(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
unlocked & YouTube link added 05.20.09
9:09 PM, Sunday, December 10th, 2006:
You know I always thought I understood the whole "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" attitude. And although this isn't about money (hell I still haven't gotten paid yet), the same theory applies. You fight so hard to get into the game, and then realize you were never fighting at all. Now you're fighting. And if you don't win this fight you'll go right back to the bench.
Well I'm in the game, and I'm shooting some great shots, but they keep forgetting to start the friggin' shot clock...or are they forgetting? Here's what I'm dealing with right now:
-They didn't play my promo on the show Monday. Hell they didn't mention it, introduce it...nothing. I assumed they'd actually do a piece on me as it makes THEM look good. Remember, they discovered me... and now they've hired me to work for them. That's news. That's news that makes your segment look great. Anything I experience in my career, they can take credit for - and ESPECIALLY this. So I figured when they re-introduced the segment, they would make a big deal out of it... and then as the weeks go on show just the clip - and of course you know I'm scheming to make it even more, but on their end I thought this was in their best interest. Apparently not.
-Oh and even more ridiculous about the internet crew? Two of the contestants were on tape. No one in NY could put them online for me to see. Y'all ain't gonna believe this: They had to set up a live feed from NY to LA. Then have them transfer it from their beta decks to DVD and VHS and have it DRIVEN to my house so I could write my script. This all gets there at about 3 PM and I have to have the script and all the audio timing done and ready for the shoot the next day. At one point Jim just held THE PHONE UP TO THE TV so I could hear the contestants and then DESCRIBED what they looked like as he wasn't sure if we would have time to messenger it. I mean what the hell. ANd had I not constantly pressed New York for why I needed to see the contestants (seems obvious considering what I'm doing) I NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THEM. Again, fighting for every scrap.
-Tuesday, nothing. I left emails but they couldn't seem to figure out what was going on. The department in charge of taking something from the internet to tape is so inept it takes them a week. A week. So guess what they can never do? Show a current clip from this week's show. !?!? How is this possible. This is a network and the NEWS side of it to boot! I can only assume I'm just that low of a priority. Fair enough, but you made it very clear this was a cross promotional thing and there's no reason anyone except the people INVOLVED in the contest will go to that section of your site if you don't tell people why.
-Finally get word Wednesday that they're going to run it on Thursday and then every Monday from that point on. When I go into shoot on Thursday Jim and I check the tape... nada. Emails have gone out and still no answer for why it didn't air or if it'll even air tomorrow. Wait and see.
-Oh and shooting on Thursday, maddening. We're now at war with those in the newsroom who wants us out of there. Apparently we're in the way? So I have to get up at 5 AM to try and shoot the announcer and Cameron before 9 and then we're relegated to the CREW BREAK-ROOM to do the green screen stuff. ?!?! And THAT's not intrusive? There's a hum from the air conditioners that just kills the sound, and we have to stop every few moments as someone walks by. There's a moment in the tape where you can hear the "Price is Right" crowd being warmed up outside and it luckily waits until just after I'm finished with Dewey's take. Funny, but goddamn that's pushin' it.
-The biggest head shaker has been - NO FEEDBACK on the first episode. I mean, no news is good news I guess but for fuck's sake, when I wrote just the treatment in New York I got scores of emails. I at least got a call about the Test Show and finally - the big premiere and not a word? No email? Nothing? I have this horrible feeling I've pissed them off. It all feels like I'm being pushed aside and this will never run 13 weeks. Why????
-The contract maybe? Did we piss them off? We ended up at $1600 which is still low as shit for the work I put into it, but out of exapseration we gave in. And they threw in that they weren't gonna pay me a dime until it was settled which according to Charlotte is very strange. She said they almost always pay the low end of the wage and what you're fighting for is back pay. Seemed kinda cruel if ya ask me. But my biggest fear is of course that I somehow pissed off my biggest supporter:  Steve Friedman the VP. Did he take it as a slap in the face that this wasn't settled? Am I coming off like an asshole because I'm demanding more money? No way of knowing...because I'm not HEARING ANYTHING. It's maddening.
It's kinda one of two roads. Either there are some serious competency issues with their internet department, communication skills, and overall understanding of how to run things - or I've gone from a low priority...to a no-priority. We may have negotiated me right out of good standing and are now left with this. Both scenarios are mind-boggling, and I really don't know what to think. The lack of any feedback floors me, but more than anything - the lack of a piece on their show about an EX-CONTESTANT now working for them?!?! Isn't that Self-Promotion 101?!?!? I'm just beside myself.
And the kicker? Guess what happens once they do play it? I have to fight for MORE. I have to keep pitching and pitching and pitching to make this into anything that even remotely has a chance of being successful. And I'm talking about being successful for THEM, not just ME. I feel like I have to pitch THEIR IDEA back to them! Talent shows can be HUUUUUUUGE human interest draws. Gigantic. And there are 27 contestants they spotlight throughout the competition. They need to OWN those people. What they're actually doing is buying stock in future talent with a teeny it of air-time. A 10 second clip could mean millions in revenue if one of those people becomes a name and they discovered them. But it's like they don't even uderstand that. They just go through the motions without ever thinking ahead. You see the segment itself? It's like 90 seconds of the fastest "Can-we-please-get-through-this-already" segment on the show. GRRRRR.
Steve mentioned to me that the executive producer of the show wasn't the biggest fan of the segment and I have to assume there's some sort of power struggle between what Steve wants to do and what the EP will allow. Only an assumption, but you can't watch that segment (on a 2 hour show mind you) without thinking it's being rushed like there's a pot of gold at the end of the segment.
So there you have it. Lockity-lock lock. We'll see what happens tomorrow.