Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Uses of energy

What with all the excitement of last week, I forgot to mention that the agency found me a job, so I am now an employed person once again. I'm doing a 9-5 office job, data entry/management stuff, pretty quiet at the moment so I'm getting plenty of surfing/reading time (currently reading "Shakespeare's Advice to the Players" by Peter Hall, which is an ace book if you want to understand why/how Shakespearean language works), but once the students get back, all hell will let loose, apparently. And this week is also A's first full week back at school, so as you can imagine, our house is a fun place to be in the mornings.

What's interesting is that we are both totally flaked out, me especially, despite the fact that we should either be used to this by now, or have worked longer days in previous lives so shouldn't be so tired. It's been a while since I did a conventional 9-5 job, but I'm finding it much more tiring than last week's equation of "10 hours on set + 2 hours driving + an hour or so of paperwork after tea". Guess the Chinese proverb quoted by Laurence Fishburne in "Matrix Revisited" was correct - "find a job you love, and you never work another day in your life". I just wish I'd discovered it sooner. I loved last week. I loved having to deal with whatever came up, taking phone calls and sorting things out, driving people to and from the station, talking to anyone who needed talking to, thinking about how I'd envisaged a scene and talking it over with Darren, suggesting to Darren that Richie and I wanted to try a different way in a scene, helping the crew when I could, lugging sandbags, doing lines with Jim, watching on the monitor, doing sums at night to see how the budget was holding up, fetching coffee and water for the crew. Not being in the same chair from 9 til 5. Cameraderie.

It was not all sweetness and light. I spent much of the week feeling anxious about money, and about time - essentially, did we have enough of either? There was also a personality clash which I didn't handle too well (i.e I avoided the issue until it had gone away). I know what I'll do differently next time (like I said, steep learning curve). It was stressful, but it was good stress. And we're beginning to plan our next film. So that's a sign - it must've been good enough to want to repeat the experience!

Meanwhile, I will be at the industry weekend of Bite The Mango in Bradford and will be working on Reception over the weekend at Hull Short Film Festival. Come and say hello.


Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Didn't handle it a clash too well? What happened?

1:32 am  
Blogger wcdixon said...

Having read your explanation over at Maryan's, I think you handled it okay. Part of a producers job is to put together a good working team and then stay out of the way (or make sure everyone's fed one producer friend of mine says). And one part of staying out of the way is making sure the machine is proceeding and making your day --- and a big fight/blowout on set might jeapordize that.

Now could you have pulled aside said problem child and quietly and sternly told them to just do their job and keep comments to themselves and stay away from the monitor and so forth? Of course. But you hesitated primarily because of a lack of experience..which breeds confidence...which breeds authority...and all that will come. And you have to go through each situation at least once to know better what you will do the next time.


12:14 am  
Blogger Tim Clague said...

"Doing lines with Jim". That's after work surely???

2:29 pm  

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