Thursday, August 31, 2006

Out The Way

Work Buddy forwards an email from the Lead Participant who stresses that we need to keep the project moving forward. This, of course, is the project that we had in the bag and ready to go before she decided to redo her interview. Right.

She suggested coming up on Saturday to go through the various sections. Work Buddy replied that everything was underway and would be done by then. Thank you.

I made a start, and after about ten minutes stepped away from the computer, turned on Perfect Dark and slaughtered every damn thing in sight. It was either that or drill into my face with power tools.

This was the first time I had had the chance to sit down and watch the new footage. The answers were more concise this time, which was a good thing. The problem with the new material was that it mirrored, almost exactly, the other actors’ earlier responses.

It was akin to her sneaking a peek at an exam paper and getting the answers without actually understanding the working out that leads to the result. This became apparent when she turned to the camera and smugly explained that what she had just said could lead into one of the other actor’s replies.

Really? Not quite. Because by saying more or less the exact same thing, it made it a question of ‘either or’ when choosing clips. One section edited together ended up with the three of them all contributing to a single, extended, statement.

Worse, the Lead Participant appeared to have set her replies up to deliver an obvious ‘killer punchline’ at the end. Apart from turning the other actors into her stooges, it might have paid off if what she said was actually funny. By playing it straight we would have found the humour in the juxtaposition of statements. What we had instead was aiming for a roll on the drums followed by the crash of the high-hat.

I hadn’t been there for the previous actors interviews, but had provided a list of the subjects to cover. The Lead Participant had ignored them, conducted the ‘interviews’ herself and quickly turned them into conversations. Which left us with footage of the actors patiently listening to her talk about what they should have been talking about. When they did eventually reply to camera, nine times out of ten, she would interrupt with more comments about herself. Marvellous. Why listen to them when we can hear about you? Again.

By the time I gave up for the day and quit out, there was about six minutes of footage spliced together. And to get that I had to reinstate material from her earlier interview.

In the meantime, Our Friend In The Know got back to us mid-afternoon. Still feeling rough, he had just that moment dragged himself in to work. Suggesting we meet up at six o’clock, Work Buddy flatly refused, telling him it could wait until he was feeling better.

Upon hearing this, I was close to starting up another Perfect Dark simulant slaughter, especially when Work Buddy reported that he had turned down the offer of the three of us getting together tomorrow. Until, that is, he explained his line of reason.

Seeing that we weren’t trying to pressure him, Our Friend offered a day next week. Work Buddy plumped for Tuesday. Rather than meet outside, Our Friend In The Know booked a conference room for us to discuss the project. Ah, now I get it.


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