it’s been a few weeks since i started work with the new movie and we’ve so far only shot 2 days. the grueling task of casting the last main lead has been daunting for the rest of the staff, catching up on last minute decisions on whether to shoot or not and if the production fund would be released with enough time to prepare for props before we are called to the set. and to top it all off, because of such reasons we all havent been given our downpayment.
in the meantime the children have been starving. the system and policies of the production company hasnt been much of help in the way that they tell me my request for fund has been denied days after i submitted it because it was supposedly in the wrong format. and hey, theyve already approved it the first time they received it!
exactly my reasons for submitting it early so they could look over it and tell me if something was wrong. in the first place, they havent been transparent on certain standards and rules on requesting, reimbursement, and even in what to purchase or not. one time during the previous long night shoot, they told me my request didnt pull through for the next day’s shoot and i got really furious that i started cursing in the queen mother’s tongue. it wasnt the first time they did that to me and evidently, i thought we already had an agreement on imaginary terms and policies on format and other bureaucratic bullshit.
they also informed us that i couldnt do any purchases for costume. everything should come from the actors and other talents (and they mean everything), or is acquired through x-deals from companies and clothing shops. that’s really no problem with me, i can work with that. however, ive already spent a few thousands on costume for the 1st day shoot because nobody warned us before hand (i come from an advertising world where we practically dont curtail on expenses for costume and props). the field cashier, who was supposed to know all these things, allowed us these actions and got berated for doing so (again, the rules should have been made clear to all, if such rules existed). she then spent the next few weeks lamenting and whining about it. and we had to keep up with it. help.
i am a reasonable man. i believe i can work with systems and rules and redtape but if these are tailored to the fickle decision-making of the superior officer, then they are not rules but merely suggestions. my stint as designer for this film has become a lot trickier and challenging everyday. that includes giving a list of props requirements to the supervising producer and letting her do my proppings for me, because they have to get all these for free. good enough for me, that means less legwork for my staff and me. unfortunately, how long will it take before they tell me they did most of the work and i dont deserve what i was paid for?
ill slap them silly. that’s why they hired me as designer in the first place. i do the design –and the producer is supposed to produce. haha! 2 days down, 28 to go. rak en roll.