In the just-completed TV pilot Bloodline, an epic family battle comes to modern suburbia. If the show gets picked up and stays local, it could mean more production jobs come to Local 399.
Full of martial-arts action, the one-hour thriller has the pulp style of films like Kill Bill. An orphaned young girl is caught between two warring families of mercenaries and killers. With the aid of a Chinese mentor, she must find and defeat her mother in mortal combat.
Forty Local 399 drivers worked on the pilot, which was shot all over the LA area. “We had 26 locations in a 14-day shoot,” said transportation coordinator and longtime Teamster Rod Bearden. “We had a great team of drivers who got everything where it needed to be in timely fashion.”
Driver Michael Moreno said, “I work on pilots every year. We never know which will get picked up and stay local, but it’s fun to work on them.”
Business Agent George Nadian points to Ed Duffy’s work in pushing for production jobs to stay in California. “Keeping film work in LA keeps our drivers employed along with the other crew members, keeping our families fed and our insurance strong,” he said.
A production of NBC Universal and Film 44, the Bloodline pilot was directed by Peter Berg, who is also an actor with credits including Friday Night Lights and Collateral. Bloodline’s creator is David Graziano, a Hollywood veteran who went from being a staff writer of Felicity in the 1990s to co-producing the LAPD drama Southland two decades later, with many credits in between.
“NBC Universal is very Teamster-friendly. They’re one of the studios that gets it,” said Bearden.
Don Haggerty, a Local 399 driver for 24 years, drove a production van on the Bloodline shoot. “We all hope pilots and full series will stay in LA. Any job you can keep in California is the best thing for us,” he said.