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Independent Contractors

Trevor turns normal, everyday people into monsters. Scott blows things sky high. Marguerite burns things to the ground. And Anand makes some incredibly strange and disturbing noises.

But they aren’t mass murderers or crazed psychopaths. They’re independent movie and TV special effects artists, and actually very sane: Sane enough, in fact, to depend on Genie and the Universal Office to keep them in touch with reality, whether they are working together or separately.

“I’ve worked with some of the best effects crews in the business,” says makeup artist Trevor Conner. “And I’ve worked with some real fly-by-night operators, too. The Universal Office has really helped me make sure I didn’t miss an exciting project just because I’m stuck out at the Vasquez Rocks fixing the scales on the latest creature from space.”

Pyrotechnician Marguerite Herrera agrees. “Missing the call for the next assignment is doom in this business. The more you’re working the more they want you to work. That’s why I use Genie and that’s why I told Trevor and Anand and Scott about it. We’re all independents, and we all live or die by ‘The Call’. Whether one or all of us are on a project, we like to let each other know. We’re not a company, but we are sort of a team.”

“You can forget carrying a cell phone with some of the things I work with,” says demolition expert Scott Perry with a grin. “A stray signal at the wrong time and my job becomes a REAL boom industry. Pagers are out too. With Genie, though, I know that call asking ‘Can you blow up a mid-sized town for two hundred dollars?’ will be ready and waiting as soon as I get where I can switch back on, or look at my laptop.”

Anand Gupta, a ‘Foley’ artist specializing in simulating sounds, feels just as strongly. “I’d really hate to have my cell phone going off while I’m ‘breaking bones’ for the soundtrack. But I can leave my PC on where I can see it, and know that someone left a message. Then, when I’m not working, I can switch the way the calls get forwarded with just the push of a button.”

“The minute I get word of a new picture,” says Trevor, “I send word to Margeurite, Scott and Anand, so they can possibly bid on the work too. It’s incredibly easy – whether I do it over the phone or over email. And they do the same for me.”

Scott also depends heavily on his GenieCard to manage his small, unexpected purchases. "A lot of the time, I find myself in small towns where they really don't want to take a check, and aren't really set up for credit cards. So when I need little things, I just stop by any bank and use the GenieCard to pull out cash. Genie brings it all together for me."


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