Film Journal: Week 3- Cast, Crashed and Crushing It

Oh Hugo Weaving, you've captured my sentiments exactly...

Oh Hugo Weaving, you’ve captured my sentiments exactly…

Last week didn’t feel like a week. It felt more like a month. And not an ordinary month of boring daily routines and structured monotony, but a month of compressed manic-depression. In one moment I would be giddy with joy. In the next moment I would be on the verge of a hypoglycemic nervous breakdown. In the next I would be ready to cry helpless tears. In the next I would bestride the world like a colossus. Trying to answer the simple question of “How’s it going” is like trying to predict the weather in Chicago in March: no matter what I say it is bound to change in five minutes.

That said, my week went something like this:

Monday: Apprehensive Optimism

We had a pre-class production meeting and found that we were all on the same page and were poised to move forward just as soon as we were awarded production numbers. There was nothing else that we could do except wait.

Tuesday: Inspired Creative Advancement followed by Bureaucratic Anxiety

We had our first producing class followed by our first directing class. We received our production numbers and, within hours, I went to the Student Production Office (SPO) and to Operations (Ops) to get an audition room and a shooting location and yet failed to accomplish either. It turns out that it isn’t possible to reserve a classroom in any of the other buildings on campus before 5pm during the Add/Drop period of the semester “just in case” a class is over-attended and needs to move to a bigger room. This came as an unpleasant surprise. Also, even putting in the request within hours of receiving the production number all the sound stages were booked up. It was the end of the day. It has been at least an hour and a half since my last snack. I was not in a mindset to be dealing with the stress so I went home frustrated.

Wednesday: Victorious Rebound!

The next day I chased down a lead that it might be possible to get a soundstage at the Zemeckis center. I arrived to campus half an hour early and went over in person. SUCCESS! There was a stage available on a Friday before one of the shooting weekends: not ideal, but I wasn’t going to turn my nose up at it. This was followed by camera check out, followed by sound check out, followed by setting up our production account, followed by Visual Expression class, followed by several hours of emailing actors confirm audition schedules followed by Screenwriting. Fourteen hours in all, but fourteen successful hours. Time well spent.

Thursday: Frustrated Discouragement

The day began with a Producing class which, in and of itself, was interesting and informative except that right at the beginning we discovered that it wasn’t necessary for us to haul all our equipment to campus for the afternoon Sound class even though we had gone to great lengths in order to do so. This was followed by the discovery of an assignment for Sound class that I hadn’t been aware of. This preoccupied my mind for much of the rest of the morning and I felt very foolish indeed for not knowing that it needed to be done. I try to be thorough and it wasn’t even on my radar. Lunch was spent in frantic attempts to finish opening the production account, work on the sound assignment, and wolf down enough food to keep body and soul together. This was followed by Sound class. I couldn’t concentrate and give it the attention it deserved. By the end of the day I was so burned out it took fifteen minutes for the three of us on Team Precious to figure out who was going to take all the equipment home again.

Friday: Panic Attack to Victory Lap

I slept poorly and woke up anxious. I’d spent the night dreaming of everything that was going to go wrong with auditions: that we would be kicked out of the room, that we would have too many people show up and wouldn’t have time to see them all, that the director wouldn’t find who she was looking for, etc. I was practically in tears by the time I walked out the door. I was in tears by the time I arrived to campus when I realized that I had forgotten to pack gloves for Cinematography class even though my ditty bag was right beside the front door at home. In a panic I ran to CVS and bought a pair of plain work gloves- not perfect but at least enough that I would be prepared. I made it to class with moments to spare and made an effort to concentrate. Class ended and I ran in a frantic panic to the first audition room. Then a frantic panic to the second audition room. Then a frantic panic to a job interview. Then a pleasant, contemplative dinner hour followed by a final, composed, hour of auditions and the giddy relief of a busy day successfully completed.

I then went home and shut off my brain for twenty hours.

So all in all I would consider the week a success, but if all the weeks are going to be like this I’m not sure what state I’m going to be in come May. I hope it gets easier. Maybe “easier” isn’t the right word: maybe I’m really just hoping that the work load becomes more manageable and the highs and lows happen with somewhat less amplitude and frequency. But I’ve made it through the first week and that counts for something.


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