TWITTER: @sirbacon123

29 June 2010

Direct Hit

At approximately 1:54am local time last night/this morning, we were putting the final touches on a commercial I was producing.
For those of you who would like to work in TV, we started shooting at 3:00pm -- nearly eleven hours earlier.
We had our production meeting three hours before that.
The commercial is 30 seconds.
You do the math.
And that was just the shooting.  
The editing comes next, followed by the nitpicking.
But if you love the art, you need to love the trip to Home Depot to buy the paint.
I think it was... me, who just said that.
As the Producer, sometimes it is my role to drive the bus and make sure that everyone is on that bus with me.
Sometimes it is my job to just be a passenger and to make sure we are driving in the right direction.

In this case, there was no problem with the direction.
For this project, there was another freelance employee who jumped in behind the wheel and hit the accelerator.
He was the Director and Cameraman, Editor and Visionary.
One of the many former bosses that I worked for in my career always said there are two steps to success.
Have a plan.
And don’t suck.
Usually the second part is more important than the first, but without the plan, you’ve got big problems.
This was my first real venture with the Dir/Cam/Edit/Visionary guy, but I could tell right away he definitely had a plan.
And we really needed one.
The sponsor of the commercial flew in from across the country to oversee this shoot.
This was a such a big deal for our company that the employees got three different emails to make sure that they cleaned up their work area and dressed up for the visitors.
As for the commercial, we shot four scenes in three different locations.
After EVERY shot, the Director showed the sponsor what it looked like to make sure they approved, which they did.
There is no doubt they were impressed with the quality of the shoots and all of the thought that the Director had put into it.
It was a very long day for every one, but it was an especially long day for the guy who had been carrying the gear around, making sure that EVERY shot passed his high standards and more importantly adjusted to any and all input from the sponsor.
We started our final scene at around Midnight, about two hours later than we had hoped, but considering how well everything had gone, nobody was complaining.
His attention to detail was incredible, but his open-minded positive attitude was even better.
Until about 1:30am.
That’s when he got a little cranky -- nothing new in this business.
But when I say a little cranky, I mean a LITTLE cranky.
Unlike MANY temper tantrums I have witnessed first hand, this was more of a man who was getting frustrated that his perfect shoot was no longer going perfect.
... at 1:30 in the morning, 10+ hours after it started.
There was no screaming or yelling, but everyone could tell that this was not the same guy we had spent the day with.
Finally at 2:18am, we heard him belt out the three words we had all been waiting for.
As the new day had started, our long day had finally ended.
After the shoot was over, a handful of us, including the sponsor gathered around to talk about the commercial.
But it wasn’t the commercial that we ended up talking about.
Before we even got going, the Director apologized for getting cranky.
If that was cranky, there was no need to apologize.
Then he explained that about an hour earlier he had taken a late bathroom break and during that break, he checked his voice mail.
On his machine were two messages.
The first was from a 36-year old friend of his.
A friend who has been suffering through stomach cancer, going to chemo on a regular basis.
His friend said that she was really hoping that he could stop by as soon as possible.
He got another call 30 minutes later.
His friend had died.
As you might imagine, we were all in shock with this revelation.
This was the first we had heard of any of this. 
At no point did we have ANY idea that he was carrying around more on his back than just the video camera.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sir Bacon

Thank you for reminding us that there's a lot more to life than making a living and that people are more important than anything else.

i appreciate your candor and am blessed by your grace.