Long Stories Short

Friday morning: Simon hasn’t started editing The Car yet and doesn’t look likely to before January. Tapes need to be transferred to another format for editing. Time cost blah blah blah. Audio will need sync’ing to pictures before this transfer takes place. Time cost bleugh. Hold up after hold up. A pattern re-emerges. The hold ups take me to…

Friday lunchtime: drive to work. Except, don’t. Spend thirty minutes trying to get to the motorway (five miles away). Every road is blocked because some idiot has driven into something bigger and harder than their car and caused part of the motorway to be closed. Listen to the radio where there’s a play on about two newlyweds who have themselves sealed into glass coffins for thirty days as a fairground attraction to win the price of a house back in the nineteen thirties. Sealed in a glass coffin for a month? I wonder how much of our lives are spent driving to offices.

Friday afternoon: email from Laura to say LA Shorts Fest don’t appear to have shipped Fate & Fortune to Florida yet. Email arrives from Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. They’ve received postcards but where’s the film? The organiser loved it! It was due on Wednesday. Err… I’m stuck at work and can’t make international calls. Luckily, help is at hand across the planet. Laura contacts Joseph who, in true hero fashion, goes down to the cinema in LA to find out what’s going on and sort things out.

Friday early evening: last minute tape deliveries nearly screw up things up as I’m directing live on air. One item arrives just two minutes before Tx and there’s barely time to check the beginning, which almost results in a countdown clock being transmitted. Nice. Somehow I avoid this and managed to look more than competent at my job. One of my colleagues sends me some crap emails discussing poor preparation and late tape deliveries which drag me back to mundanity.

Friday mid evening: Complete Automation Failure. No vision mixer to control which source is going out. No system for automatically playing short items. This is bad. Really bad. I should be spitting and fuming and stuff but actually I’m very calm because secretly I love this. I actually get to show how absolutely shit-hot I am. Calmly, I swing into action. I cue everything to be played in manually and direct programmes using the emergency cut panel. Woo-hoo!

Friday later: the automation is fixed and I can get some slacking off time under my belt. I check the email again and someone rejoicing in the name of Myriam has emailed to say Fate & Fortune is en route to Fort Lauderdale to arrive Friday 24th. The fact that she doesn’t know what day it is doesn’t bode well. I forward this to Laura who writes back to say Joseph is already at the cinema.

Friday late evening: fresh email arrives to say Joseph has not only visited the LA Shorts Fest people but has found they hadn’t shipped the tape so he took the reel down to the Fed Ex dispatch center himself. Myriam emails again to say F&F will be available for collection on Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, it’s too late for her muppetry because jps is hero of the day. Fate & Fortune is a Cinderella story which shall go to the ball and I am full of gratitude for yet more people helping me out.

Friday midnight: driving home in the drizzling rain, autumn leaves whip and dance across the road and in the verges. Arthur Miller is on the radio now discussing witch hunts, the McCarthy era, suspensions of justice and similar themes in relation to The Crucible. I listen until it ends and becomes the shipping forecast. I let that stay on too until it becomes BBC Radio Four closedown time. They play the national anthem and I pull into my drive as the BBC World Service takes over at midnight, GMT.

Home again:sit down and watch the middle part of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, this week’s acquisition on DVD. Reflect on the stunning visuals–absolutely the right photographic treatment. Why is the sound in mono and poorly dubbed? I’ll have to look it up on the net some time. Some time when there’s more time. Is there ever more time? Perhaps tomorrow. I pour a glass of wine and reflect on the good things which have happened today–friends coming to the rescue, the strange radio play, dynamic directing, positive praise from Fort Lauderdale…

Lauderdale leads me to thinking about Travis McGee and Bahia Mar. Ahh, that would have been good. Well, maybe next year I’ll get to see it. Wasn’t it only a year ago I was writing things here about Travis and various other musings, some inspired by those books? No doubt. Now I’m re-reading the Dune series and thinking about that. Reflections in the water of life. The film plays on and the second glass of wine makes me a little fuzzy. Mmmm. Where does the energy come from for all this? Who knows. Life is good. Crazy, but good.

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