Turn Around, Turn the Volume Down

The fog of war is slowly lifting.   Sometimes in life, the enemy batters your walls, towers start to crumble and you have to reassess where the battle is headed and whether or not you can holdout until reinforcements arrive.  Lately it’s been one of those times.  For awhile I felt like I was losing the battle, my defenses had gone to shit, the wall guard was down at the local tavern drinking swill and fondling the serving wenches.  Which was highly unacceptable.

The financial situation got pretty ugly for awhile there, with no job prospects and bills climbing, I did what I’m traditionally known and derided for, which is pull back up in to the shell and start battling the apathy and ugliness of being a poor shithead from the inside out.  On the one hand things have begun to mildly look up.  I’ve been hired on, in the loosest sense of the term as an official assistant editor back in the land of DW.  You would think this is a good thing, and on some levels it is, at least on paper.

Before I moved out of the cesspool I came from, I laid out my plans, school for a hard year, then work my way through the system until I achieve the rank of Assistant Editor, where I’d sit for a couple of years, hopefully moving from job to job improving, while writing and hustling through personal projects until I could become a full fledged editor on something that isn’t just some instructional video or short that my friends and I busted out.  It doesn’t sound like a great title, what with the ‘assistant’ part attached, but in reality this is a fairly big thing, AE’s in this industry make good money by the standards I’ve always lived by, and getting the title on my resume means I can start rising above the mire and inevitably establish what will become of my life out here.  But the truth of the matter is, the work is still so sparse that I’m only being called in to work a couple days a week.  Don’t get me wrong, I really needed those few days a week.  The slight breathing room it allows me is wondrous, and because technically I am official (bastards gave me keys and everything!) I don’t have to try and hustle for work anymore.  Freelancing had become a serious chore and mental drain on me;  I suck at handling clients, and I suck worse and juggling a trillion jobs, especially when none of them pay me enough to actually get by.  I’m far too easily distracted by things like shiny objects and XBox controllers to effectively function as a solo unit.  I know this is a shortcoming of mine, but I feel better knowing that I accept it and try to work around the problem.  Sorry, got sidetracked.  See?

Unfortunately, the solution hasn’t really started affecting day to day operations.   The job feels like a carrot currently in front of my head, I call up every morning, hoping there’s enough work for me to come in, but in the meantime, there’s no official “Your permanent!” speeches going on.  And while everyone I’ve talked to agrees that it looks good, I have issues with promises.  I just want something official so I can relax and pray the money comes in on time before some repo asshole start taking my things.

But it’s not all vapid promises and hard late night work.  I’ve learned an immense amount of information even in my short time.  I can cut picture with the best of my lower end contemporaries, it’s something I pride myself on.  I know the avid, I’m fairly fast, I understand and can integrate editing and storytelling concepts.  But I lack skills on the technical end.  Now as an AE, I’m learning the decks, cabling, outputs, and all of the million crazy details and requirements of the television post-production world.  And, I’ve done work for some fun stuff, things for the History and Learning Channel, which while not the latest, greatest horror flick or Lost or something, is still fun as hell.

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I just realized, speaking of editing that I have to get out of here and go do some.  Come back later today for the next half of the update, the non-AE related stuff!


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