No, Really

So I phone up the neg cutters today to find out if Last Train is ready to go to the printers yet and what do they want to do about titles, cut them in now or wait for a 35mm interneg. The conversation reminds me of that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they come across a French castle in England which actually has got the Grail…

Receptionist: ‘Ello, Trrue Cut.

My keen ears immediately detect that this is not the usual receptionist, in fact this person has a definite accent so I find myself having to repeat things.

Me: Hi. Can I speak to Andy, please?

Receptionist: Ah’m efraid ‘e no longer werks ‘ere.

I do a double take and try to absorb this because well who if anyone is cutting my negative now? Maybe this new person just doesn’t know who he is? Maybe it’s already done? But Fate & Fortune isn’t even started. Maybe it’s all going pear shaped — again. Uh oh… I remember to breathe…

Me: “Oh… Well, is Peter there?

Receptionist: Piterr iss out of the office at ther momont.

Me: Can I leave a message?

She does the ubiqitous new receptionist thing of getting my name wrong at least once (she wasn’t even close), apologises when I repeat it back correctly and then says okay, she’ll pass that on.


Yes, I know, not the poor receptionist’s fault but taking the mickey out of her accent gives me the laugh I need to carry on and ask myself, ‘So where does this leave my films?’ I guess we’ll find out later today or later in the week or next week. Or when? Who the eff knows.

Not to be put off, I procrastinate by tarting up the Last Train budget spreadsheet in Excel with gray shading and blue subtotals and working out exactly how much all this would have cost me if I’d had to pay full price. It comes out to just over �22,200 for an eight minute film. In hard cash, I’ll have actually spent �8.5k. Despite that really being an obscene amount of money, somehow I find the comparison heartening so I get back on the phone.

I call the nice people at the labs. Yes, no problems, just ask the neg cutters to deliver to our city office once it’s done and we’ll take it from there. It won’t be done this week now but if you deliver this week, we should be able to start on it next week.

Good. I ask them about graphics and they say it depends whether they’re shot on 16mm or 35mm. I suspect 35mm. That means they get cut into the negative once there’s a 35mm neg. As I suspected. I also suspect it’s going to cost me something extra (as Han Solo once said) but it won’t be “ten thousand all in advance” (“Ten thousand? We could almost buy our own ship for that!” “Yeah but who’s going to fly it kid? You?” Ahem…)

Finally I call the graphics people. The person I need to talk to is on holiday, so that kinda completes everything I can do this week. Time to procrastinate some more. Or maybe time to start sketching out some feature ideas. Hmmm, any guesses which is more likely?