Monday, April 17, 2006

Dispatch from Pilot Season

Today I got an opportunity - unlooked-for, unexpected - to be a Supervising Sound Editor. See, there were two scenes in an upcoming pilot - one that took place in a shower, with the water running; the other was a fight - for which the producers had decided to replace the dialogue, 'cause no one could tell what the hell the actors were saying. (No fault of any of the actors, in this case.) The network is reviewing a rough cut tomorrow. This is a big deal, obviously: careers are riding on an eventual thumbs-up or thumbs-down from the network.

The decision to fix these scenes was made at the last minute, and the regular supervisor was busy, so I got the call as I was driving to work. Oh, supervising! The glamor, the excitement! I fielded frequent phone calls from the associate producer; I talked to the assistant picture editor, and figured out delivery formats and timecode issues; I chased all around the facility to make sure various bits of edited picture had been delivered from the picture editor, and then digitized and prepped for the stage; I typed lots of numbers into a database program... then retyped them once the correct picture had shown up. Then I got to sit on an ADR stage with the AP (Associate Producer), the editor, the director, and a couple of movie stars, and watch the movie stars repeat performances they'd already given, weeks before. Finally - back to my civilian identity - I edited together the best takes, fixed the sync, smoothed the bits of the scene that we were still using, and prepared it for the picture editor, so she can put in the new audio in the morning. Oh, and I just remembered something I forgot to do, so now I have to get up earlier than I was going to, and do it.

It was kind of fun, in an abstract way - the juggling, the managing, the hurry-up, last-minute, make-it-work; the different people and the different egos that all needed stroking; the ringside seat at the circus; and I am, really, fascinated at the inner workings of fame, and here I got to see some, close up...

But truly? I didn't much enjoy it. I'm glad I won't be doing it much longer.

Did I mention I was supposed to be spending the day editing another show altogether? The amount of that I did was none. Tomorrow's going to be a long day, I fear.


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