Sunday 30 January 2011

Where Is My Brain?

I've had a busy weekend. Shooting lots of scenes for a project; which involved a lot of on set rewriting -- and in fact had me constructing a whole new piece this morning, hours before shooting it. And then before you know it you're on set and an actor's saying "What does my character mean when he says that?" and you try to dig into what you meant and who you were four hours ago when you wrote it. Because when you're directing, you need to know where you're going and what it all means. But sometimes things move so fast -- your brain has to jump loops just to stay on board. 

And yesterday was the 29th, and January passed so quickly. I remembered my blogathon, that I set up, with a due date on the 30th of everyone posting about their favorite childhood books. So I started reading mine on the morning journey to our location. But I only got 40 pages in to the perfect Roald Dahl book "Danny The Champion Of The World." But I loved what I read; and I realized so many things about why the book is important to me, but right now I couldn't tell you because my brain is so somewhere else. I've had a booming headache since about 3pm. I think there's a different type of headache you get when you're doing this kind of work. Your brain is stretched in different ways.

The Film Director's Brain Stretch. 

1. Be creative and think outside the box. 

2. Create a safe and productive environment for others. 

3. Know what you're feeling. 

4. Be disciplined with time. 

5. Know your characters inside out, and know what they mean and don't mean and might mean. 

6. Physically try to invent ways to stop daylight from fading. 

7. Be patient with actors when they're just not hitting it. 

8. Protect yourself from dying when your actors are frustrated because their director just isn't hitting it. 

9. Be sure of your instincts. Keep a track of them. Hold onto them, keep them center stage. 

10. Be the one to inspire everyone with energy way way way way after everyone has slumped. 

And many more things. 

The headache was a big one and I still have it now. Water didn't help. Food didn't help. Two paracetamol didn't help. That's the brain stretch-- it just makes your brain expand in crazy ways. That's what people don't get when they sit on the internet and pause mid-masturbation to rip your art to pieces. They're doing it from the luxury of sitting around in their underwear. The ones creating are working so hard they don't even get to change underwear. 

The shoot finished at 5pm and then my producer was coming round at 6pm because we were going out to hunt locations for our upcoming movie. But between those times I needed to upload and edit some clips for my friend who I helped out last week. But I couldn't find the cable to connect the camera. And then eventually I did, and I edited the thing; but I messed it up. And then the producer knocked and I still had the brain stretch headache which means I can function like normal, but I can't smile too easily or put my words together as well because my brain is in that creatively trained place where you're just barely functioning. So I'm in the producers car, somewhere in the middle of London; and we're looking at buildings and the producer and my friend-who-knows-everything-about-London who joined us for the trip said "what about shooting here?" my brain struggled because I had no idea what we were going to be shooting or why, because my brain was so fried. 

I'm here and it's 10.40pm on a Sunday and I still have a crazy headache. I feel bad because; I'm meant to write a heap about the Roald Dahl book -- but it just wasn't meant to be. But I wish I'd done it. My copy of the book says 'class 6' in it, in my handwriting. I was about 9 years old. This book is my life. I love it. Roald Dahl knew the magic. How did he do it? That feeling he gives you when you read him, there's nothing like it. 

And then January was pretty much gone and you look back and you wonder if your month meant anything and you wonder whether 2011 is going to be the year and you have this dumb headache and realize you really must sleep. But it's not even 11pm and I could stay up and watch a few FRIENDS episodes till maybe midnight, because I don't need to be up until 7am. What's better for the brain stretch? Joey being hilarious? Or sleeping? Probably sleeping -- but I don't sleep at 11pm, it's not possible for me. It's always like 3 or 4am. I try for midnight but it doesn't happen. There's just too much to think about at one in the morning. 

This is my 499th post on Kid In The Front Row. 

Care to share?


  1. This could've quite easily been written by me. You've described how I feel. It's nice to know I'm not alone! :)

  2. It is wonderful reading your blog, you put into words what I am thinking. And, as I read more, I find out how similar we may be, and with that you help me put into perspective my life and thoughts.

    Nice update. I loved the blogathon.

  3. You don't fool me, that's you isn't it, husband dearest? So that's what you get up to in London every other week? I always knew "advertising" was only ever a smoke screen.. sooo serves you right your brain is fried!

    (Oops, sorry - been at the caffiene again, makes me tense. BTW, many congrats on the Weblog award, it looks well deserved.)

  4. I was writing something some minutes ago but had to stop, I have something wrong with my arm's bones, and when I use my hands to much, they hurt. So, there are so many things I want to do, but have to wait the pain to go away, then I use my hands and it comes back. Then I won't write to much here.
    But don't worry, you didn't want to write about the book, but you did a good text anyway.
    I hope the Friends or the sleep helps you:]

  5. My head hurts, too; a constant headache lately. And January flew by. And I thought 2011 would be a much better year, but it isn't.

    I can't sleep til four in the morning, either...

    Congratulations on your weblog award! And on (more than) five hundred posts: all of them good. :)

  6. Nevermind; I misread the you won last year, and you're nominated now? Well, good luck! I hope you win.

  7. Ginger, you are such a wonderful writer and you have so much heart -- but you're a big mystery. I hope you're doing okay x