Day 3: I am reborn
February 27, 2008
I’ve been in Cape Town for 3 days and I’m finally getting my sea legs. The jet lag from Chicago (10 hours) is significant. No matter how fantastic a place is, if you’re zonked it’s going to seem bleak that first day. Such was the case for me: The hotel sucked. The service lax. Even the famous scenery was a let down. Having my bags lost made me feel like I was laid over in Baltimore. I was angry, lonely and most of all tired.
But today I awake refreshed and full of appreciation for this place, my job and the many new faces. I am less whiny. The glass is half full. Business-wise, we are through casting and numerous other details. Our pre-production meeting is set for the morning. I do not anticipate any real problems. Perhaps the client will prefer our second choice for actor but we will get our man in the end.
About midway through my career I’d lost appreciation for the production process. Not the importance of it mind you, but the joy of making small films had left me. I’d grown weary of all the meetings and approvals and subsequent waiting around. And while that’s still a big part of the process, I now feel gratitude being able to participate.
Meeting new people –most smart, focused & creative- is one of the great pleasures of our business, if not life itself. Having written the script that will soon become a big time TV commercial makes the whole thing even sweeter. Creating a tidal wave on film has reawakened the little boy in me. The potential for manufacturing this terrible beauty excites me like having (making?) a baby. I am glad to be here. I am glad to be alive.
I’d like to think this was the part of our job Paul Tilley liked most: writing, creating and producing. Maybe the politics of managing a creative department took him away for too far and too long. Like me, maybe he’d forgotten how fantastic our ad-world can be and, in turn, the world in general. Again, I don’t pretend to know what unraveled for Paul, or even if it had anything to do with his work at all. But I do know I’m rethinking my own cynicism. It’s not only boring it’s deadly. For I have the greatest job in the world. And each day is a living reminder.