“It’s to the floor!” I say. “What’s to the floor?” asks Laura. We’re sat in the car at the bottom of the drive and we’re not moving. I’m in the driving seat. I’m not bringing the clutch up any higher because I just know I’ll stall it. Cars are racing up the road towards me and honking the horn as they swerve round. “My foot. It’s to the metal!” I look down. I’m pressing the brake into the carpet. Ah.
This isn’t so good really, especially as I’ve been telling people that, hey, driving in the US? It’s a piece of piss. How did I get down the drive? Well, it’s a slope, okay? So I rolled. Anyway, after a few maneouvres, I’m out on the open road, driving on the “wrong side”.
Laura’s car feels a little small after my old diesel estate. My legs are around the steering wheel. The clutch “bites” in a completely different place and I thrash the engine before lurching into gear at each light for the first half hour. Laura puts soothing music on the radio and turns the volume up a couple of notches as a I discover that, yes, you can turn right when the lights are red here. Maybe not in third gear though, eh.
Okay, so it will take me a few hours to get used to driving a different car to my old one. Maybe a couple of days to feel comfortable, to regain my spatial sense of what’s where on the road. Traffic lights swing over the middle of intersections, road names are in a new place–which makes more sense than UK placing when you get used to it–and everyone else on the road is a potential nutter. It’s like being at home. Hey, it is home!
Next week is the challenge of driving out to Farmington Hills on Wednesday morning for a seminar being given by Panasonic at the only film camera facility house in Michigan. I’ve got an invite through a friend of Geoff Glover’s in the BSC and am thinking it will be a good networking opportunity, to meet and talk to fellow filmmakers in the state. Maybe even find work.
So far I’ve met two cool guys, Gordon and John, who both write scripts and I think we can get some zero-budget projects off the ground. John has the use of a camera in December, so it looks like we’ll be filming something then. I’ve also signed up as a volunteer for local cable TV. Now that brings back some memories. Their preview evening is December 8th.
Yes, my foot’s on the brake but it’s full speed ahead. Or something like that.