The Production Beast

Well, I gots me a job, and after the first month I can wind down for a day and post some strange things. Like, I suddenly shoot, edit, and design graphics for local car commercials. I build and disassemble a Jimmy-Jib Triangle and shoot with a Varicam. If I said I could do any of this with confidence before starting this job, it would be a stretch. But if I were to look around for anyone more qualified, I'd be hard pressed. In any case, here I am plugging 50-60 hours a week on salary with the understanding that I am to build up and maintain the largest production company in this little city. There will be some misunderstandings, (it's not a well-oiled machine) but for now, I work hard and talk little. And drink.

Production is a funny thing. Having been around so many different productions gives one a strong sense that no one production is bound to be alike. There are similarities. Grip work and Production Assistant work are a great place for someone like me: I do what is asked, power through the strange, and come away having observed every single mistake and communication breakdown that has occurred. After several overlong days of coming home with split fingernails and hands smelling of blood and metal, as if you'd been rubbing a lucky coin pilfered from a gangster, one can relax and pay bills. It's honest work in a creative field. Then again, there's also shooting six cars while strapped into the flatbed of a pickup truck going 70 MPH over a bridge. Don't worry, I'll strap myself in, I say, meaning really, If I'm going to die, it will be because I strap me in wrong, and no on else. Also thinking, No worries. I've done this before. Ignoring the lesser voice that says, "Last time was safer."

I'm not really a cinematographer, but I am an artist and this jives with me as a shooter. Production experience has been invaluable to me, and being an artist (whatever that brings with it) had been simply an afterthought out of tune with money most of the time. But why separate the two? Why separate any experience? Am I to find a career as a fractured, schizophrenic talent? Fuck 'em. I'm a production guy, a painter, a writer. Animator, server. Who cares.

I think I've been in Greenville, SC for too long. Small towns and I do not agree on many things.

Meanwhile, I have a commission for a large oil painting due in April, a webcomic about to launch (Guardians, please let this issue post now, I've been sitting on it for two months) and, yes, a film about an elephant to work on again. When I can.

1 comment:

Ramez said...

that was a great read. For what it's worth, a few hours doing nothing and just relaxing greatly helps calm down the chaos and even makes it fun. Works for me at least.