Today, Monday the 27th, marks the day I got offered my first paid job on a feature film set. Well, technically that day was yesterday. Whatever. If you’d like to know how I got the job, I can only say it was through luck and serendipity. Ashley and I had coffee with a former Webster student and he offered us unpaid PA jobs on a shoot he’s co-producing. We said we’d think about it. A week later, he offered a rather more lucrative deal. And that’s the one I took. The director and DP simply took my resume, interviewed me for ten minutes, and sent me on my way.
So on August 1-13, I will work as a DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) for a low-budget horror film set in a desert compound of sorts. For this shoot, DIT is just a fancy term for “ the guy who dumps the footage into a hard drive and formats the memory card for the next round of footage.” But you know, that’s still pretty awesome. One of my pastimes on any set is to consider how much power I have over what happens to the production as a whole. Being the person who could utterly destroy everything everyone worked for that day with a few bad keystrokes is an exhilarating notion.
Now, with that super-villain mindset out of the way, I really am psyched for my role on the camera team. I’ve spent too much time lately on the producing/assistant directing end, and I want to get my hands dirty with some of the technology. I’ve done my research, and I’ve taken what time I could to tinker and learn from those who would make it their trade. I didn’t realize how much I already knew until after I graduated college. I blame Matt Pierce, my choice director of photography, for rambling on about why this or that camera sensor is superior to the other (and why film still reigns supreme for true cinematic quality).
Meanwhile, I’m trying to break this creative brain freeze I’ve had since I got out here. What I really want to do is get writing, but it’s as if all my brilliant story ideas have flown out of my mind. I think I’ve gotten so caught up in trying to be practical that my right brain lighting storms calmed down so I can do basic living functions like eat, sleep and make money. Silly right brain, you should know the big bucks are in the buckets of ideas you bring.
So let’s see if I can come up with one right now, on the spot. I’ll need to close my eyes for this…
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No, dammit, that won’t do. Okay, maybe my surroundings might help:
A piggy bank attempts to drink a soda.
“But,” the gum wrapper protests, “it will corrode the pennies, nickels and dimes. And it will destroy the giant one’s savings.”
‘Precisely,’ says the piggy bank, as it takes its first swig. ‘That way, there’s no reason to shatter me.’
“But you have a cork on your bottom,” the gum wrapper tells the piggy.
Startled, the piggy drops the soda, slips on the ensuing puddle, falls off the armoire and crashes to the floor. Coins and ceramic fragments scatter across the wood floor.
‘How do you suppose,’ asks a sizeable pig-face shard, ‘we should break the news?’
“I don’t know,” responds the gum wrapper. “I think he’ll see for himself the change that has come over you.”
And that’s the best I can do at the moment. Look for it on next month’s big screen.