or religion or whatever are not the same as your own and it may at first be disguised in chit chat or sarcasm and be difficult for you to spot.

Elsewhere, what may read as bullying might not be. When bad behaviour is pointed out to some people, they may be profusely sorry – maybe they had been having a bad day – or they have trouble at home – I can certainly recall times I’ve been shorter than I like with people because I was worried about something at home – so remember the old adage:

“Be kind, for everyone else is fighting battles that you likely do not know about.”

Some people too, just have large or loud or brash personalities and may not intend their actions or words to be hurtful.

Image taken from this link:

I think what I’m saying is that it’s complicated - seemingly bad behaviour is not always intentionally bullying, but unintentional bad behaviour can still affect others in a negative way. I’m pussyfooting around another bullying territory, where some people have refined their character of VICTIM to such an art form, that they themselves have become the bully, and lie in wait to be offended and victimised. I’ll come back to these horrors in a bit as it’s kinda interesting… I’ll be using the term snowflake to capture this particular bully, but I do not intend to offend you with its use unless you really want to be of course.

I’m sure you know this but… A Snowflake is a derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, OR ARE overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.

I’ll be using the term SNOWFLAKE to identify a bully who is so easily offended and ready to complain or play the victim card as to be classified a BULLY themselves.

Michael J. Fox said “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”

So BULLYING can include being yelled at, which I’ve seen happen a good few times in professional life – but I’ve also seen the opposite – people being accused of shouting when they are not – a true bully setting someone else up to seem like they are a bully - I’ve seen people being needled, sidelined or gaslighted by true bullies to the point where they are exasperated and kick off in frustration – then, in turn, they get unfairly accused of bullying while the instigator smiles quietly to themself.

Eye-rolling is a small annoyance but one worth mentioning nonetheless – Eye rolling drifts into the area of bullying when it is used to undermine someone either quietly behind their backs for the benefit of others or directly to put them off, inferring “here we go again” or some other rudeness. I was once in an early meeting with the 1st AD for a feature film and when it ended, was told by my assistant that the 3rd AD was eye-rolling behind my back as I talked about avoiding a few particularly dangerous extras that were attracted to low budget action films. I never pulled her up about it, but do you know what? On the very 1st day of shooting, that 3rd AD put one of the three extras I had asked her to avoid onto the set with me. I couldn’t fucking believe it.

A quick Google search threw up a few more examples of workplace bullying.

  • There’s obviously verbal abuse, not necessarily shouting - like telling someone they are useless or unreliable or stupid or being ‘talked down to’ like what happened to me in my first exampleIll-treatment such as ostracism (‘being sent to Coventry’). I had that happen to me last year and will talk about it a little later.

  • Being constantly criticised, having duties and responsibility taken away without good reason – Yip tick that one-off, I’ve experienced that.

  • Shouting, aggressive behaviour or threats. – On occasion yes.

  • Being put down or made to feel the butt of the jokes – Yes tick that one too.

  • Being persistently picked on in front of others or in private – Yes but not so much these days. I can give off an air of supreme indifference to this sort of thing so they usually don’t bother me much.

  • Being constantly ignored, victimised or excluded regularly. Oh yes. Very annoying. Big tick on that one.

  • Constantly mocking and attacking - yip

  • Spreading malicious rumours – yip, two ticks on that one.

  • Misuse of power or position to make someone feel uncomfortable or victimised – yip – very prevalent in my experience.

  • Making threats about job security – absolutely

  • Blocking promotion or progress within the workplace. I’m sure it happens. Progress within the industry is near impossible at the best of times though so I can’t think of an example off the bat.

And it’s not listed here but cyber-bullying should probably be mentioned. It’s a whole other thing but it can’t be ignored. I went through a couple of years where my website and email were attacked again and again, possibly by bots that had found a weakness in the sites structure or my email address which at that point was more easily online or maybe it was just by a troll with nothing better to do. For the record, I solved it by moving my site off of WordPress and changing my email host to Gmail, but it was a bit of a drag nonetheless.

Coming back to the topic of SNOWFLAKES; In an article in Psychology Today which I’ll link to in the show notes, Psychologist Jon Haidt contends that instead of learning to grapple with viewpoints that diverge from their own, students are now learning the “twin habits of defensive self-censorship and vindictive protectiveness.” In other words, they pretty quickly grasp WHICH VIEWS ARE PERMITTED AND WHICH ARE NOT, and LEARN TO CONFORM. When they disagree with accepted opinions, they know to keep quiet because others who hold accepted views will thoroughly lambast anyone who dares speak up. This is an incredible snapshot of modern society, not just students. I’ve certainly seen this behaviour many times in the film industry.

