Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Jane's Rant...continued

So, sorry about the text heavy rants, but please read on. It gives you a very good insight into what it is like to work here. We'll try and find some nice piccies to add (however unrelated) so that there is something pretty to look at. Anyway, here is the second story/rant.

Part Two – Come back tomorrow…

As mentioned before we have managed to record the first episode of our radio plays. We were very happy about this. It was a rocky start with a couple of blackouts, but once we started recording we were finished in 2 days (Wednesday and Thursday). We were told that the editing would only be a one day job (the episodes are only around 45 mins), so were told to come back the next day (Friday) to see how it was going, make comments on sound effects, and so on. We returned on Friday, and not too much had been done, but we were happy to come back on the weekend and give the operator some extra time. We also were told that we had to re-record one a part, so we arranged to do that on Saturday.

Saturday: (morning) Picked up the narrator and re-recorded his part. Were told that there had been a blackout the night before, but that it should be edited soon, and perhaps we could come back that night. I had already arranged to have dinner (it was a Saturday night), but Maxine said she could drop around, so she did. She arrived, but was told there was a party on, and ‘could she come back tomorrow?’

Sunday: Went back after lunch to check on the progress. We were able to listen to a few scenes, but it was fairly obvious that not much had been done. We kept being told that ‘first the voices and scenes needed to be placed, and then sound effects added, and then the whole thing to be mixed’. That’s fine, if that’s what needs to be done, but each time, nothing was happening beyond the first step. From listening ourselves we realized that we needed to re-record a couple more voices as well. So we arranged that for the next day.

Monday: Turned up in the morning and re-recorded a couple of parts (even though one part that had been ‘lost’ actually wasn’t). The operator hadn’t done anything from the previous day ‘I’ve got this headache and backache…’ Were told that it should be fine to ‘come back tomorrow – after lunch’. Needless to say we were becoming more and more skeptical.

Tuesday: Turned up again. The operator had been sick the day before, and also I think there had been more blackouts, as well as organizing something for an important friend (cue name dropping). Hadn’t been done. ‘Come back tomorrow?’ We thought we’d leave it til Thursday, in the hope that something more would get done.

Thursday: (one week has passed since finishing recording – originally we had been quoted one day for editing). Walked in and were told ‘we’ll need to re-record 10 parts’. What!?! Wasn’t this a bit late in the piece to tell us? It can be fairly difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time to record – some of the talent had already flown out of town! Obviously things still hadn’t been done. Or rather, little bits had been done. But then the operator had decided the quality wasn’t that good so had stopped until we came around, when she told us a big chunk would have to be redone. We weren’t terribly impressed with this. Were told ‘I guess I can work with what we’ve got, but it will take longer coz they’re all at different levels…’ Wasn’t that supposed to be done when we initially recorded into the mics? The operator wasn’t at all apologetic either saying that ‘we are all in the same position’! Not really. Right, so established that we would come back on Saturday.

Saturday: One line had been lost, so we brought one of the kids back to record it. We were actually able to listen to the whole episode (apparently the operator had stayed up all night working on it), but as it was still being worked on there were many different quality levels – something about moving the recordings from one editing program to another (this had caused delays, as had more blackouts, and the rearranging of all of the equipment to get ride of a mysterious buzzing noise). But it was good to get an idea of the episode as a whole. ‘Could we come back tomorrow?’

Sunday: Maxine went back, and the operator had gone to a meeting.

Monday: No one there. Apparently there was another media job on in town, so we went to that and found the operator. ‘I really want to get this out of the way. I’m giving it priority over my own projects. There has just been so much bad luck, and I’ve stayed up all night trying to work to get it finished. So definitely – in the next day or so. Come back tomorrow?’ Sigh. It’s like banging ones head against a brick wall.

Tuesday: Went to the recording studio, but, you guessed it, the operator wasn’t there. By this time we have started our own recordings with our equipment, as we just need to get it all done.

Wednesday: Still no sign of the operator. Maxine decides to go and visit at night on her way back from dropping people home (after recording). It’s dark, and raining, and Maxine knocks on the door only to be told by the operators son ‘oh, we are celebrating a birthday tonight.’ Maxine explains through gritted teeth that it has now been two weeks and she really needs to know what is going on as we have deadlines to meet with this project. He goes back inside to get the operator. Maxine has been shut outside in the rain, and is then made to wait for 20 minutes while the prayers are being said. The operator eventually comes down and says ‘no, I don’t have a problem, but it’s still not ready. I can write a letter to the funding people to let them know about all the blackouts.’ Maxine says that this won’t be necessary, we just want the actual episode completed – when is a realistic timeframe for this to be done? ‘Oh, probably Friday – next week’. We are very glad that we decided to record the final five episodes on our own. We may not really know what we are doing, but it’s better than this powerless frustration and continual inaction on the operators’ part.

So we are going to go back and check today if there is any progress being made. It is nearing three weeks since we first started recording…this is something worse than ‘PNG time’…


Anonymous eddie said...

I can understand how frustrating this is for you.

I had to wait 5 mins for my lo-fat, decaf, orange mocha frappuccino today! What is the world coming to!

That's Silicon Valley time for you!

I have noticed on your Blog that there are no pictures of Bikini clad babes lining the beaches of PNG??? Is this due to a lack of Western culture?


I know that the guys from National Geographic used to get me some great material when I was 12.


4:52 am  

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