Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The new gig is great so far. I started working in television this week, but not at the network right now.

Their editing rooms are still in use from another show they're doing, so they rented some space at another post-production house. I expected this; they did it early last season but apparently they couldn't get in at the same location as before.

There's hundreds of post facilities in LA. Some are luxurious, with beautiful editing bays, office spaces, gourmet free restaurants and cute little receptionists peeking into your room asking if they can do anything for you and before your mind has a chance to wander, they've placed a delicious cappucino in your hands. This is not one of those places. It's on the cheap end of the spectrum -- peeling paint, exposed drywalls and the AC blasting to keep the editing equipment from overheating, leaving us to shiver in winter coats indoors.

I don't care. I get to be creative and help put a show together. Awesome.

Still, I'd like to settle in more. We didn't have office spaces 'til yesterday afternoon, and I still don't have a computer set up. I had to write my voice-overs on my laptop, and I'm not in the network's computer network, so culling information from all the other sources had to be done the old-fashioned way. I had to go see people face-to-face.

Again, that's fine by me. I went over to the main offices a couple of times already. To fill out paperwork and to get some. In the meantime, I ran into lots of cool people -- some old friends from before, people I met from last season and plenty of new ones.

I go from feeling, well, superfluous at times, to extremely vital to the whole operation. It depends who I talk to. Gene, the head of our department, is a funny, nice guy, but every time I'm done talking to him, I don't know where I stand in the scheme of things. Hard to explain. Could be just me. Still, he gave us the scoop on how to keep things wired -- when you gotta crank and when you can chill.

And then I'm reassured when I talk to the super-supportive producer who's helped me for the past year and raved about how great it is that I'm there, that I'd really make things run so much more smoothly.

I hope so. Right now I'm still learning the ropes.

Obviously on the organizational stuff... One producer gave me a sheet with specifics about how graphics and text that appear on screen are to be formatted, going over carefully that I should keep an eye out for indiscrepancies. I assured her I understood. I found three typos on the information sheet itself.

But also, I'm trying to get a handle on what the executive producer and network want creatively. I've discovered that pop culture references are tricky. Oddly, Chris Farley, Donna Summer or the Flintstones... those go over fine, but others things leave people scratching their heads. One of the tapes we were editing featured a dude who was a big brutish blonde boob. Gene said, "Anyone ever read Archie Comics?" I had, but I could see that no one -- including the executive producer -- knew what he was talking about. "This dude reminds me of that dumb guy, what was his name?"

"Moose!" I said, realizing my knowledge either ingratiated me with Gene or nerdified me with everyone. We agreed to forget the Moose joke, based on the room's reaction. Whatta buncha jugheads.

But I'm thrilled to be working full-time with all of them, getting paid to write my voice-overs and other creative elements. I think the excitement wears me out; I find myself exhausted at the end of the day. But hey, I'm so close by. I got home last night in six minutes.


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