It absolutely sucks that they (and so many others) are out of work right now. More and more I hear of projects being pushed and pushed into non existence. In the case of the gig they were up for in April, it turns out to be a good thing for me and my lil short film- they are all available and the equipment is too. Although, come to think of it, they would be available on the weekend for it anyway, like they were on the PSA I production managed. If they were working that big job that just got pushed, during my shoot weekend, the Best "Boy" would be the gaffer and the Best Boy Grip would be the key - or some arrangement like that. I know they would work it out for me.
I wonder how long this film industry drought (for many of us) will last? It's affecting the commercial, promo and music video end of the industry pretty hard. Those are bread and butter gigs for those of us non union crew.
I've had a few 1-4 day gigs as a 1st on a commercial here, a music video there.
I know when I apply for gigs that people who are way more experienced are also applying for the same position. I know that a lot of union folks are working under pseudonyms so they can work non union gigs, so you can imagine that the market is way over saturated for 1sts, PMs, PS, etc.
Still, there are always positives in every experience.
These times make us more resourceful. They make us get rid of what we don't need from our lives. It's times like this that many of us go for what we really want and break the habits of accepting what we sort of want and can stand cause it pays the bills. Now that those jobs aren't paying the bills so much, we may as well go for the dream.
So, completely available or not, I'm grateful for my crew and hope they also get their visions together on paper so I can produce the projects that lead them into the career positions they dream of.