Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Shining, Part III

Anybody would think that there wasn’t a recession on.

Friday is the day when the Charmed massive get to answer a whole bunch of outstanding questions… how do we light an empty school so that we can see what’s happening, while still making people believe that it’s all just moonlight? How long does it take to download our camera footage and back it up to three external drives? What are our zombies actually going to look like?

Because Friday is our camera test.

I say camera test, but it’s pretty much a dress-rehearsal for the shoot. The camera gear that we have booked for the shoot arrives for a bonus long weekend in Hampshire, and Jake is planning on spending every bit of intervening time wearing it.

So, we organised a night at the school. Robbie-the-gore is coming, to show our make-up supervisor Heidi and make-up assistant Sara how it’s all done. Leif-the-Shit-Sack and Rup-the-Ripe are getting their zombie on, for purely educational purposes. Sam-the-edit will be there, de-bugging our data transfer processes and seeing whether he can survive a month in a separate classroom on his own. There’s Rob-the-scrutiniser, pulling foci like Jake’s conjoined twin; James-the-Continuity is bringing a 45 second short that he wants to make. And Dave-the-plan will be there, rapidly re-scheduling the shoot to allow for any ineptitude evident in the rest of the crew.

I’ll be the one stood at the back, wondering what the hell I’ve let myself in for.

And so back to the recession. Before the hire-house let us have the gear, we need insurance. So today I have spent an inordinately large amount of time chasing some down.

I don’t want you thinking that we’ve left this till the last moment; we started tapping companies up about two months ago for quotes. It’s just that now we actually want to buy some the process doesn’t appear to run particularly smoothly.

In the middle of a global financial melt-down, you would have thought that insurance companies would be making slightly more of an effort to sell their product. Not so.

I’ll give you an example; I think we’re OK to name and shame. Aon insurance was one of the companies that got a mention time and time again in Shooting People. Four separate phone calls over the course of a couple of weeks, giving them the same details each time in anticipation of a broker calling back. And not a dicky-bird. Another company, Clarity: three phone calls asking their broker to call me back, until I gave in and sent him all my details in an email. Fourteen emails back and forward later and he finally has all the information he needs (so much less work than getting everything in one phone call), with a cast iron promise that he’s going to call me tomorrow morning.

I’ll believe that when I see it. It’s just like a trip to Parliament.

Ah – that. Meeting our constituency Parliamentarian was due to happen tomorrow, but this evening we’ve just been bumped again. For the third and final time. We clearly aren’t his preferred choice for an entertaining afternoon, but then again he wasn’t my preferred choice for MP. Shined.

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