Thursday, May 18, 2006

Things that rather rocked today

round-trip airline ticket = $1600

non-linear editing software = $300ish value

10-pack of pro-grade DV cassettes = $160

Finally telling your boss that you're going to be away for a while because you need to go to Nigeria to shoot a movie? PRICELESS.

I actually feel a lot better getting that piece of business out of the way... For the longest time it weighed on my mind. I mean, I have three weeks of vacation; it's gonna take a little bit longer than that to shoot a movie (Well, to shoot this movie, anyway). I had pretty much assumed that I would just have to quit my job to do this, and I was planning to wait till two weeks before my departure to give my notice.

I guess I was cool with that, but somehow it really disturbed me. I'm putting a lot into this project... I'm sinking virtually every meager dime I have into it, and I'm not really entertaining too many fantasies of making any significant money from it, so the prospect of coming back from principal photography to be unemployed and homeless was not something I was altogether comfortable with. I like to think of myself as a daring, happy wanderer type, but if I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit that become a bit addicted to "security" as I've entered my thirties and the thought of living without medical insurance is more terrifying to me than a three-day giallo marathon.

So yeah, rather than quitting the J-O outright, I was toying with the idea of taking a "leave of absence" and coming back... But how do you explain to your employer "Well... I can't come to work because I have to go to Africa to play Francis Ford Coppola for a few months"? Yeah... I was pretty certain that they'd replace me before the butt imprint in my seat was gone.

I figured I'd just fall on the reliable old "family issues" excuse.... They can't fire you for going to deal with family issues, can they? A friend told me to tell them straight up that my father is at death's door, but that was a bit gruesome and distasteful for me. Plus, I really hated having to lie. For the most part, I'm uncomfortable with lying in general (I'm gonna have to work on that if I plan on getting anywhere in life... Especially in this business!), and the folks at my job are so nice that I hate to deceive them that way. Basically, I felt that lying about this was bad karma of some sort, and would cast a shadow over the whole production. (I should make today's mp3 Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," eh?)

In the end, I opted to tell the truth.

My boss was pretty excited and supportive (of course, like a lot of folks in my office he's an ar-teest himself - an actor and comedian... a pretty good one, too) and he said he thinks it's possible. So tomorrow he's gonna go talk to the head of the department on my behalf. Even if it doesn't pan out and I end up having to just quit, I still feel better for having been honest about it.

And in my new spirit of honesty, I promise that I will be more detailed and insightful in chronicling the good, the bad and the ugly of this journey in this here blog. Up until this time, I've felt a little weird about talking too much about it. Like I said before, I'm a pretty private person and... Well, in some strange way, I've felt almost... a little embarrassed about this whole thing.

I mean, this is a kinduva crazy thing I'm doing. I always tell Denis that it's okay for him because he's like a decade younger than me... This is the time for him to take reckless chances. Me? My peers are getting married and buying minivans. So yeah, I can't help think sometimes that I'm acting irresponsibly.

But you know... With all the work we've been doing lately, things are really starting to take shape and we're realizing that there's a strong chance that this crazy plan might work -- I mean, really work. We just need the fortitude to grab that ring when it swings before us. We can achieve it... We just have to be ready to take a chance.

If I learned anything from all those comedies I watched in the 1980s, it's that.


Seven said...

AF....what you guys are doing is beautiful man....It's bold, revolutionary and very inspiring...
Keep on man....don't 'know' u too well, ut for what it's worth...i'm proud of u man...

AFKAP of Darkness said...

thanks a lot, man... that means a lot, for real!

mbayisyen said...

you don't know how proud i am of you guys! its'great to pursue your dreams. I totally know what you mean by being trapped in security but I tell you once you will be in Lagos shooting Too many much beautiful women, you will not thinking about health insurance!
hope the leave of absence thign works!