I’m trying to keep this show in ADULT territory but the article is a fascinating read – It says that in school “Good” children learn they can get away with mean-spirited behaviour like name-calling and social exclusion as long as there is unspoken peer agreement regarding which children are acceptable targets — and those targets are typically the unconventional, nonconformist, “different” kids – That’s probably us creatives btw. And these unspoken peer agreements of course, in school or in adult professional life, make it more difficult or certainly more high risk for us to call out, bullies.

In too many ways, political correctness has been a bully. Judge Judy Sheindlin

Bullying can build too, to the point where you dread going to work, and where your home and family life is affected.

I can’t explain to you the misery I was put through at in a regional theatre show I was cast in when I was an actor and just starting out. Another actor in the production used to needle me and give me notes at every opportunity and got me so worked up about a certain scene that required our joint timing that I dreaded not only that scene but going into the theatre at all. I was stuck there though as there isn’t an option for an actor to drop out of something without causing a whole lot of trouble, so I suffered it and it was a miserable time for me. Years later, incidentally, that actor came and apologised to me, which was an interesting and welcome turn of events. I respect him greatly for that.

Another form of bullying I’ve experienced, although it may be regarded as just bad behaviour by most, is that of BEING USED AS A PROP FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S EGO. Last year I was hired to work on a show which had a lot of background re-enactor fighting extras, but not as fight director, as a safety advisor instead - and I was happy to fulfill that role. Now at the risk of this sounding like this is a promo for my fight work, I can say that I am really good at what I do, extremely experienced, stupidly good with a sword and beyond that, I am pretty darn fast. I had been asked to attend by the producer who was clearly concerned about safety, and quite rightly so.

On a few rare occasions that day, I found I had to intercede, very politely and quickly to keep things safe, but the director - who REALLY didn’t want me there in the first place it became clear - pulled me aside early on and told me he didn’t have time for my intervention. He only pulled me about 6 feet away from the others though so this ensured that everyone heard him in effect TELLING ME OFF. As he rushed back to continue his work I announced quite loudly, in response, that whether he had time for me or not, I was going to go right on ensuring that we do it in all a safe way anyway.

He didn’t say two words to me the rest of that day, but nobody got hurt and the number of background artistes that came and thanked me that day for my help in keeping them safe was very significant. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people thank me on any other production – THE REENACTORS were clearly very happy I was there to keep them safe. About halfway through the day, I spoke to the producer about the incident as I was unnerved. He simply said I wasn’t there to be liked. I couldn’t really disagree so I went along with it. I’m just not in the habit of making enemies…

So how do we begin to combat this? What do you do if you are being bullied?

Most advice that I’ve read online says that in the first instance, you should seek to solve your problem informally. If you feel safe and comfortable speaking to them that is. Informing them that you will be taking a more official route if they don’t change their behaviour may be enough to stop the attack.

Michael Caine talks about this, but kinda in reverse - I’ve been looking for the exact quote but haven’t yet discovered it. He was to be working with a director who he’d heard was known for shouting at his actors. Before he started the film he said to the director “I hear you like to shout at people - I don’t like being shouted at” and he says “you know, that director never shouted at me once". Maybe that director was a bully and maybe he wasn’t but Michael Caine short-circuited any opportunity for bullying before it even started.

For many, the informal way isn't an option so if this is the case you should make management aware of what’s happening. If you are STILL not satisfied that the harassment has stopped, if it is not taken seriously by your line manager, or if the problem gets worse, you should seek to make an official complaint or, if you have one, take it to your union.

  • Amy Cooper Hakim of PSYCHOLOGY TODAY SAYS: BE CONFIDENT AND USE SIMPLE, UNEMOTIONAL LANGUAGE. She says “Bullies lose their power if you don’t cower. Deep down, they doubt they deserve your respect. They admire you for speaking with self-assurance and confidence. So when they bombard, don’t counterpunch. Rather, win them over with your strong, firm, courteous demeanour.” And she says “know that the victim does not intend to be victimized. It does not seek forgiveness, but does not pose a challenge either.” I tried this approach once, The bully became so enraged by my calm response and presentation of facts that it makes me laugh even now. I had caught them with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar and their rage was IN EFFECT staged to hide their embarrassment and humiliation at being caught out.

  • Signe Whitsonsays, STAY CONNECTED. “Bullies operate by making their victims feel alone and powerless.” So you should keep people informed of your situation. It will also alleviate your stress about the matter when you share your problem and gain an ally.

  • Psychology Today also recommends that we SET LIMITS. This is exactly what Michael Caine did in my earlier example. Chrissy Scivicque writes, “The trick is to remain polite and professional while still setting your limits firmly. Don't let the bully get under your skin—that's what he wants. Practice your response so you're prepared the next time something happens and you can respond swiftly without getting emotional. Keep it simple and straightforward, for example: ‘I won’t be talked to in this way.’"

  • Whitson further tells us to ACT QUICKLY AND CONSISTENTLY. “The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Oftentimes, bullying begins in a relatively mild form—name calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to tell anyone or stand up for their rights, the aggression worsens.”

