February, 2003

I Quit

February 20th, 2003 February 20th, 2003
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Wrote my resignation letter this morning. Three copies–one to my line manager, one to head of department and one to head of personel/human resources–all in the post and on their way. They have a three month notice period so I’ll be leaving at the end of May. It feels good. It feels a little bit scary but not much. Yes, I’m that confidant in my own abilities. Still, it’s a step into the unknown.

Bye bye BBC.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Unduly Harsh

February 13th, 2003 February 13th, 2003
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Overheard while visiting the shops in St Albans today: “It makes you fink what the sort of fing there is.”

It’s wrong isn’t it? It’s wrong on so many levels. Among other things it says, subtext, that this woman has had no conceivable benefit from an education yet here she is living in St Albans where house prices are 180k for a two bedroom flat and moving rapidly into the 250-300k bracket for a house. How does she make enough money to afford this while using so little brain? Where am I going wrong?

Hertfordshire County Council sent me a newspaper today. Once I’d finished weeping with joy at their considerateness in keeping me informed about how they’re spending my money by spending more of my money, I glanced at it. “Most people we surveyed,” it baldly stated, “would be happy to pay more local taxes to maintain services.” So they’re putting local taxes up. By at least 15 percent.

The question I have to ask myself is why? Why does it cost the council an extra 15 percent to provide the same services as last year?

Yes, the *same* services. They were clear–“in order to maintain services at the present level we would have to increase council tax by more than 15 percent.” When inflation is around two percent and salary increases are at the same level, why does it cost the local authority such a staggeringly large amount more than it costs everyone else?

“As we went to press we had news of the Government’s provisional funding which left Hertfordshire with one of the lowest grant increases of any county,” wrote the author of this monkeybusiness. Yes, they are getting a massive grant from central government. And it’s being increased. But not increased enough for the wanton wastage which HCC has got in mind.

As the woman said, “It makes you fink what the sort of fing there is.”

I had to buy two large bars of chocolate just to maintain my equilibrium.

Art For Art’s Sake

February 12th, 2003 February 12th, 2003
Posted in Film making
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Tomorrow I’m off to Screen East to see if they might give me some money towards a print based on this rough edit.

Glad they could pencil me in for an hour to tell me they aren’t funding short films unless they’re shot on digital video. What the freak is that all about? “Too expensive” and “Short films only benefit the director” were two of the choice phrases. Oh, they could be part of a slate of films which include features???

Looks like I made the right–and only–decision to fund my own work on celluloid in order to learn what it can do. Digital film–an oxymoron for the 21st century.

Yes, it was well worth spending six hours on the road to get up to Screen East’s headquarters and back again. No, really. Especially that bit sat in a traffic jam for an hour, moving forward one mile only to find the A11 was blocked by an accident and there was a diversion. A thirty-two mile diversion. No. No.

Still, managed to get two very good ideas for running a training course for other directors and spent an hour sat in my car editing The Car on the laptop. I’ve now seen more Norfolk scenary than I ever realised I would. And it’s amazing how many radio plays the BBC puts on the air during the afternoon…

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Today has been spent adding music for which I’ll never be allowed the rights. Or rather, which I’d never be able to afford. Shame. ‘They Did A Bad Bad Thing’ and ‘Gone Daddy Gone’ are just *too* perfect. The Violent Femmes track even changes to a marching drum tempo in exactly the right place.

And After That…

February 10th, 2003 February 10th, 2003
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Simon now has the rushes for The Car and should have started work on them by now. I’ve completed a rough cut on my Mac and I’m really pleased with it. Lots of audio work, but it’s coming together. It’s also useful to edit myself as I’m discovering exactly how many extra shots I really should have got to (a) give myself some options and (b) dig myself out of holes.

Tomorrow I’m off to Screen East to see if they might give me some money towards a print based on this rough edit.

And Then…

February 3rd, 2003 February 3rd, 2003
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The follow up.

Couldn’t get hold of Simon over the weekend to deliver the rushes. We spoke today and I couldn’t face the hassle of driving around Notting Hill in the middle of the afternoon looking for parking. So…

So I got the address for where Simon’s working and put the tapes in the post.

While I’m waiting, I’ve started having a go at cutting things together on Final Cut Pro. It is *so* easy to destroy everything in the edit and doing it yourself makes that abundantly clear. Must persevere. Must keep trying.

Someone gave me another copy of ‘Who Moved My Cheese’.

Must sell it.