Sorry we’ve both stopped committing bloggery for the last month or so.  It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s that we’ve kinda settled into a pattern and don’t have much to report.

We haven’t done much touristy stuff for a while because Cece is nearly to the end of her semester and has been studying non-stop for a month. She’s been running at top speed this whole semester, and for this last month she managed to go even faster. I’m kind of flabbergasted at the amount of effort she’s putting out; it’s really impressive to see her working 70 hours a week to get good enough grades to be invited to stay.  They gave her this week without classes so she can prep for her finals next week, and she barely has time to pee.

I’m working a temp gig for the Palmerston North City Council. They’ve started a new recycling program, and they hired me to talk to people who call with questions.  I like to pretend that the PNCC outsourced this job to a phone bank in California, because since most Americans are unemployed we’ll work for less than Indians or Pakistanis.

I have been working my way through a multi-month process to become a development executive at the New Zealand Film Commission. They started out with lots of applications and narrowed it down to a shortlist. The people on the shortlist were asked to do sample notes on a screenplay, and a letter saying whether or not we’d continue funding the project in question. Then a shorterlist was called in for interviews. And now, as far as I can tell, I’m on the shortestlist – it’s down to me and a couple other people, all of whom are strong candidates (but in different ways).  I may be asked to do another interview with the CEO, but I’m not sure if or when that’ll happen.

Since I don’t qualify for development or production funding from the NZFC and there really aren’t any other investors in film here, working for the NZFC is pretty much the only option I have to stay full-time in the film business.  Please cross your fingers for me!

But speaking of working in the film business, I do have a part-time opportunity coming up. The NZFC has a program called Escalator, in which they’re going to fund 4 ultra-low-budget features.  They got around 260 applications and narrowed it down to 12 finalists.  One of the finalists has asked me to collaborate with him, so we’ve been meeting to work on the three stories that he’s considering.

He and his family live in a cool house near the beach, with a little menagerie of pets – mice, rats, cats, and chickens. Some of the chickens are about half the size of normal chickens and have feathery little spats.  It’s awesome to be sitting at a table working on a story, all the while watching a big rooster strut inside to help himself to the cat’s food bowl.

Anyway, after going to a “bootcamp” for the program this week, he’s chosen which idea he wants to pursue, so it looks like I’ll be writing a new low-budgie screenplay with another writer over the next couple of months. Everyone on the team is skilled and talented, so I’m looking forward to getting into the thick of it with them. I’m not sure how much detail the rest of the team is comfortable sharing (which is why none of them have names here), but I’ll say what I can when I can.

Okay, that’s it.  Back to not-blogging…

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