Entry #64
1:41 AM, Sunday, July 30th, 2000:
I need to preface all of this by saying these are my feelings. Most of the time my feelings are dead on. As with everyone, sometimes I read too much into things and get off track a bit. Either way, it's been keeping me up at night, among other things, and I guess I need to vent. I reiterate that this is more stream of consciousness than accusations.
What worries me most is that I should be getting cold feet about my wedding, not my job! But I have no doubts about her. My job on the other hand...
First, you need to realize that the agreement for Movie Minded was based on percentages of revenue. Completely understood going in. I knew I needed to put together a pilot for the syndication company to sell and then we'd be off. I knew there was no payment here. No problem. They were giving me enough "paid" work on the side to make ends meet. Then we all found out that the syndication company needed 3 EPISODES. Well, we were all thrown by that, so no biggie, but still a tremendous amount of work to put the next 2 together, but they were done. Still not getting paid, but no biggie. Now we wait until we ARE bringing in revenue....except they felt we needed to do more. So we do The Patriot one. A tremendous amount of work on my part...more hours than I can ever remember working on something...extremely time consuming, but they were still giving me side work to pay the bills.
Well, now there's a lull, and I will have a period of basically 5 weeks with no pay, and no work...except of course more Movie Mindeds that we're making for some reason. Everyone else working on the Movie Minded's gets paid... It's a tough position.... Where I feel duped is that, I kind of think I should've come back to Columbus and reevaluated everything and started over. But because of HST, we stayed, got a new apartment and are leaving in a matter of hours. Now there's no money. None. Besides the fact that the money I was getting before was without taxes being taken out. And I couldn't put any away because every penny went to living expenses. When I bring all this up to HST - "Well, that's the life of a free-lancer...paycheck to paycheck"...
Of course I allowed them to low-ball my pay because I knew they weren't making a dime on this stuff yet, and we were all a team....RIGHT. I'm now seeing that that's not the case. I feel they're using me to make more Movie Mindeds because it's free for them, and what am I gonna do...say no? Leave? Well, they're right. They got me. They made me feel secure enough to stay, and now...5 weeks without pay...I'm right back where I started from.
How do you make it clear to someone you want them to be up front? Good question. I realize this is LA for christ's sake...what do I expect, but they must realize that I am a man here. Not a pawn or a machine. If I break my lease in 2 months and go back to Columbus, there's no Movie Minded, no fast-ass talented video editor making all their syndicated shows. I will not be toyed with...then again, I guess I will. What choice do I have. Do I try and start a video editing service and become a production company out here? Are you kidding? I haven't the resources or the contacts to do that...nor do I have the heart. And what kills me, is I'm asking for a living wage. Which they promised me (orally of course) back at the end of April. April and May were fine...fine enough that I felt comfortable staying here another year and paying the exorbatent living expenses. Now, I have no choice but to sign the lease tomorrow and am at their beck and call. They got me. They win. I have to grovel. I have no choice. They can tell me "hey sorry, we have no work for you at all this week...bye" And I just gotta take it. Then they can say...we'd like you to do a few more Movie Mindeds even though no one has bought it yet, and you get no revenues for it...and of course I say yes.
The irony of it all is so striking. It's not like I signed a bad contract and wish I had it back...what was I supposed to do back in April...hire a lawyer? And really...I could leave at any time if I wanted...but what good would that do? So I'm absolutely stuck. I could've gotten out before...moved back home and reworked a plan to come BACK out in a year...but nope, they got me.
"Adam, what in the hell are you writing this for? What if they see this? Why are you playing your hand so open?"
As I stated above. This is how I feel. I don't know what they're thinking. I don't know their true motives. It could all be genuine. Movie Minded could sell like crazy in 3 weeks, and I get to laugh about all this....these are just my feelings. I feel hoodwinked, swindled, taken advantage of...and most of all - YOUNG. LOL. It feels like running a talk show at 19. I had the talent, the determination, everything in the world, but not the power. And whomever has that power...can change your life. Darryl decided he didn't want to listen....the PD of the station wouldn't listen...HAHAHA. He had the power, I was soon replaced. Ya know? Now I'm hittin' 25 in a month or so, and it's the same thing...I FEEL like they're saying: "Kid's so desperate he'll take anything we shove his way..."
