June 14, 2007

I have been silent, for (a) reason (s). I have been learning. Both willingly and not so willingly. In a way that I enjoyed ii and in ways I wished I did not. I have been under anesthesia for a surgery that I kept putting off until I could not anymore. Then one day it dawned on me that no one is going to go and do it on my behalf. I know that is obvious, but it's until you have been there and only the sight of a coffin gets you thinking. So I went, had my cervix cleared, I hope. I had to work less than 24 hours later. And the following day, I woke up thinking, I should not go to work, but I still went. Why? Because sitting in the house is worse than being in pain. It's that bad. Bodies have minds of their own because an hour late, I had to stop and listen to it. Went on location few days later, was a great success and I could not ask for more.

Big titles come with responsibility. I have always wanted to be a Production Manager which I believe is just a fancier title for a Producer. I did not, however think it was going to be that soon. I mean, I always knew that I could get whatever and wherever I wanted when I put my mind into it, and truth is, I have... so far. I however feel like King Oyo of Toro, with the kingdom of Production being thrown at me and being conscientiously expected to perform with more rigor and maturity and up my game to compete and, sadly, prove myself to the veterans. If I had a penny for the shocked, disbelief looks I get every time people meet me for the first time after talking to me on the phone, I'd have long quit my job and bought an island.


Thing is, it has brought more money that I have no time to spend, which I think should be a good thing. My children will enjoy life. I cannot complain. My own-coined phrase is Production is my Hobby; Sleeping my Career. Works, very well actually. Thing is, Producers and Directors just never know how to quit. We just get more and more absurd with the requests we make on set and the production team turns a blind eye and a deaf year and jump hoops for us. We insist on Producing and directing from our death beds. That is when ideas mature, I guess. The Director is happy, everybody is happy.

I have, in the past couple of months Helven forbid (refer to previous blog for Helven reference) found myself being glad at the fact that DVP is miles away. I have this huge feeling that the closest we would come to a decent conversation is when I slip into bed at obscene hours next to his snoring form, only to leave him in the wee hours of the morning, still snoring. Nice talking to you Hon!

Now, for an in depth look into what I actually do for a living, what my career entails, here goes;

PRE-PRODUCTION:
Come up with all the ideas
Praise the producer upon having the genius to come up with such inspired and practical ideas
Do all the graft and make the original, practical and achievable plans work once the producer has decided that it should change - again - ("but of course it won't cost any more will it" – statement, not question)
Agree to book all the producer's favourite crew on the job
Book your own crew who can actually do the job
Attempt to schedule sleep breaks into the 26-hour working day that has been agreed with the client
Hide as much bunce as possible in the budget and never tell the producer. (This has the negative effect of making the producer's margins look excellent, thus leading to promotion/pay-rise/directorship or, worst of all, thinking that they're good enough to go freelance).
Provide a shoulder to lean on when the producer can't take any more

ONSITE:
Be onsite all the time
Wake the producer up
Smile at the client
Make suggestions to the producer when they decide to change everything - again
Say, "Of course you can," and smile when the producer asks if they can make "just one more call" on your mobile
Carry a big bucket and spade to clear up, cheerfully, after the producer
Provide cigarettes
Carry enough beer tokens to dissuade the crew from mutiny
Look cheerful and alert on no sleep
Be ecstatic and appear honoured upon being invited to sit at the clients' table during the gala dinner
Provide a shoulder to lean on when the producer can't take any more
Congratulate the producer upon yet another successful event
Say, "It's alright, I'll deal with all the rest, you go to bed," and look as if you mean it

POST-PRODUCTION:
Be in the office first thing after an all-night get-out to reconcile the job
Take the blame for any overspend, even if it had nothing to do with you
Don't expect any thanks
Don't expect any credit
Don't expect to get paid for quite some time
Do expect, before payment of any previous invoice, to come in and "just do a quick costing for me, darling."

June 01, 2007

When Queer Ain't

I don't intend to encourage people to blame everything on the way they were brought up, but then, that happens to be the root of my contention. Most of the beliefs and opinions that we embrace can be directly or indirectly attributed to our upbringing. I my case, it's quite the latter, indirectly. It's actually more of inversely proportional. I was brought up on a one-way highway to heaven; bible in hand, church the much needed tavern in the hard journey called life.



Now, looking back at that, I think I was on a one-way highway to being a clueless groupie. I moved further and further away from the (basic) teachings I got while growing up, which has made me a rebel… I like to call myself controversial. And now I advocate for things that are not 'acceptable', 'normal' 'conforming'…



Morality, homosexuality. Mmhh, tough.



How we act depends on what we think things are, and what things are for us depends on the idea of them that we share with other people and see followed in daily life. And sex for me is inclusive of that. It matters whether (men & women) view it as something that is by its nature has to be respected and has to do with love, marriage and children or as a feature their bodies happen to have that they can do with, as they will. Which includes having sex with whoever/ whatever you want, as long as both parties involved are consenting.

Every time I broach this topic, the question I always get is; why are you not gay yourself? My answer? I don't like milk, there is nothing wrong with milk, to the contrary, it is healthy; does that mean I should launch a hate campaign on milk? Should I spend my life looking down on milk, degrading it simply because it is not my preference? Merely because I choose (note the word) something does not mean that I cannot support it. It all comes down to self-will, choices and decisions.

Morality is a system (there is that annoying word) of principles and judgments based on cultural, religious, and philosophical concepts and beliefs, by which humans determine whether given actions are right or wrong. These concepts and beliefs are often generalized and codified by a culture or group, and thus serve to regulate the behavior of its members. Conformity to such codification may also be called morality, and the group may depend on widespread conformity to such codes for its continued existence.

The criterion that is used to conceptualize what is right / wrong is a product of a group of people's opinions. It is a consensus between a certain select of the society's best that comes up what to allow and what not to. Why do I not (and never will) consider homosexuality (that includes lesbianism) immoral?

First, for obvious reasons - I have my own ideas of what is moral and what is not, and I have to say, most of it is inverse to the universal 'code of conduct'.

Two, Lets look at the functions of sex, put aside the procreation purpose. It is also a legitimate involvement of bodies conveying love. If love/sex is based on understanding between two people / beings / things, rather than being centered on the notions of procreation, then the love of a couple of the same sex need no be lees than that two people / beings / things of the opposite sex. Neither is their need to express that love through what they deem a satisfactory channel to both of them need be less important.

Sex before marriage is wrong, so the society tells us. But it then becomes right (moral) if the two person (mostly of the opposite sex), get married. Justification of the sexual act is then possible due the fact that the two persons have made a covenant with each other, to be committed (before community and clergy). And that's the yin and yang of that, no two ways about it. But then, what about the selfish acts in the matrimonial bed? The lack of satisfaction, exploitation of sex by both persons, in the same covenant that moralized the sex? In that regard, I reckon it is only safe (not that I care) to say that it's actually impossible to make justification, classification and rulings as to when sex is right / wrong, acceptable or not. As long as both parties are consenting, then let them go ahead and bonk their brains out.

If that streetlight near your house was to make a pass at you…

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