The Dead Line
Nearly two months ago, Chris Collins (@c2camera) and I (@ilyalucid) were hired to put together a spec commercial for the Chevy Volt, which is a very sexy, impossible-to-get new hybrid car. Shoot went great, developed a great relationship with the producer, John Hopkins of Car Culture, and the footage is definitely, dare I say, next level. Here’s the problem: we had no deadline. The project became one of those works-in-progress, trapped in the endless limbo that is post production. First it was the need for pickup shots, then reshoots, and finally it had been so long that it just felt normal for the project to not get finished. Here, wait, before I go on, here’s a 30-second version of the spot that I posted a while ago. It’s nothing like what the finished 90-second version will feel like, but it gives you a taste of some of our night footage.
Because this wasn’t going to network TV, and because we had a rolling deadline (I did end up having to cut several different versions on deadline, so that John could show them to various contacts he has in the car world–these were all pre-reshoots, however, so they were always dubbed “rough cuts”) it just never ended up getting finished. And now, as a director, I’m having a seriously hard time calling it picture-locked. How do you call something picture-locked that you’ve been working on for two months? As a creator, when do you call something finished? Here’s my point: deadlines are a pain in the ass. They cause sleepless nights, and days full of running around, trying to beat the clock before it’s too late. But at the end of the day, they enable you to put your project to bed and say, definitively, “this is my finished piece.” Because you have to. When it’s pretty much just you and you, you may just very well end up working on something…forever.
So here’s to working with people who keep our indecisive, insatiable artist asses in line!
Please reply with stories of your own deadlines, or dead lines, whichever the case may be.
P.S. This spot WILL get finished, and it’s going to happen in the next two weeks.