I was definitely a bad businessman in that sense. I knew it the second we had a meeting in April...I mean how could you be any other way - after the 4 months I had? What leverage was I gonna use? Hell I was eating ramen noodles 3 times a day. They held my nuts. They stroked em goooooood too. And now they don't even touch me anymore. LOL. I guess this is kind of funny. But when you're not working...you start to lose it. And I haven't a DAMN thing to do.
And what about Movie Minded? Do I just plop my head up and down and say yes? Or do I say...can we PLEASE wait until some money is coming in? Obviously they can't do it without me. Free acting, free editing, free everything...I don't know. This is just the ramblings of a man in the middle of the night, who cannot pay his bills. I'm really, really, really considering selling everything 4tvs related and getting a cheap ass car. We would probably save $600 a month. A MONTH. On top of the money I would get for the trailer and equipment. Of course if HST folds I don't have shit to show for 4tvs. Wow. Can you imagine. I freakin' hate being an adult sometimes.
-You're 11, and you gotta decide whether to watch The Dukes of Hazzard or Miami Vice. You're 10 minutes into the Dukes when you realize it's a repeat. By that time you've missed the ever-important first scene of Miami Vice, and you're just screwed. I would give anything to feel that way again.
-You bought the Sega CD, and 2 months later Playstation comes out. You made the WRONG choice. So you have to play sewer shark. What a consequence.
-Someone breaks into your car and takes your new stereo you got for your 18th birthday. You're out $200. $200 doesn't even pay car insurance for 2 weeks.
You know, Jess and I kill ourselves about not eating out, and budgetting, when you know what? It doesn't even freakin' matter. Honestly. If our food bill TRIPLED it would still be a fraction of a fraction of everything else. You really can't budget out here. Saving $100 a month on rent is cool, but they don't pay water or gas at the new place so...it all balances out really and we're down 1 bedroom....(sigh) - God I must be bi-polar. My highs and lows are just incredible. Unfortunately I'm not bi-polar...my life is. It's not my mind that is altering my mood...life really is just that freakin' stressful. I honest-to-god understand how people come to LA or NY and are back within a year. I mean, I haven't even gotten to the point where my talent and determination will be able to shine...ya know? Where that great haracter comes out that seperates you from the dreamers. And all because of the extra cash that it takes to keep 4tvs running. A show, that will never make me a dime (well yes, a few dimes) in this city, that I feel the need to hold on to. It sure seems like the writing is on the wall doesn't it. DAMNIT.
I can't begin to tell you how FREAKIN' ANGRY that makes me. I can't believe 4tvs can't make money. DAMNIT. AHHH. What a great fuckin idea. I need to relax somehow. Yeah right. There's hardly a way to escape life, and not ruin it too. Ya know? No matter what the stress, I'd never do the common pitfalls of man like being a drunk or taking drugs, because that wouldn't allow me to escape life...it'd make life EVEN MORE stressful. So what's the answer? Play videogames? Watch TV? Wow...what a revelation:
Creating. That's my stress reliever. Whenever I'mnot creating something, I'm a basket case. Hmmm. Non-productivity. I'm really thinking about this for the first time. Like, I grab a diet coke and get ready to watch the game on tv...and not 5 minutes into it...I'm up walking around cleaning up or doing something. Icannot just relax. If I'm watching a sit-com, I study what makes the writing good or bad. Watch and enjoy a movie? RIGHT. I'm thinking about the movies I'm gonna make soon, constantly. I'm learning from every edit. Watching how they evoke motion, how the framing of a shot can weave a storyline.
So I guess I just need to be creative during these down times. So, I can't work for 5 weeks...I can do something. Something that will put me further ahead...SOMEHOW when the work starts up again. Cool.
That helped.
By the way, the movie for this entry is actually the first time I've ever put something up that has nothing to do with my life. It actually just impressed me that much. It's a short 6 second clip, and there's a secret about it. Be sure to watch the movie before you hit that link. Here it is...enjoy.
YouTube link added 02.13.09
Thanks for letting me rant. I feel better.
original video file
JULY 2000