Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The rain, the blinkin rain

Oh my God the weather today has been shitty! It has rained almost constantly. It's the sort of hot rain which gets under your skin and there comes a point at which you think you might be sweating as well as wet, but there's no way of knowing where one type of moisture finishes and the other starts. There was no breeze to cool me down, my moustache started drooping, so I've simply spent the entire day feeling utterly sorry for myself and trying not to expend any unnecessary energy. Then of course, in the street, you have to deal with the umbrellas everywhere. No one seems to want to look where they're going under an umbrella. They simply plough on. Unaware. Umbrellas pointing in front of them like polyester battering rams.

I had my hair cut earlier and the barber had to dry my face and hair with a paper towel before he could start cutting. The shame of it! Everywhere I went, I looked around me to see if anyone else was showing the signs of melting. Apparently not!

I spent the morning doing some of the painstakingly dull admin associated with releasing an album. Every single performer attached to a CD has to be registered as part of PPL, which means, if the album goes mega (which of course it won't, but if it did) all the performers would be able to collect royalties associated with tracks being played on the radio and TV. The problem is that singers don't tend to be members of PPL, and of the thirty or so that I've registered today, only one was actually a member. And because you have to be a member to collect PPL royalties, my task felt both time-consuming and pointless... Of course it's not. Because I've registered the singers, if the album does well, the singers can join PPL and get a bit of money. But what a faff! There are a million processes similar to this one, some of which I've been trying to do simultaneously so that when one becomes too dull, I can switch screens and do something equally boring, but at least different! I phoned Fiona to have a good whinge and she was very sympathetic, reminding me that a record company would have a specific person whose job it was to input all this data. Self-releasing an album is a dull old game!

I got so obsessively engrossed in my mind-numbing tasks that I quite forgot I had a lunchtime meeting with a production company. Fortunately the bloke I was seeing texted me to change the venue, so I was shaken out of my reverie with enough time to hot-foot it into Soho.

We had lunch somewhere a bit fancy. I forget that some people do okay out of the arts and can afford to eat in nice places where the lighting is low and the waiters wear waistcoats and are overly attentive! I had some lovely soup and a bowl of macaroni cheese. For some reason the vegetarian menu was separate and I had to ask for the waiter to give me a copy. It made me feel a bit odd. Like a leper. I wondered if they were going to ask me to move tables and sit with the undesirables. Surely there are quite a few meat eaters out there who might fancy a bowl of macaroni cheese? The joy about vegetarian food is that it can be eaten by anyone. I know Nathan often chooses a vegetarian option...

Anyway, I found the meeting very inspiring. I'm never happier than when throwing ideas about with someone who understands how to make good telly and challenges me to think out of the box. My tendency when making documentaries is to want to create artistic "vignettes" without too much over-arching narrative. Good programme makers like the chap I met today will always encourage me to reappraise that particular desire.

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