I’ve spent the last few months scraping by on a little bit of freelance work here and there, but suddenly this week everything is happening all at once. I think this is because I need to drive up to Auckland on Sunday to start the Timeslow shoot on Monday.

At the beginning of the week I wanted to write a pean to mothers everywhere, and my mom in particular, but Cece beat me to it. Now I’ll just look like a copycat if I do it.  But looking like a copycat might be worth it, so my mom knows how much I love her and thank her for not smothering me in my sleep like I know she was often tempted to do (and for good reason).

The NZ Techos Guild asked me to write a 1900 word article for their quarterly magazine, based on an upcoming New Zealand project. The article is due in a week and I’ve done a lot of very interesting interviews for it … but as of Tuesday morning we’ve been told that we can’t publish any story based on that show until the distributor locks down the release date.  Which is absolutely fair and I understand their reasoning behind it, but now I have less than a week to come up with something to replace the article in the upcoming magazine.

(Are you a NZ film crew member? What are you interested in? What do you talk about on set with other crew? What do you want to know more about, or wish that other people in the NZ film community knew about you?)

I’m helping today and tomorrow with a very cool project called the Inspiring Stories Project. They’re traveling all over the islands, helping young people make short films about inspiring subjects. It’s a great program, and the young filmmakers in the seminars are very … well, inspiring.  I’m looking forward to helping them as they create their films.

Yesterday I was invited to become a screenwriting teacher at Whitireia University in Wellington. The curriculum sounds cool, and the students are already storytellers who just need to learn the disciplines of screenwriting. Unfortunately, the timing of the course would conflict with the timing of my artist residency at Massey here in Palmerston North, so I have to turn down the opportunity.

And if you know me, you know how much I hate turning down an opportunity.

Thursday I’m meeting a NZ filmmaker who has been in the industry for 30 years. This was originally an interview for the Techos article that has now been bumped, but I’m having such a good time learning about this particular piece of NZ history that I’m still going to have the conversation.

Friday I’m attending two seminars as part of the Reel Earth Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals focusing on environmental issues in the world, and the only one in the southern hemisphere.

Saturday I might actually get to spend some time with my beautiful wife, because I’m going to be away from her for 3 weeks when I’m in Auckland. I think this may be the longest we’ve been apart since we’ve been married. (Cece? Am I forgetting some other time?) In any case, it will seem like the longest…

Sunday I’m attending another seminar for Reel Earth, then teaching the final seminar in the series. I’m calling it “Heart, Mind, and Guts: The 3 Secret Weapons of a Filmmaker,” which has a nice hook to it. If I called it “How to Use Rhetoric to Get People to Do What You Want” I think people would get bored before they even got to the end of the title.

This is the first time I’ll be teaching the tricks and techniques of persuasion, so I’m excited to find out if the seminar is going to suck or not. It’s hard to tell until I’m actually in the room and I see if I’m connecting with the audience. Fortunately, this is a seminar about connecting with an audience, so if I have a hard time I can always pretend that I’m offering a lesson in how to do it wrong.

As soon as the seminar is over and I wash the rotten tomatoes off my face, I need to jump in the car to drive to Auckland. If nothing else, I’ll finally get to shave most of this itchy itchy itchy beard.

Back in the States, my friends made fun of me for being an “overbooker.” I’ve managed to avoid that for most of the time I’ve been in New Zealand, but it looks like I’m getting back into my no-grindstone-unnosed habits.

Unless, that is, we go back from feast to famine. I might be bored and broke again in a few weeks. Ah, Madame Freelance, how you tease!

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