Monday, June 29

The View From the Office

Over the years I have worked intermittently for this production company, mixing film production work with my other (quite different) freelance work. For the last few months I have been working here full time.

Our film crews are currently working in the US and in Africa. Miss Whiplash and I remain, up to our necks in budgets, schedules and cake, in the production office.

We hear from the field when there are problems; the Monarch butterflies have been unseasonably late arriving in Wisconsin and excessively cold weather has arrived in Africa. This weekend, after days without word from Africa I received a call from a cold and exhausted Director, he has decided to break camp and the crew will make a 2-day journey to another location which should be easier to work in.

Being in a good communication zone a new post has been emailed for the Botswana blog, it is full of details of the local wildlife and practicalities of making a film. Meanwhile back in the office the phone calls fill us with the visceral sense of how these projects lurch from triumph to tragedy.

Today I have dealt with a batch of invoices - they tell a story too.

Here’s a section from the African camp suppliers:

1 X replacement battery charger
2 X replacement radios
Long Johns
10mm wing nut
Brazing Rods
5 X Famous Grouse Whisky
2 X cases of Red Bull
1 X box re-hydrate powder
Game Powder Energy drink
Rennies tablets (large)
1X bag of rags
1 X tarpaulin + 6 X duct
vehicle respray for filming vehicle*
re-modelling of filming vehicle
ski rope

*The standard safari vehicles in the area are white - ours is resprayed khaki, partly because a white vehicle is a distraction to hunting animals, but more importantly, as camouflage against other humans out on safari, once they spot a vehicle parked up, they pile over in their droves, creating an instant car park, which is also off-putting for the animals.


  1. I think the other humans on safari should have wing nuts attached to them and these people are then covered in camo and released into the wild. Oh, and pour Red Bull and whisky on their clothes - to see it attracts anything. Fire ants? Lions? Hyenas? What fun!

  2. "up to our necks in ... cake"

    It's a good thing MJ is on holiday!

    You and Miss Whiplash are to be commended for your logistical support to the troops in the field.

  3. we sooooo have to talk about what communication devices y'all are using, sugar! xoxox

  4. on your post photo, which one is miss whiplash and which one is you and who is the cheeky fellow playing percusion?

  5. And no Marmite or Robertsons jam?

  6. Bill - you write a great film script, we'll get it done!

    xl - I only risked that cos she's away!

    Savannah - it's mainly sat phone. The phone bills tell a very scary story!

    Ellis Nadler - They took copious supplies of Fudge

    deb - the cheeky fellow playing percussion is a travelling entertainer. Miss W and I increasingly swap roles

    Gadjo - strangely Marmite and Robertsons jam are never required. Our crew are big cheese eaters so that's what they'll be missing.

  7. I like the way Famous Grouse x 5 is followed by Red Bull and rhydrate powder. definitely got your priorities straight!

  8. Long Johns and Famous Grouse Whiskey - sounds like a party!!

  9. Hello Screamish - welcome to the party, bring your own drugs or share ours - whichever you prefer.

    Daisy - what kind of parties do you go to?

  10. Sounds like a standard list of necessary supplies to me. Wing nuts and whisky always mean a good time. Morale must be high.

  11. Why would one need Rennies after drinking all that? I can't imagine.

  12. Are you yourself writing the Botswana blog? (Maybe I wasn't paying sufficient attention).

  13. Wow - I suspect that they are enjoying themselves more than they let on.

    Madame DeF - No neither can I!

    Scarlet - They get the sling backs from a different supplier

    Gadj - The posts and photos are emailed from Botswana which I put up and add the Wiki links and drawings.

  14. Sounds like they are having fun out there. Much more exciting then my shopping list. Formula, cheese and coffee, yay...

  15. From my favourite cocktail book:

    "Brazing Rod: take 4 measures of Famous Grouse in a highball glass. Add Red Bull to halfway, then a dash of Angostura."

    I'm assuming they haven't run out of Angostura.

  16. Will you have to go out there and establish base camp in a village - and join the local boules team?

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  18. Metro Ma - I hear the Cheesey Coffee Drink is the cocktail to be seen drinking in Hoxton - a bit like Baileys?

    Inky - Only a true Man of the World would know that one -

    Frenchie - No chance of that, I'm stuck in the UK for a while.

    But I am setting a boules team here!

  19. Ah, so glad Lulu is continuing to blog and hold the fort, though Cow just left a really stupid post on the Botswana blog, alas.

    Glad you are the facilitator of the BotBlog, and continue to be a presence here...with cake!


  20. I assume the Red Cross is airlifting Spangles and Licorice Comfits to them.

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  22. Thank you Lulu.

    A sudden thought: is their bartender up to the job? Or do they only have a part-timer, who's expected to do double duty as a pilot or surgeon or something similarly distracting? If so, I am prepared to be flown out (first class) for my usual daily fee, plus expenses and tips. Ice and glasses to be supplied by you, but I'll provide the limejuice. Email me for further details.

  23. Mrs Cow - That's right. I stay at home with cake, bills and Whiplash, while the boys go out and have adventures.

    The Red Cross has suspended all other activity to make sure they get essential candy Kevin

    Do you know Inky, the last call I had from the field they were bemoaning the lack of a proper barman. I'll put a first class ticket in the post - do you have a shaker?

  24. That's an interesting tour rider. Long Johns to provide unequalled comfort on a cold day.

  25. Hello there Emers - What does Burridge ask for in the dressing rooms on match days?

  26. *sigh* i was hoping against hope that y'all had discovered a new new thing re: sat phones/comm links...the price for sat comm is INCREDIBLE i know... xoxoxo

  27. Well Sav - I've been watching Star Trek to see how they do that teleporting thing.

    You got a better idea?

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