  • Sometimes all you have to do with a bully is wait a little while and STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS COLD.. Rather than exchanging hostilities, step back so that you are not responding in the heat of the moment and meeting them on their own level. Cool heads find solutions more easily than hot ones. Besides, if you step back, they may do the dirty work for you.

And another thing that all of the articles I looked at had in common was that YOU MUSTN’T SEE YOURSELF AS THE PROBLEM.

"Nobody can hurt me without my permission." —​ Mahatma Gandhi UNQUOTE and he also said that Bullies are always to be found where there are cowards btw.

One article said that the reason people experience bullying is not because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, appearance, disability or any other unique factor; it is because of bully’s attitude towards the factor. The only thing possible to change is attitudes.

I say that the person who is bullying you is the one with the issue, not you. It’s just the way things are. You don’t have to give yourself the additional burden of trying to change them. Remember that sometimes, a bully will always be a bully.

I’d like to look back over the situations which I have previously outlined, and by using Napoleon Hill’s method of ACCURATE THOUGHT, try and figure out why they occurred and how we can protect protecting ourselves and others from it in future.

The 1st AD who talked down to me is fairly regularly employed for one very clear reason - he brings productions in on time: and that, in the end, seems to be all that really matters to many production companies. And the production company who put the film together to be fair, may never have even heard about my mistreatment, or the mistreatment of others – And why not? Because I let it go and continued to work on in fear. My keenness, especially in my younger days, to make an impression and drive things on meant that making a formal complaint was not an option because I wanted to keep my job.

I 100% certain that at the time, if I had reported a grievance, that it would have been me that got dropped from the production and not the bully who was running the show. In hindsight what I SHOULD HAVE DONE was to confront the bully right then, just as Michael Caine did, and set out my limits. That talking to me in the way he did, dismissing my experience and my qualifications and placing me in situations in which I had absolutely no support, WAS NOT AND NEVER WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE. If I had done that, I believe things would have been different.

Let’s look at another situation. The actor that drops me in it. Actors often don’t get taken to task over bullying behaviour as the aim of everyone on any given production is to keep things moving and shoot what’s on the call sheet OR if it’s a longer shoot and they are a main character, they may kinda get away with it, very likely with a talking to along the way from a producer, until they leave the production. The last thing we do on a busy shoot day is upset an actor that has important scenes coming up and 99 times out of 100 replacing them is usually not an option. Much of the time, therefor, a bullish actor is allowed to badly for a time at least, for the sake of peace, the saving of budget and for the sake of the show.

Over time though, what I’ve discovered is that an actor that does this to me will be playing other games with other people and their reputation will surely dive. This sort of trouble bothers me less than it used to as I mostly work with very awesome and very professional people.

Although the actors of which I speak may not know it, and you should know this now if you are one, causing upset and trouble, or playing games or bullying other actors or crew inevitably leads to one thing - being dropped sooner or later from the production or finding that unemployment occurs more often than it used to. What goes around comes around remember. A situation happened to me once with an actor who thought he’d give his opinion very loudly about a fight scene I had directed. It bothered me as it was early days in my career and I spoke to the producer about it. He said this to me. “Ignore him - he’s a wee BEEEEEP”. And in one stroke this both calmed and reassured me. Unbeknownst to me, everyone already knew how difficult the actor could be. The act of complaining, was like water off a ducks back to the producer as he’d cried wolf so many times before. He was known for his power plays especially with bit-part actors or crew who were on dailies - and my reputation was untarnished.

Martin Luther King Jr said “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

And this represents my greatest revelation about bullying in recent years… I can affirm that now, I remember the inaction of my friends and colleagues with far greater clarity than the actions of the bullies themselves.

It probably doesn’t sound it but the bully that had moved my chair was one of the more troubling incidences that I recounted. This guy was an ass of the highest order, but I have noted over the years that asses, if they have talent or some other redeeming feature in the eyes of the producers - are very often left to behave in the worst ways.

Personally, if I’d been in a group when someone did this for sheer badness I would have spoken up - but not one of these people did. Why didn’t they though? Well, I’d put my money on peer pressure. They were scared to go against him for fear of being targeted themselves. It was a very poor show by my so-called colleagues that day but I’m happy to report that karma caught up with him on another production and one of his targets straightened up his attitude for him.

Finally, I want to revisit the situation that happened with the crew member who was physically threatened. Unfortunately, they decided to walk away from that production as the immediate stance that the producers took was not to fire the bully but to let it pass. I think there was some noise created by those in his department which sounds something along the line of; if he goes I go, effectively putting the producers in a tight situation. From what I can gather though, by the very act of walking off the production brought about a number of fresh bullying complaints by other crew members about the same guy.

