I wasn't smiling by the end of the day.

A Copywriter of All Trades

Breaking the Silence

First, let me say that I realize I haven’t blogged in two days (three if you count Wednesday, but it’s just past midnight as I begin this), however, I don’t think that that should count as breaking my New Year’s resolution of daily blogging. I definitely would have written something on Monday, but my ever reliable shared Internet connection was reliably being abused by one of my neighbors and I had to call the provider to have them kicked. Once they were kicked, only my download speed was resolved. The upload was still being choked to the point where I couldn’t even stay connected to chat clients.

The connection issue was resolved by Tuesday, but my day job decided to drop an insane workload on me, which you’ll read about in a second, and by the time I got home, I was so exhausted, I just crashed until the next day. Now I would have blogged a few hours ago, which would have technically been Wednesday, but I had to watch the last two parts of that PBS comedy series that I’m way behind in reviewing.

So technically I broke my first resolution, but given the circumstances I demand a little leeway. I am, after all, up way past my bedtime and way beyond one of my deadlines to bring to you another blog post. How about we call it even?

Job Description: To Succeed in this Position, the Copywriter Must Do Everything

I don’t mind tooting my own horn once in a while. It’s good to remind people, like your boss, about all of the important things you do around the office that keeps the company machine running like a Swiss clock. In my case, I’m the oil that keeps the engine from breaking down. Even though I was hired to be the marketing copywriter, I also write B2B communication, executive communication, video scripts, game show scripts, all the data to be entered in to SQL and a bunch of other written collateral to fill in the gaps. I also physically attend to our gigantic home resort products, secure assets for whatever projects, manage talent, move heavy boxes, shuttle people to the airport and do a bunch of other pride-swallowing duties to ensure I have a steady paycheck. On Monday, I discovered that I’d be adding Directing to my list of responsibilities.

The company decided that we need some new videos of our products. Historically, this has fallen on a third-party production team that we’d contract to handle everything from start to finish. Given that businesses are starting off 2009 being budget-conscious, the executives decided to keep everything in-house, but wanted to set a brisk pace for the production of five videos. I had one day to finish the script and one day to shoot it. Keep in mind that I have zero directing experience. I do, however, have some commonsense. Even for a two-minute video, there’s still a lot of planning involved if the end product is going to look any good or have any kind of uniformity. Instead, on Tuesday morning, I had one photographer, one camera man and myself out on the ramshackle (but undeniably good-looking) set to do the best we could.

I had no grips, script supervisor or monitors. I’ll have to assume the shots look OK since I was the only available grip and I was needed to hold large poster boards to manipulate the light. I was also the whatever-the-job-is-called person who holds up the slate to mark each take. So while I appreciate the opportunity to “command” the video shoot(s), it’s not quite the way I expected directing to be.

Square steel toed boots. That's how edgy I am.
Square steel toed boots. That’s how edgy I am.

Let’s also keep in mind that there’s a ridiculous January heat wave passing through Southern California right now, which reminds me that the physical toll of being out there all day on Tuesday was demanding in ways that I haven’t experienced since my days as a restaurant server, working at a two story family chain. I literally wanted to cut off my feet by the time I got home. I probably need more comfortable footwear.

On the upside, I get to do all of the voiceover work. There’s nothing like a little financial distress to open up opportunity. Today: corporate videos. Tomorrow: video games. The day after: movie trailers!

“In a world…”