Monday, June 05, 2006

Week One Under the Belt

Tonight I start week two of the job, and I have to say that week one was not that bad. Night one was not so good, but the rest of the week I sort of fell into it. The first night I was thinking, "Oh my god how am I going to go to a job everyday? I haven't done this for so long!" But actually I find that it's good for me to have someplace to go everyday and to have a routine set up. Too much free time is not necessarily a good thing, but working at night is not something I want to do forever. I actually don't mind the hours but I feel a little vampirish. The night crew is a nice group, six in all, but for the most part people are sequestered into their editing bays and I don't see very much of them, except when we converge in the dub room to play Missile Command on the Atari system set up in their. The building is right on Hollywood Blvd., and it's very cool--an old deco masterpiece built in the 20s with huge hallways and lots of arches and sconces and whatnot. Sitting in the dub room looking out through the metal blinds at the blinking Supply Sergeant sign makes me feel like Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe. I'm just waiting for a sultry femme fatale to walk in in a black veil and tell me she's got a case for me. It's kind of strange to hear all the hustle and bustle of the street below--girls yelling, cars honking, sirens screaming, live music blasting out of bars, the same guy playing the five-gallon buckets every night--going on while I'm working, but it does make me feel like I'm in the middle of the action. Every couple of hours I'll take a break and go up on the roof deck, which offers a pretty amazing view of Hollywood. Check out the pic. Already I feel like I've learned a lot, thanks in no small part to Ricardo the night supervisor. He's a really nice guy who's a whiz on the Avid and has been teaching me everything I need to know. He's patient and thorough and I feel lucky to have him teaching me. I've been digitizing tapes for several shows - "Show Choirs" which is about high-school drama departments that put on these huge musicals. This particular school is in Morgantown, WV. The show will air on MTV. I also did some work for "Transgeneration Revisited" which follows a group of transgendered teens as they navigate their tricky lives. This one airs on Logo, which is a GLBT network that just started up. I also worked on "Last Requests" which is a sort of a Make-A-Wish foundation reality show. Two terminally ill cancer patients - Marilyn and Mark - were chosen and the show attempts to grant them their last requests, both of which involve establishing a better relationship with estranged children before they die. Everyone else in the office thinks the show is morbid and depressing, but I find some of the things Mark is saying very true, stuff like appreciating your life while you have a chance to just being happier with yourself. Of course it strikes a chord with me. On Friday I did my first string-out, which is a sort of very rough edit that lays out all the video and audio for the editor to begin working with. It was fun. I felt like I was editing.

The important thing for me now is to keep writing every day, because that way I'll feel like I'm moving forward with the real goal and not just stalling in some night editing job. If I can manage that I'll be fine for awhile, and so far so good. I finished an essay last week and am really really close on releasing the Rescue Me script. I sort of have the hope that I'll send this out and some agent will read it and then my life will change and I'll get a TV staff writing job, but I understand that the odds of that happening are not great. When it doesn't I'll probably get all bummed out for awhile, think I'm a terrible writer and that I made a huge mistake even moving out here. So I'll indulge that feeling for a couple of days, but then I'll have to move on to the next thing, and when that doesn't sell I'll move on to the next thing and etc. etc. etc.


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