Aug 25, 2013


Bob Siegel called me at just after dawn, almost a month ago now.

"You need an editing job? Bumped into this fella who is making a feature doc on Tagore. His previous editors were boneheads and cut together a shitty film. He needs someone to fix it, make it good, make it work. Rate is pretty good. Told him you could do it. Lied through my teeth about how much of an excellent, beautiful fuckup you are."

So I said,

"Hey, thanks. I'd love to. What's the turnaround?"

Bob said,

"About a week."

Here I am, one month later, and I'm half done (it isn't my fault, I swear). See, his previous editors were fucking goons; when they gave my client the project hard drive, they neglected to include about half of the files. I found this out after an agreement of pay had been made.

Rabindranath Tagore. This would be a great project to work on, if it wasn't so awful.

What was supposed to be a week-long gig in which I'd be essentially doing body work on a wrecked car slowly transformed into a total re-cut of an inherently troubled film. It doesn't help that my client struggles with English, and I am utterly ignorant of a single word in Bengali.

A typical conversation would play out like this:

Me: "I can't edit that shot in, because it's not on the hard drive that you gave to me. It's not in any of the folders. It's just not here."

Client: "Can't you just get the shot from the timeline?"

Me: "... Pardon?"

Client: "If the shot isn't in the hard drive, just get it from the timeline and cut it into the project."

Me: "How many of your AOL disks have you kept?"

Client: "How many do you need? Will they help?"

Me: "Wow."

Client: "What?"

Me: "Okay, uh, an analogy for the situation is this: imagine that you're making dinner, and some of the spices (movie files) are missing from the cabinet (hard drive), so you go check if the spices are hiding on your dinner plate (timeline). It doesn't make sense. The timeline is dependent on the hard drive for its content - not mutually, and certainly not the other way around. You know what I mean?"

Client: "Ah, yes, well, um."

So now I am tasked with re-cutting this entire picture upon pain of forfeiture of payment. I've pulled more all-nighters in the past month than I ever have during school. Couldn't be more tired if I tried. Constant explanations of reality to the client, leading to rage. Glorious rage. After my client suggested (for the tenth time) that I put my entire life on hold and come stay at his house for a week so I can edit with him looming over my shoulder like a golem, I was forced to put my foot down very firmly on his fine imported rug.

Me: "No."

Client: "My wife will cook you dinner for a week."

Me: "I will pack my bags and be there tomorrow."

I am easily undone.

1 comment:

Be nice.