This is the final part of this post. Once you've read this you'll understand what the G59 team have to go through to stay productive despite the lengthy hours associated with the film industry.
Thanks for reading so far!
2pm until Mid Afternoon - Scour archive footage websites for news footage that we can use to fill the monitors of one of our sets. You’re limited budget wise and to certain sites. So it takes far longer than you’d imagine to find a series of clips you can actually use. You’ve got until the beginning of next week. Producer’s assistant/Best mate gives me a doubtful look.
Mid Afternoon - That’s tea! Get a cup of builder’s for the boss, and for Producer’s assistant/Best mate. Offer to get a cup of tea for the crew member I fancy.
Just after mid afternoon - Make tea, on your own. (She’s too busy to drink tea at the moment).
1800pm Wrap - No wait, find out you’re going an hour over.
1801pm - Eat leftover sandwiches and bemoan with the other crew members about having to go over. We don't actually complain that much, we all like this industry despite what I’m wearing and remembering I have to cycle home. No one is forcing us to be here! (But it’s good for team bonding to moan when they moan)
1900 - Wrap! Congratulate boss on a tough day. It’s sincere, it wasn’t easy and there was a lot to get through.
2000pm - Get back to boss’s house. Carry bags in, get bike, PELT it home.
2010pm - Bike pedal breaks, running repairs with cable ties I borrowed from an un-named department.
2045pm - It’s mostly downhill so I get home a bit quicker.
Here’s the important bit which keeps me sane after all those coffees and teas, if a little exhausted.
20:55pm - Jump in the car, smash it up the M1 to the editor of my film’s house. Yes, I wrote and directed a low budget feature film called How you Look At Me before getting the job as the director’s assistant on BJB. We want to eventually sell it to a distributor, we believe we can after some interest following a preview at The Edinburgh Film Festival. So….
21:30 - Review the work on my film that the editor has been doing all day. Help them overcome creative obstacles, narrative flaws, search for that alternative take that I assure the editor of its existence.
Some time later - Admit that I was wrong about the alternative take which clearly doesn’t exist.
12:00am - Midnight, think about getting going home…
12:10am - Find the alternative take by chance and rework the entire scene around it!
01:00am - Go home, I’ve fallen asleep in the edit, I’m not much more use here. Hopefully the car will make it, it’s twenty years old and doesn’t like being smashed up the motorway much, let me tell you. It’s called the white boat, as when you go round corners it creaks like a boat.
01:35am - Get home, collapse in bed 'do boats creak?'. Sleep. And that’s me for the day!
I always tell myself a couple of things on days like today, that make the gruelling hours and sometimes tedious but ultimately very rewarding work on films like Bridget Jones’s Baby worth it.
- I’ll work as many hours as it takes to not be an assistant.
- I was very lucky to have the job I did on BJB, and to have a team of other people willing to work with me on my own projects. So they’re hard work should be matched with mine.
- Talent can always be questioned, Oscar winners etc, constantly have their work questioned so that never goes away. But no one can ever question hard work.
- If my hard work gets me nowhere, and I ultimately have to be an assistant forever, then at least I can say I did everything I could to see if I was good enough to direct for a living.
P.s. I actually quite enjoy wearing active wear.
How You Look At Me stars George Blagden (Versailles, Vikings) and will complete post production in February 2017. We're also finishing a web series called All Of Them about dating in London for G59TV. And before all that, Writer's Room, a web feature film and sequel to Casting, will be released online on Feb the 4th on G59TV.