I get that the producers found themselves in a tricky situation and I wonder how I would have handled it myself – but this is a retrospective so I’ll say that I understand it but I disagree with how they handled it. With a producer having witnessed the threatening behaviour of one crew member to another, they should have fired the bully. They didn’t, and this has had repercussions beyond that production. I’m sure too that this would have unnerved and caused upset right across their production as word went round that this sort of behaviour had been let to pass.

If they had stood their ground, and NOT ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BLACKMAILED by that department, the film would have continued with different people in those roles and a happier and healthier and I’d like to think better production to show for it. As we discovered earlier in the season, they one broke the golden rule of success when they let behaviour like this pass.

If you are a producer it would time well spent, if you ensured you have an anti-bullying policy, or build it into your contracts from now on.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr. UNQUOTE

I’ve got to wrap this up but before I do I must go back to the situation where I found myself being side-lined, and which led to a very aggressive bullying attempt by someone, that to be honest - I had always known was difficult.

This was a situation where I did expect others to step up and help me – but I can only conclude that they didn’t want to put their head above the proverbial parapet for fear of being targeted themselves, and by doing so they chose to stand by and let me be abused. While a known bully is targeting one person, you see, it means they are not targeting someone else, and the others then feel safe. It’s a very sad and disappointing observation, but I believe that this is what was in play. In the long run of course, the bully will turn on them, and finally they too will realise that the time has come to stand their ground, or depart.

Summing Up

Desmond Tutu said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

I was that mouse and in the situations, I listed above and would have appreciated the help of a bystander if it had been offered… and if I was ever a neutral in the past I am determined not to stand by and let a bully get away with it any more.

The Bully has a Jekyll and Hyde nature - is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current target of the serial bully's aggression sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as "charming" and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as "evil"; Hyde is the real person, Jekyll is an act. Tim Field UNQUOTE

There are complicating factors in talking about bullies that I must mention, if you’ve not yet had enough. Issues raised when confronting BULLIES can be followed by counter-allegations of ill-treatment and unfairness and allegations of bullying will often follow on from disciplinary or grievance procedures.

When you call out a bully, they may well instigate some form of tit for tat response so be prepared for this. To protect yourself you should "document any incident of harassment in detail and include the date, times, place, who was involved, what happened, and the names of any witnesses.” I use the call recorder app to help me out in difficult situations like this that may happen on the telephone. If you haven’t heard it then look back to Episode 27 - FIVE MORE FREE APPS TO MAKE YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE to find out more. Bullies melt like the wicked witch of the north when faced with facts and figures, believe me, and armed with facts you will always come out on top.

My pain may be the reason for somebody's laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody's pain. Charlie Chaplin UNQUOTE

Call To Action

Your call to action today is simple.

1/ If you witness bullying, remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” And step in and help.

2/ and If you are being bullied at the moment then use the tips that I have listed here to get back control. Hopefully, others will step up and help you, but if not, then:




And if that isn’t an option



And STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS COLD. Cool heads find solutions more easily than hot ones.


Bullies are bullish by nature and need to be called out. This doesn’t mean that they will stop their inherent bullying tendencies, but they will know that if they try it that they won’t get away with it.

That’s been a helluva long episode but I couldn’t let another series pass without going into this topic and once I started I knew I couldn’t do it by halves. I want to thank everyone that’s spoken to me about their experiences lately and all of the awesome production people that have supported me over the years. I have worked and continue to work with some truly amazing producers, production companies and 1st AD’s etc who really care about how things are done and how people are treated. I am lucky to have been working for many years with the BBC who are all over any form of bullying and I’m eternally grateful for the help I have found there over the years. I’m also thankful to British Actors equity, Bectu and BAPAM for being there whenever I need them. I’d also like to thank Giles Alderson of The Filmmakers Podcast for sponsoring this episode. It’s a great show so get subscribing.

I’ve got links to many of the references that I made here in the show notes and if someone would care to recommend any further links on this topic please do so and I’ll add them to the page.

I’ll end with the words of Abraham Lincoln “I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.”

For now, though, take control of your own destiny, stand up to bullies, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY!

The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A HimitsuYou can view the show notes for this episode on the official website filmproproductivity.comYou can follow my personal account on Twitter and Instagram @fight_director or follow the show on Twitter @filmproprodpod or on Facebook @FilmproproductivityPlease support the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.


Thanks: A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 Music released by Argofox Music provided by Audio Library ––– • Contact the artist:

1 Comment

Petra Kolb
Dec 05, 2019

Wonderful episode! But there's one thing, if you have been bullied already in your childhood and no one had your back and because of this you never really got self confidence it's hard to develop this when you're older and therefore you will always be an easy target for bullies. It needs a lot of work to get out of this vicious cycle and often the help and support of others and some will never get over it. I really hope this episode will help a lot of people to see the problem and stand up either for themselves or others. Thank you!

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