Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Possibilities Are Endless

As I write this, I'm at the end of about 48 hours sitting in this apartment. I wish I could say I was the first on my block to contract swine flu, but it turns out to be a garden variety cold, if a particularly unpleasant one. Fortunately it came over me at the beginning of a long stretch of days off following a couple of months of constant, hectic activity, so a couple of days of convalescence was something I could both accommodate and enjoy, apart from the sniffling and spasmodic coughing.

Some people's lost weekends consist of drugs and booze; mine are made of rhinovirus and streaming episodes of Heroes on Netflix.

Just under a month into the new job, I'm beginning to see its potential. There's nothing remotely cool or glamorous about it -- I'm there to teach, and to help people make really, really bad TV shows. But driving back from a shooting location over the weekend, P. and I got a chance to talk a bit, and we were experiencing the same reaction: elation. There's none of the usual bullshit in this environment, no ego or attitude, just excitement of people doing something they thought they might not be able to do and finding it manageable, and an intense earnestness about the work. It's so easy to look at what they produce and laugh at its gracelessness and ineptitude, but I would take my earnest students over every creative classist in the city.

The class I was with this last weekend was shooting a short piece on a local comic book artist, a guy who's about to see his best-known work released as a movie. The week prior to that I'd been with a class shooting a studio piece with a different comic book artist, less well-known but very talented. Next weekend we're working on a piece about urban farming, and that unit, I believe, is working on getting a quick spot in with our scandal-ridden mayor (in conjunction with the organic garden they just planted outside city hall), but we'll see if that works out. I've already met the mayor twice anyway. The point is, this is actually not a bad spot from which to meet interesting people, both in the classes themselves and during their productions.

And then, as well, I've got access to the entire station -- the 5-camera studio, lots of good field equipment, a mobile production van, lists of people who want to work on productions, blanket shooting permits for the city and county... why, there's not much a girl couldn't do with all of that at her disposal.

This job isn't what I was hoping for when I left film school, but finding myself here, I'm realizing that it could become a comfortable spot that offers me a lot of possibilities and a lot of resources. It leaves me enough time and energy for other things; it will, hopefully, provide me with enough income to maintain my cozy, if simple lifestyle; it should help me accumulate all of the solid production experience I've constantly felt I lack in the years since I left school; and it offers me access to all the tools and toys I could reasonably ask for. That is to say, it offers me a lot of freedom. I like that.

The summer will be bumpy, since that's when the media education department is undergoing some top-to-bottom restructuring -- P. and I were hired in anticipation of that, as part of the station's plan to subsequently expand the department. I'm not going to be able to get really comfortable just yet. And I still have a lot of work to do -- I have to prove what I in turn have to offer. But so far things are going well, and I'm working from only hopeful assumptions.

In completely unrelated news, the Mandelbrots -- remember them? -- seem to have vanished. Following the last round of discoveries, I managed to get John (the intelligent, swollen one) chatting about movies on the phone a few times at work. Nothing much, but chit-chat -- he was so eager to talk, although while I was on the floor I was pretty restricted. But I managed to get him, barely, to send a couple of emails to one of my numerous addresses telling me about his screenplay. It was all just by way of establishing some sort of connection, building some thin bridge to see if it led anywhere. And then he just stopped. And Eunice never came back in, nor did Mark. They stopped ordering DVDs, and nobody's heard from them since. With two of the three suffering major physical ailments and the third apparently incapable of caring for himself, anything could've happened. Or nothing. It's sort of a shame either way.

Otherwise, things are comfortable. I'm beginning to glance tentatively towards the future, buoyed by the sensation of my retail-deadened soul beginning to stir. It turns out they grow back, who knew? Not soon, but on the horizon, I can see interesting things coming. New developments tend to bring new growth. Maybe a fresh round of significant connections? Maybe new collaborators, new projects? I'd like to dust off my passport sometime in the next few years, maybe. There are endless possibilities. We'll see what comes.
3:57 AM ::
Amy :: permalink
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