Sunday, October 31, 2004

Europa, Rosebank Mall

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Service: * * * *
Food: * * * *
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * *

Damon's back from his unbelievably long shoot in Richards Bay. He was a featured extra in a British mini-series. Got paid obscene amounts of money, and didn't really have to learn too many lines. All he had to do was make sure his side-burns remained intact over the entire period.

"Great that you're back!" I say.

Europa in Rosebank is a reliable place to thwart the hunger-shakes I've got. I haven't eaten anything except a few pieces of handmade English toffee since breakfast. That's because I've been battling time all day to get my artworks moved into the Craft Market I'm now part of. I've been framing my prints since Friday night.

But the really hard work was coming up with a coding system so that I can track sales of individual prints. Not an easy task, seeing as the till system they use at the Market only allows me three alpha numeric symbols to work with.

I've opted for an all-alpha system, which gives me around 20 000 unique codes. And I had to generate the damn codes manually. Excel doesn't have a function that will automatically increment AAA to AAB to AAC all the way up to ZZZ. (Yes, in excess of 20 000 of these.)

And then making a stock list so that they can enter my codes into their computer.

I tell Damon about my satisfaction about getting my art out into the world.

"And work?" he asks.

My directing gig. "It's turning into a very very hardcore gig very very quickly. We're a bit under-resourced. I've had to campaign really hard to get us a logger to come on shoots with us."

A logger is an essential piece of equipment. It's a person with a brain who writes down the tape number, and the timecode on the tape for every significant bit of action. Ideally, the logger also writes the first few words of each concept associated with those bits of action. So, a logger's output might look like this: "00:21:13:00 -- Marc: How would you say open source has benefited your company?" Followed by "00:21: 36:00 -- Heather: Well, it's all free, isn't it?"

The reason the logger is essential is that editing becomes a fairly straightforward affair. Right now, I have to search through tens of hours of tape to find shots that are by now only a distant memory. This adds dozens of hours to a one-week editing schedule.

We're now WAY behind in editing. (It was my week in the edit suite. Tomorrow I start shooting again for a week. 8:15 call time. Too early for my nervous system, really. But hey.)

Damon just nods sagely. He's totally familiar with everything I'm talking about, being a seasoned veteran himself.

In production, unless there are literally bucket-loads of money, everything is ALWAYS under-resourced. In our case, our wonderful production person, Ronelle, has managed to get us two students to work for free. Yay!!!! One will be coming on the shoot with me, and the other will be logging the backlog of tapes in the office.

My Tra Firenze appears just as Damon has to go. He's helping Wendy set up her sound system tonight. She's performing for her sister's birthday party. The tramezzini is delicious. Mince with peppers. Delicious. Hits the spot.

"Before I go," says Damon, "how's the relationship scene?"

"Well, as you know, Karen and I have broken up. But we're still seeing each other for sex."

"Oh man, Roy," says Damon. "That's so wrong! How do you get away with it??? How on earth did you manage to wangle that???"

"There are advantages to being a good dom," I say.

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