Whilst I couldn’t say a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks things certainly have changed. Mostly this centres on the fact that I am no longer funemplyed but actually unemployed and seeking work. After many emails back and forth about a potential start date with promises that it will start in February and that I would be told as soon as it was fixed, I came out of the cinema on a Monday evening to see I had an email and a voicemail from the production manager saying they would be giving this job I’d been waiting on since November to someone else. They said it was someone ‘in house’ usually meaning someone who is on a staff contract and therefore cheaper. I later found out who actually got the job – a friend of mine in fact – who isn’t staff but has been working for the company (if not this series producer or possibly even director) and is probably a better choice for them. He also has been championed by one of the top documentary editors so if he’s involved then I had no chance.
I’m not angry that it went to someone else, I’m annoyed that I was strung along for so long. I know it’s just the way these things work (terrible excuse) but to have them say they were really interested in having me since November and making me promise I’d let them know if anyone else was offering me work whilst they sorted their dates out it’s then more than a little galling to have them give it to someone else. They were possibly just hedging their bets but who knows. What this means now is I have to really look for work during the worst time in TV as January & February tend to be quite light on work with things starting to pick up again in March.
So, in attempt to be in some way productive I found a slightly newer version of Avid that my license covers. I installed it hoping it will fix my export problem. Exports work fine, but AMA files are less good, so still not a fix. I’ll have to investigate further.
I received a call from the director I’ve been helping get his DVDs into some sort of web friendly files for. He is a bit of a technophobe (as is my mother) and so we arranged for me to go help him out one afternoon as I’m free. We discussed some possible further work as he is getting a lot of his old films transferred from master tape into ProRes files for him to store and create a showreel from. I could make a few quid from it but it’s not going to be enough to keep me going for any length of time so I still need to find work, but it was good chatting to him at his very nice house. With any luck it will lead to some real work with him in the future – he’s made some great programmes and I’d love to work with him one day.
In general I’ve been finding motivation an issue and my mood has been through some low points during the weeks. Every few days I check the 3 or 4 main job sites I use and I keep a daily eye on the facebook groups but I’m not very hopeful knowing all too well that this is the quiet time for TV. I met with an old family friend who suggested just trying to meet with certain people face to face which made me think about meeting a few of the talent managers I know to discuss with them my position and aspirations – it can’t hurt. I applied to a job posting based in Bristol as it should be for a couple of months at least and I could justify the travel. I think I know some people out Bristol way so I could possibly crash on friends’ sofas during the week and head back to London for the weekends. I’m yet to hear back. I also received a text a few days back asking for my experience in QC. This is the process of thoroughly checking a final video tape or file to make sure it meets all broadcast standards and has no faults in it and is possibly the sole area of post production I have no real training in. I’m sure I could learn it quickly enough but the project in question is going to a tricky QC so they said they’d just keep me on file.
A high point for me was seeing my first credit for 24 Hours in A&E the other night. It was on an episode I was actually quite involved with and was cut by someone I’ve worked with a couple of times who gives some great advice. I emailed him to let him know I’d seen it and to mention I was looking if he knew of anyone needing someone. He is currently on holiday but he confirmed my plan to make sure I get on the assistant scheme for the next series because it should be my gateway to being an editor. I’ve done some crisis planning and if I was really careful and spent as little money as possible I could possibly survive on my savings until the next series starts up. I really don’t want to – I’m going mad without work, and I’d like to spend those savings on holidays and so on – but equally I don’t want to get a 6 month contract in March as it would put me out for A&E. Here’s hoping on that 2 month job in Bristol.