Feb 202017

My first day back at work means my first day for over a month actually getting up at a respectable time, getting ready and leaving the house to travel into work. This feels good. Initially I meet with the editor and producer of the reversion to discover they will actually be doing more of a re-edit than a reversion due to the amount of financial input from PBS who are broadcasting the series in the US. None of us know exactly what is required but we have a chat and the production manager joins us to explain how it is all to work out. The PBS edit isn’t actually due to start until mid March and will be taking the BBC cut at the 1st viewing stage which will be the basis for the PBS version. There has been extra interviews filmed to replace the presenter led pieces to camera and my job will be mostly to create the PBS projects and organise them so the editor and producer know exactly what they need to replace and what they have to replace it with. This almost definitely won’t be a week’s work but I don’t have all the information to work form straight off so I’m sure it will take me almost a week to complete.

I happened to notice at some point during the week that my contract has my weekly rate as ‘per day’ which could be fun. I doubt they’ll notice or act on it and, whilst legally if we both sign I could push them for it, they are a good company and I want to keep in their good books so I best not push them.

I received a lovely email from one of the series producers on A&E saying they will likely have a role for me starting in May. This is particularly good news as it means they are chasing me so my applying to the scheme will be almost unnecessary – I’m still going to do it as I know a number of other people applying and I don’t want to look presumptuous or complacent. I feel a little vulnerable as I’m pinning a lot on firstly getting the A&E scheme, secondly that it lasts as long as it has previously and keeps me employed until after Christmas, and thirdly (and possibly more importantly) that it will be my springboard into editing. My hope is that after this job on A&E I advertise as a new editor and focus on getting mainly editing jobs, but I’m very aware that I was also pinning a fair amount on working on the project that fell through and it left me unemployed for a long time. I know this situation is different as there will be plenty of other work later in the year and I hadn’t actually turned anything else down for it, but I hadn’t really looked either. Heres hoping it all works out.

After only 2 days on the reversion project I have pretty much run out of things to do. I am still waiting on some more info that I predict will give me another days work to do but until then nothing. I know the producer wants to visit, possibly tomorrow, so I’ll be able to ask him what else he feels I could do but I’ll have to look in some way busy for him. I’ve already watched pretty much all the cut material (which to me seems surprisingly little but I guess it is a slow process as they are still shooting). At the end of the day I get that email giving me tomorrow’s work and we’ll just have to see how I can make Thursday and Friday happen. I’ll probably contact the PM on Thursday to let them know how I’m getting along.

In more interesting news I did see a post about a week’s work creating the 10 minute pitch version of a doc on refugees. It’s low pay and just below my usual weekly rate but as they actually only want about 5 hours a day for 5 days I don’t mind – any money will do! The only snag will be if they require me to have my own kit. As previously mentioned mine is in no fit state to be used professionally and it would cost me a fair bit to get something that would be suitable. To date I have not heard back.

I spent some time with the producer on Wednesday who is happy with what I’ve done so far. He raised a few questions for the production manager and is understanding of how little I can actually do right now. We also managed to convince the PM to pencil me in for a second week nearer to the start of their edit as there will be more footage by then, plus they will have been cutting for a few weeks and may have more for me to do. I also managed to find myself a little more work off the back of a comment made by the PM in response to the questions posed by the producer. She mentioned that pretty much any talking head that wasn’t one of the three main presenters would probably be used for the PBS version. I decided to scroll through all the footage to see if any had been missed on either the log or the various and sporadic notes I’d been sent and found a fair few. It also helped improve my labelling and understanding of what each bit was and to what it related.

I finally sent an email officially applying to the A&E Scheme, despite already being asked. It took many attempts as my original draft was very gushy. I tried hard to reel it in and keep it simple and short but it still ended up being along the lines of “I loved working with you, I’d love to work with you more” fangirling.

By Friday I have nothing really left to do so I spend most of the day playing with some effects on the footage, mostly trying to recreate tilt shift on some drone footage over the Acropolis in Athens. I wonder if I could get away with sending a handover mid afternoon and buggering off. Sent email at 4:30 and the producer replied asking if I could collate all the notes and logs I have so they have a more concise PBS version of footage. Making this takes me up to the end of the day so I feel I have accomplished something of worth. There is also a small misunderstanding when the production manager asks me to send her an invoice as soon as possible. I was under the impression I was on PAYE but understand that a week’s work would be simpler as self invoicing. The issue for me is I haven’t yet self invoiced and would have to work out exactly what to do and how to then declare this later on. The PM says we should be able to do it PAYE so I’ll sort out the paperwork for that next week. I currently have nothing else to do so I might as well do that.


My Week in TV January 2017 PT2

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Feb 082017

I’ve been keeping in conversation with both the editor and the edit producer for the first episode I was credited on for A&E (yes, there have now been a few) and the editor mentioned he has given my name to someone looking for an assistant. I received a call two days later for a possible two weeks work which is better than nowt – in fact two weeks work a month will cover my rent and bills with just enough money for food so I’m fairly happy. We exchanged a few emails and I discovered they need someone to prep for an international reversion of a series. This usually means stripping all the music and graphics that are not licensed for worldwide broadcast, cutting out any interviews or pieces to camera that are not relevant to the worldwide audience, and maybe removing the VO for a re-recording. It looks like this is on a series of about 6-10 episodes so there’s a fair amount of work, perhaps not two weeks but then perhaps they want me to prep some of the new material too – cut down interviews or something.

I’ve now been confirmed for one week with the second week still a pencil. I have a hunch it won’t last two weeks and I haven’t heard anything from the Bristol job so I assume it’s gone to someone more local. Despite frequently looking I haven’t seen anything else relevant posted on any of my main job sites but I’m starting to see more and more producer / production manager / production coordinator jobs going up so programmes are starting to get underway, it’ll just be a few months before anything reaches post.

After being confirmed for the reversion job I saw a company looking for assistants available immediately for about three weeks work. I considered it but for 2 things; I am not free immediately due to this reversioning job but more importantly the three week job is with a company I have been told to avoid. Apparently no one likes working for them and they aren’t very prompt at paying. If I had nothing else I would probably have applied but I think I’ll skip it this time. We’ll see how wise a decision that turns out to be. I’m looking forward to being back at work if only for a week. At least it should keep me busy.