Sunday, December 05, 2004


It's been a long, shit week. Several weeks, in fact. As soon as I got back from New York, I had to immediately start the most important rewrite of P45 - that was fine. But it was also the moment that my dayjob got incredibly busy, a project I was supposed to be in charge of needed to be finished by Thursday 2nd, and I had to be in work every single day. That project is finally over, thankfully. Friday, however, all went a bit pear shaped.

I've been trying to go down to 2 days a week at work, using the money for P45. It should keep me going until about March, when hopefully they'll have started filming, I'll get my full payment, and can leave work full time. But right now, I need time to write, so going to 2 days a week would be really helpful. So they need to hire someone to do some of the work that I can't do. This takes a long time, and now it looks like I can't go to 2 days until January. That's okay, not perfect, but doable. Anyway, Friday, they say that there's another big project just come in, and they need all hands on deck, so hey, why don't I go to 3 days in January, then 2 in February? The thing is, I'd come to think that I'd never have to do a particular part of my job - writing courses - ever again. I'm sick to fuck of writing them, I've done them all a thousand times, and have been trying to get away from it for a year or so now. Finally, when I go to 2 days, I won't have to do them, because it would take me too long to write one as a part timer. And that's what kept me going through this last project, thinking hey, at least it's the last one, ever. But now it looks like it isn't. And the 2 days thing isn't happening till February either. Don't get me wrong, they've been brilliant about the film stuff, really flexible and helpful. But I really, really, really need time to write. So I sent some tense emails, stressed out, and started getting phonecalls from worried people, who thought I'd lost my temper with them. I hadn't, I was just sick of talking about it, sick of constantly asking for something that was seemingly no trouble for anyone else, but caused major hassle for me. And I know they needed to hire another person, I knew it would take a while, and knew that it would leave them short. But I have to look out for myself. They're not doing me a favour by employing me - it's a job, I do work for them in return for money, we're not a big happy bunch of best friends.

At the same time as all this, I discovered that a draft of the rewrite (which I've been working on with the director) had been submitted to the film company - without me checking it first. Stuff I'd done was left out, things were changed without discussion, it was full of mistakes - fucking nightmare. I sent a huge email to my agent with a copy of the script, going ballistic, then left my phone switched off all morning, not wanting to talk to anyone. Eventually my agent got me at home (I was working at home, thankfully), and said did I want to fix the script up before the end of the day? If so, they'd hold off reading it until then. I said yes, and started work. Then my phone (which was now on) started ringing, everyone was trying to get hold of me, my work, the film people, and I went a little bit insane.

Thankfully, Jo was at home too, and kept me calm, sorted me out, and helped me keep work at bay for a while. I spoke to the film company, who realised a mistake had been made, then I spoke to the director, and we sorted it all out. As I suspected, it was just a misunderstanding, something had got lost in the translation, and what with everyone communicating through voicemail and emails, the script got sent in without my knowledge. Let me just make it clear, I never suspected that any of the film people did any of this deliberately, they're all really cool, nice people who wouldn't try anything on, I knew something had just gone wrong somewhere. But it was still stressful, as they would have read that version of the script, which would have my name on it, and I didn't want them thinking that it was something I was happy with. And of course, I should have spoken to the film makers and film company before running crying to my agent, but I didn't know if I should be even saying anything about it, if I was in the right or not. I had a bad experience way back when I first got involved in this crazy business, with some people who left me with a lack of confidence and a belief that if I say anything to anyone, I'm making a nuisance of myself. So my first instinct was to just think "oh, don't make a fuss, or they'll kick you out and you won't get to be involved".

So, I finished my fixes, chatted to the director, and we made some more changes over the phone, once we'd discussed them, and then sent it off. My work says it's fine to go down to 2 days a week from January (though I'll probably still be involved in the course writing thing, but you can't have everything). Friday night, we watched some telly, had some wine, dinner, and ice cream, and chilled out. Saturday, I played Half Life 2 all fucking day, to take a break from it all. Today I've done some writing (other stuff, nothing concrete, just something I'm cooking up), this blog, and will probably play more Half Life 2 later, after dinner. Jo's been doing her assignment for her Open University course and playing the piano. And we're both feeling good about the week to come.

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