Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autumn Begins - Update

The air outside is cool and crisp, the sky is gray some mornings, I can wear a cardigan comfortably. It's fall, you've no doubt realized this, everyone is Tweeting about it, or, if they don't have Twitter, they've at least updated their Facebook status to tell you of their peppermint or pumpkin spiced latte, maybe they're wearing a scarf, or better yet, they've thought of the perfect Halloween costume, horray! Autumn really is my favorite season, especially the very start of Autumn, when the leaves are still orange but haven't yet fallen from the trees. The landscape will soon be barren and gray, naked looking. I'm in Texas. Soon I will be able to see downtown Fort Worth from almost anywhere within a 20 mile radius. It's slightly elevated compared to the land around it, you may not know that. And once the leaves fall off the trees, you can see the skyscrapers right through peoples' backyards, that is the worst season. But for now, the outdoors are beautiful.

I spent the last month in Los Angeles. I was subletting from my best friends, a married couple. I finally got to live on the West Side. It was nice, I only had two official days shooting video and a couple days of editing, so most of my time was spent surfing the internet, writing a little, working out, running, cooking meals, laying in the sun. It was leisurely to be sure, but it wasn't time wasted. I needed to recharge. The last few days in L.A. were spent preparing to shoot the final scene to my movie More Than It Is. Our lead actress Cherie and Jonathan came over on the final Sunday I was in town and we shot the final scene in front of the house I was staying in. We also shot a few inserts that we needed and we actually FINISHED photography on the movie. It was a wonderful feeling to come back to L.A., work a little bit, visit my friends, go to my church and to actually accomplish all the tasks I had laid before me. As you may remember, in May I went to New Zealand with Jonathan, my cinematographer and Cherie, our actress. We spent ten days there on the South Island of New Zealand shooting our short film More Than It Is and then Jonathan and I moved on to Australia to shoot a television pilot for a travel show that we were creating (New Zealand = Short Film, Australia = Travel show/TV pilot). While in L.A. last month, I was also able to record the voice over for that TV pilot (really a sizzle reel) and sit in on an editing session with John-Michael Powell, our editor. The sizzle-reel is finished now, but since we are pitching it to major networks, it's still a bit of a secret (email me and I'll send you the link and password). It's all very exciting.

At the end of the month in L.A., I met with the assistant director of a big television show that would be shooting in Dallas this Fall. She assured me that there was a job for me on the show, so I cut my sublet a little short, packed up my car and started the drive back to Dallas. The job I was interviewing for was a set PA position, basically one step closer to the camera department, in hopes that I would be able to join the Union as the DIT/Utility on the show (doesn't matter if you don't know what that means, just know that it pays very well and I am well qualified). The position they offered me was a stand-in/extra position. Twelve hours a day, for about a third the pay of the other job. I was just about to send an email saying I'd accept the position when the DP of the show (doesn't matter if you don't know what this means, just know he's a big-shot) called me, irate. He told me not to accept the job. He was furious, said I was way too qualified to be seen in that position and that if I worked on the show as a stand-in, it would be near impossible to ever convince anyone that I was qualified to do the other job. So I emailed the A.D. and respectfully declined the stand-in work. This was twenty hours into my drive back to Texas, four days before I was to start the job, far past the turn-back point. I was very disappointed. If you remember a post a while back, shortly after my return from Australia, I was fairly dismayed at my dismal financial situation and lack of work prospects in the near future. Either I used up all of my stress during that time, or perhaps the good time in L.A. and constant prayer I was in set me back on the straight path of faith, but even with the new bad news I just didn't get stressed out this time. Instead, I came home, relaxed for a day to get over the 24 hour roadtrip hangover and then began calling all of my clients and contacts, letting them know my geographical situation and eagerness to work. And work started pouring in, it was a deluge, monsoon season, it was Mumbai in July! And my schedule has filled up and continues to fill up - editing work mostly, a little bit a camera work. I need money, I need it badly, I need to pay off the debt from my movie and the TV pilot production and I need to pay off my radical, beautiful Mac editing system. I owe a lot, but I've booked more work in a shorter time period than I ever have before, so as long as I work efficiently, I may just accomplish my goal.

Even though I will not be working on the Dallas-based TV show full time (this is subject to change), I am planning on living and working in Dallas for the rest of 2009. I have a great editing station set up here at home and plenty to keep me busy. Hopefully, our travel-pilot will sell and we will begin pre-production on our own show in early 2010, also, I hope that More Than It Is will have a good run of a few film festivals in the Spring. I didn't think this day would come during that dark week in L.A., less than three months ago, but I'm happy to report that I'm happy, I'm working and I'm excited for the future. God is good. Oh look at that, I'd better stop, I'm about to go spiritual on you.

I love you.


Andrew said...

We love you too, man.

Let's hang out soon, now that we're in the same metroplex.

- dizNasty

Sarah Kay said...

Good to read a long post from you again. Love you too big bro. I'm glad that you have such a great attitude about life. :)

Martha Elaine Belden said...

ditto what sarah said... love, great attitude, good to read...

i hope i see you soon. keep that smile on your face :)

LauraJo said...

ditto to Sarah and Martha. God is Good and does amazing things when we give him our worries and let him work. love ya bro.