MrGameShow -- MAY 24, 2006
Hollywood.. the great "Hurry up and wait" game.
It's been nice to be able to go to Hollywood a few times in the past couple of years to be involved in a number of projects; but as others in the business can attest to, getting into television is about as jerky as learning to drive a stickshift.
When you learn to drive an automatic, you get excited at the fact that you can move the vehicle under your own power and the car does all the shifting for you. Then when it comes to a standard - the game changes, and you have to be a little more on the ball of everything that's happening. If you aren't, you can expect stalling, maybe jerky starts, even the occasional grind.
Coming into the world of television production can feel much the same way. I recall staying up the entire night before the day of the shoot for AMERICA'S MOST TALENTED KIDS sitting in the Mindless Entertainment offices, hammering away on the program because we had an 8 am tech call at the theatre. I was more concerned that if I were to curl up on one of the couches, I'd sleep straight through the call and get in some deep trouble when I got there. So I stayed up through the night, packed the car, and drove to the theatre before anyone else got there.
While all my determination to get the software ready "on time" was for good intention, I don't think I even got to power up the computer until about 2:00pm that day - almost 6 hours after my arrival. I'm not out to blame anyone, because it was the first day of tech, so they had to run cables for EVERYTHING electronic. The point was just for me to BE THERE when "THEY" were ready.
The same process takes place in the early stages as well.
I was recently contacted by a company (through a recommendation) who wanted to know if I'd be able to build a casino-like system for their show. They wanted to know the feasibility, cost, time frame, etc. I was also asked to produce a 'proposal' for my involvement in the show for the 'next day'. [Which I found strange, since THEY contacted ME, but I played along.]
After I submitted the proposal, I decided to get to work on trying to see if I was actually ABLE to do what was requested of me. My head is recovering from banging it on the desk a few times trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, but in the end, I got a prototype working.
I had to wait a few days for them to have their network meetings and such, to which I was informed that I was actually COMPETING for the project against some other popular companies. While that was daunting in it's own right, the kicker came a couple days later, when I was told that the project talks had been put on hold until July while the network was working out their new budget.
I dread the fact that I was right into the project at the time, had everything somewhat figured out on how I was going to proceed -- then I was told to just shelf the project until they figured out if I was going to be the one they were going to hire. Procrastination is a big hurdle that I am continuously trying to overcome; and hiccups like this don't help matters any!
Hollywood CAN BE an amazing experience, but you really need both tough skin, plus the ability to jump at the starter's pistol and run the marathon in a moment's notice from a standstill. Luckily all those years doing techy stuff in the Performing Arts school I attended prepped me for that enviroment!
I feel very fortunate to have been recognized by my peers in the industry for my work on FG². The opportunities that have come my way are quite exciting to have been a part of, and hopefully there will be many more to come! I just hope that they can come my way a little more than once a year..
Till Then, Take Care!