A day in the life of producing “Over Lunch”
…9 AM… Arrive at the office (an hour away). No mail, except for a phone bill.
…9:30 AM… First bad news of the day arrives in the form of a phone call. The wonderful Art Director we hired the day before has decided to take a feature film project instead. That’s already the 3rd one. The first one decided to become a Yoga instructor and has left the business altogether. The second could not work on a deferred payment basis (his wife is against it) and now the third has cancelled even though the day before we had spent 2 hours discussing the screenplay, taking notes, brainstorming together. Panic. The world has ended. I remember my experience working in Albania in 2009/2010. The film that ended up being The Forgiveness of Blood was no easy ride. I remember on one particular morning a small earthquake in Tirana woke Paul [Mezey], Andamion [Murataj] and me up. Yes, an earthquake. Paul’s investors called him a minute later wanting to know if they should be worried. After all it was Albania and Paul had already lost his original Albanian co-producer, the town where they were to shoot the film was under water, among other problems like PA’s not showing up, locations being dropped, and now an earthquake in a country that has no earthquakes. Nevertheless Paul was determined, too much was already at stake. I tell Chris that story, remind him that the independent world isn’t exactly a fair world. If an Art Director decides to be a Yoga instructor, even though she worked on successful films, so be it, it could’ve happened to any producer. Really. If worse things have happened to an Oscar nominated producer, it was sure to happen to us. The world has revived.
10 AM-12 AM Emails go out. Still looking for PA’s, a PM and an AD and now an Art Director. Chris receives an email with the second bad news. It’s confirmed. Location #1 has fallen through. The city has decided to renovate the entire block and the restaurant will shut down for the renovation. Can they do that? Apparently yes. Call location #2. The manager has forgotten to give our message to the owner. We need to call again. Call location #3. We remember we don’t have location #3. The world has ended again.
…1 PM – 3:30 PM... As I talk to the director of the making-of team, who still needs the music for the teaser (the one we still haven’t had time to buy the rights to), Chris is introducing Over Lunch, for the 10th time today, to a possible new team member, or maybe that was a sponsor possibility, on the phone. We should just record the intro phone conversation and play it back. He does it about 15 times a day. No joke.
4 PM Meeting with a sponsor. I’m so nervous I can’t pick up my coffee cup without the help of my left hand. Looks ridiculous since it’s an espresso cup. We need to get all the help, support and believers for “Over Lunch” as we can. Chris delivers the speech. I interject with a few jokes and comments. They like the project and the new concept we have for it. They really liked the presentation and they will continue to support “Over Lunch”. We smile. Great news!
4:30 PM… The good news rekindles our hopes and energy. Ok, we do have a good project in our hands. The world has revived!
4:37 PM On our way to the Tram, the phone rings again. Chris picks up. Our producing partner, who had to fly out to Berlin for the day for the premiere of her film, has gotten in touch with the Director of Photography, whom Chris wanted to work with, and lets us know that he has seen the presentation and read the screenplay and wants to do it, it’s just a matter of locking down the dates. Another good news…
5 PM… We are on our way home, but not to worry, it doesn’t mean the day has ended yet. When we arrive, I go to my writing corner to continue working, but this time on work that insures paying bills on time and Chris sits at his station at home to continue editing another income-friendly project.
And that is exactly what we do until 10 PM, every single day no matter what (on some days we do manage to go to the gym after 10pm to help the mind and body stay focused).
Our world has ended and revived a few times today. As it does on most days. Yet we keep going because we believe in “Over Lunch” and know we can bring you something original and entertaining. Keep going because we are passionate about what we do, but most of all, we keep going because with every new support we get, we know that we have a responsibility not only to ourselves but also to all of those involved and invested.