We’ve just started producing a massive project that is going to take months. I am, as always, grateful for the work, but this seems to be more than any of us is prepared to handle.
Of course, the first part of any new project is always tough as the cast and crew and the rest of us get used to each others’ timing and personality quirks.
(Example: The scenario writer is sitting to my left and has a sniffle problem but keeps ignoring the box of tissues in front of him. I was trying to be generous; maybe he has a sinus condition or something. But then he got a cup of coffee and proceeded to slurp all the way to the bottom of the cup. This is socially acceptable behavior when it comes to noodles but not beverages. So now I know; he’s a foul mannered clod. I will find somewhere else to sit next time.)
The first day we had filming in two studios, upstairs and down. There’s only one person representing the client and she had to keep hopping back and forth between the studios. Naturally the director has control over what happens, but the client gets final approval. I sit next to her at the back of the studio. They finished filming a scene and twenty heads turned toward the back to get that final approval. I looked at the empty seat next to me then looked at the director and said, “OK.”
And then it hit me. “Whoa! I just got put into the driver’s seat!” Nobody asked, it just kind of happened. This tells me two things: 1) they trust me, which is great and 2) they’re not paying me enough.
That is an issue that I will have to deal with gently. In the meantime, we managed to complete four grueling days of work which we got through without any meltdowns or significant snags except that most of the food has been inedible. So to celebrate what had at first seemed an impossible journey, I had some salad and tofu for lunch and then went out and bought enough doughnuts for every member of the cast and crew to have one.
It cost me less than an hour’s pay and earned me a bazillion brownie points; people remember stuff like that. And it was fun. The doughnut lady was blown away that I bought so many and kept apologizing that it took so long for her to pack them up for me. Plus this part of town is a spiderweb of small rivers and canals and it was a breezy, sunny day. As I walked back to the studio, crossing bridge after bridge and swinging my shopping bag full of sugary treats, I felt a surge of goodwill toward the universe. I’m hoping the universe feels the same way about me.