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."

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