The New Zealand Chronicles:Part 10 – Badminton

Shuttlecok and shadow sepia

*** First written June 21, 2002***

Woke up a little late today — stemming from going to bed at 4am.  But I was only 5 minutes late to dailies — snuck in the back in the darkened dailies room.  I look around and many people are in the same shape.  The worst part of dailies is that it’s usually early in the morning, in a dark room, and you look at the same shots over and over, back and forth. No wait, stop on this frame.  Zoom in.  Pan right.  Forward. Stop.  It very much like Decker looking a photograph for clues toward finding rogue Replicants.  I smile as people slowly nod asleep and hitch back awake, catching themselves.  They shake their head. “Focus!” we yell inside our heads.  And it works….for another 90 seconds.

Spent most of the day going through the pipeline and procedures.  They have lots of scripts and stuff that automate most things for you, but you have to make sure that all your naming conventions and everything conform to the scripts.  So, a lot of detail work before the artistic work begins.

I don’t feel bad for not getting a shot rendered yet.  All the other TDs I have talked to say that they had to go through the same learning curve with lots of different teachers — each with a different opinion on how it should be done.  My problem is that my desk is sitting amongst some of the Massive team rather than with the other Gollum Lighting TDs.  So, I don’t really have anyone to conveniently turn to and ask questions.  I could pick up the phone and dial the shots department and talk to a TD, but it’s very hard to describe these procedures without actually demonstrated them.  So, I get up and walk down to the shots department, which is 3 stories down and across the building — there is no elevator.  One benefit of this is that I get a daily dose of exercise to counter the fact that I’m sitting in front of a computer all day.  I should leave a paper full of questions on my desk and remember only one question at a time.  That way, I run down, get my question answered, run back up, read the next question, run back down, etc.  This way I’ll be able to maintain an elevated heart rate and just watch the pounds melt away.

Did I happen to mention that they have a Badminton Hall — dedicated to …Badminton?  I never really considered Badminton a serious sport. It’s something that you play at a Fourth of July picnic when you tire of volleyball.  I don’t think I’ve seen people take the trouble to setup a net specifically for Badminton.  Its usually “Hey, the adults who were playing volleyball are now tired and drunk — lets give the little kids really light tennis rackets and a plastic things that won’t move fast enough to hurt anyone — no matter how hard you hit it”  I guess its serious enough here to dedicate an entire hall to it.  I wonder if there is a Shuffleboard Hall… maybe a Hackysack Hall.

The language censors for media are more lax here than in the states. “Shit” has broken the censorship barrier.  But I guess Fuck is still out of the question.  Although in certain settings you can use the word “bugger”.  Since “cunt” is used so loosely in the UK, I wonder if it will have the same affect here.  I’m certainly not going to give it a try.  As an American, its been ingrained in me that using the term, especially toward a lady, will end up at the very least an ice pick in the eye, and at worst you are dragging the river for your testicles.  All these vulgarities are on the radio anyway.  It’s hard to tell on TV – at least in the hotel – because I’m not sure if we are watching premium channels or broadcast.  I haven’t seen anything cut out of the movies — and these are playing on the same channel that brings us Miami Vice.  I’ll know better when we move into the apartment.

It was Beer O’clock today.  I had a bottle of very good beer.  For those of you who are beer aficionados, I’ll have to check back with what kind of beer it was.  It has the same taste as Guinness with a lighter body.  I’m still trying to absorb a lot of technical material, so I’m limiting my beer to one (plus the fact that I’m running on 4 hours sleep).

See you tomorrow, — moving into the apartment soon.

T

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