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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trying no to burn out, but having a blast...

The NY 1 music, all the stings and bumps, jazzy underlays and poppy promos, are buzzing through my head as I walk home from an extremely hectic shift. One of several in a row due to a huge server crash that left us all sort of picking up the pieces in media. Granted, I broke up the days with work at CNN and work on a film shoot that, lucky for me, wound up being located in Sunset Park (This means I've worked all four of my freelance jobs, both paid and unpaid, this month). I had a fun time this weekend despite being exhausted and despite it slowly dawning on me that I'm smack dab in the middle of 17 straight days of work, not always at the same job. I have 9 days left now.

The weekend's film shoot was fun for a variety of reasons. I got to work slate so the bulk of my work meant just keeping track of which take we were on and giving a hand with continuity issues whenever I spotted them, occasionally wrangling the kids involved with the shoot and bringing breakfast food both days (at one point I even had to go looking for an open 99 cent store that sold gray socks because our principal actor had forgotten to wear the same socks on day 2). And yes, I said kids. That was half the amusement. There was a flock of kids who came with parents, some of them with release forms already signed, and then there was a bunch of the neighborhood kids who would have been there anyway playing softball that day. So it was kind of neat getting to see and sort of interact with a cross section of the demographic in this neighborhood because, up until now, no one has really ever spoken to me in the neighborhood.

The second day was much better for weather, in fact, it was a perfect day to be outdoors, such that I didn't mind being on my feet for most of the day. Our shoot the first day had consisted of standing in the occasional drizzle, filming the kids playing softball and grabbing a few lines for the narrative here and there. The second day, we were filming a scene with the main character, (a boy named Mustafa, who was playing an Muslim child who was struggling to fit in with boys his age while having to wear the traditional attire), where he meets a young girl playing hop scotch and she tries to teach him the game. We spent the better part of the day trying to get lines of them meeting and interacting on two different days. The principal female character had her mom and older sister hanging out with us most of the time helping out as well, saying lines from off camera or shading the camera lens when the sunlight changed direction. The older sister was neat to talk to because she had been in several films as an extra, one of which (a film called the Babysitters), she said a line and managed to get the director to make her a principal and pay her even more for the day. Funny, because that can always go one of two ways; either you get made a principal and get paid more if the director takes to your improvisation, or he/she could kick you off the set. The whole experience of seeing these kids, on both days, interact with the film crew and show an interest in what we were doing made me almost wish that I had heard ahead of time about the movie Patch Adams shooting in Chapel Hill, NC when I was in high school. I had friends then who got into that one. I might have tried out to be an extra had I realized how cool it would have been.

All this time getting to chat with cool people and watch the park visitors come and go all day, I got to stand out in the beautiful weather watching the sun on the bay and the sailboats going by, for eight hours, occasionally clapping the slate and then erasing and jotting the next take on the board. It would have been spectacular, admittedly, if I had been paid as well but, in a way, I was paid. These film shoots with Joel are a great opportunity for networking and each time, I meet more people that I can connect with, not only for potential composing jobs but for other potential film and TV work. The cinematographer yesterday works at another production house that often needs projectionists.

So I certainly didn't waste my weekend, even if I didn't get much sleep and I'm half worried about burning out from all this work. At least the bills will get paid and maybe I'll put some money away. Let's hope. For now, I'll spend all day tomorrow finishing writing and recording the music for George's film and trying to wrap that up. Tomorrow night I go in to NY 1 to help with the primary debate coverage. City politics, oh boy. Good night all.

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