" " " A to Z with Meryl and Me: Does this make you happy?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Does this make you happy?

I finally got some closure on my post A to Z production gig that had me in a whirlwind of worry and despair.  I received a big fat check that allowed me to pay the employees who were so helpful and contributed so generously and professionally to the commercials that we created.  The good news is I learned a lot.  The not so good news is I'm not sure how much of the stuff we shot will actually be used.  What does that mean?  Well, we worked like dogs.  I froze my tookus off.  Sleepless nights.  Countless hours.  Um, I'm sure it means more or perhaps it means nothing at all.  Yes, I did learn a ton.  I may have learned way more than I wanted.  I mean did I really need yet another confirmation that I only want to act for a living?  I guess I did or it wouldn't have happened.

Being a Producer has it's creative perks if you're actually permitted to be creative.  It is much like what I had to do with A to Z except a bunch of other people depended on me instead of just one or two at a time, it was a team of 10 others who all needed to be paid, heard, appreciated and in some cases fired.  I did say fired ... oh my, yes but not because I was unhappy with their performance but instead because the client requested it.  That is SO NOT my style to say the least.

Being the talent while being the producer on this gig was a bit of a challenge. There was actually one point during the shoot where as a talent I would never say a word but as a producer who knew exactly what the talent was going through that I had to call it, meaning say it was a wrap even though we had not captured what we needed.  Here was the scenario.  We were trying to create a summer look so I was wearing a golf shirt and jeans with my hair in a pony tail.  I was in a field with a sign far in the distance.  We were definitely looking for green in 42 degree weather at the end of April.  So it wasn't summer at all and in fact felt like a winter day to my bare arms. I was literally shaking and my teeth were chattering.  It was not fun.  I kept thinking it couldn't have looked good but oddly enough it didn't look as though I was cold at all, on camera.  Not sure how I did that but I still had NO desire to use that footage and I really didn't think the background looked like summer.  In summer when there's a warm breeze, there's no bracing one's self for the next one wind but I couldn't have been more clenched.  Oh my it was so cold and I'm a freeze baby.  So now you know two things about me. I need my sleep and I freeze like I've lived on the equator my entire life.  My only saving grace was the fact that I was the producer and I didn't like what was being captured plus I had the personal inside scoop that our talent was suffering.  It was completely wonderful to be able to say it's a done deal without being considered a talent who couldn't cut it.

Fast forward to post production where the difficulties getting paid made me literally sick and robbed me of more than a few nights rest.  This was also the point at which I had to fire a few of my favorite team members or at least I had to have them stop post production work on the spots.  Now the footage is all with another party, recommended by the client but hired by me and I think I've been edged out of the picture too.  I guess I also had to fire me.  YIKES.  Is this crazy or what?  Not exactly what I wanted to do after my Love Project but nevertheless it's what I did.

Tonight I'm doing the last piece of business for the client and then I have one more check that is due me.  I sure do hope they pay this one more quickly.  I do plan to email the person in charge of money more frequently to get that taken care of ... wish me luck, oh boy do I need it!!!!