Monday, 1 October 2012

Yawn of the Dead

It’s taken a while, but I am now genuinely sick of all things undead.

Fed up, pissed off, irritated and narked. No more runnething over for Andy’s cup; it’s now officially half-empty.

And we are so close to being done; I mean, within a gnat’s gland of complete. But why does the last 1% of the work take a ridiculously disproportionate amount of time to finish? With all memories of my last moment of creative excitement firmly in the rear-view mirror, the process has become a Sisyphean struggle for the line.

I guess this isn’t unique to making a movie – a lot of complex projects hit the moment of diminishing returns at some point, where the effort required to make an incremental improvement suddenly gets larger and larger. Nothing is ever finished, only abandoned.

Part of my antsiness is plain boredom with the process. We get sent something from someone in our post team; we slot it into the movie; we see / hear whether we like it or not; we send our notes back; we rinse; we repeat. Sure, in and amongst it all, our lists of outstanding issues with the audio and VFX shots are growing steadily smaller, but every day the curve is levelling off further. A decreasing trend towards finished, which sits like a gloating asymptote just out of reach.

And perversely, I’ve never been busier. Trips to London to snipe off moments of problematic audio and to swap across data because my provincial broadband is useless. Hours spent analysing why a shot or sample doesn’t work, trying to translate an emotional reaction into a logical list of fixes. Days where all I do is act as a digital sheep-dog, making sure data goes to the right people and watching blue bars on my laptop slowly climb to 100%.

But actually, my disquiet is probably mostly to do with that nagging voice at the back of my head telling me I really should be doing something else. I don’t think I’ve learned anything useful about filmmaking for a while, other than skills in advanced diplomacy and project micro-management, and it seems cruelly out of sorts with my experience of the last couple of years. And with the tank of redundancy cash now down to fumes, it’s time to get a proper job, feed the mortgage, and develop a sense of perspective about what the fuck the last two years have taught me and what I need to do differently if I go round again.

So, no September cast and crew screening, I’m afraid. But definitely October. Unless it’s not. And if you find that frustrating, imagine how I feel. Whining.

1 comment:

  1. you're still my hero. Keep it up.. Finish..