Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
In Chicago, we had awesome producers. And I took them for granted, they were so good. Anything we needed, they'd find a way to come through. In Geneva, we have no producers, so I end up doing the production work when necessary.
We currently have a US-based client, who wants to conduct interviews around the globe for a corporate video. They want to do an interview in Stuttgart, Germany, and asked me to find someone who could film it.
1st attempt: Gauged the distance between Stuttgart and Geneva on Google Maps to see if was something I could do myself. But the client won't pay for me to make the 5-hour drive.
2nd attempt: Contacted our office in Frankfurt to see if they had any recommendations. They don't.
3rd attempt: Googled "videographer Stuttgart." The top hit is for videographers in Stuttgart, Arkansas. I realized this isn't going to work.
4th attempt: Contacted a producer in England to see if he knew anyone. He put me in contact with the Deutsch Film Commission. I found a list of 27 cameramen and carpet bombed them all with emails. I have spent the rest of the day answering emails and taking quotes from German cameramen who are asking questions about studio booking, camera angles, wardrobe and make-up, when I just need someone with a guy who does weddings to show up with his Sony digicam and a light kit. In the end, we got someone at a decent price.
What would you have done different, dear producer friends?
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
- In the summer, he wears shorts, a yellow t-shirt, and carries a fishing pole and a bucket of bait. (Not sure where his fishing hole is, but he takes the bus to it.)
- In the winter, he wears this purple and pink coat - sometimes with a fishing vest over it. If the weather is warm, he pushes the sleeves of this big, puffy coat up to his elbows like an eskimo in a John Hughes party movie.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Years ago, I went to an outdoor Dave Matthews concert. It was ear-ringingly loud. I was talking to my friend Brooke during one of the songs when a woman in front of us turned to shush us. I was a little stunned, but Brooke just looked at her and said, "Sorry. I didn't know we were in a library!"
Sometimes I feel like that at my office. The American agencies I've worked for are much louder. Or at least, less hostile towards volume.
Why didn't Switzerland take part in World War II? Was it because they were “neutral?” That’s a question I’d had in the back of my mind for quite a while, so I decided to look it up.
Switzerland's current neutrality kept them from entering World War II. But it had nothing to do with Germany not invading it. Honestly, would Hitler have said, “Well, it wouldn’t be fair to occupy a neutral country.”
Hilter had plans to annex Switzerland as soon as the Germans occupied the rest of Europe. German propaganda at the time declared Die Schweiz, das kleine Stachelschwein, nehmen wir auf dem Rückweg ein or "We'll take Switzerland, the small porcupine, on our way back home!"
But there were three reasons the Germans never invaded Switzerland (oversimplified here, of course):
- The Swiss were overwhelmingly anti-Nazi. Their democracy was too conservative to accept a single-Führer regime. And Hilter hadn’t bombarded them with propaganda as he had Germany and Austria. Invading Switzerland would lead to massive civil disobedience. So the Nazis would have had to use more force than they did in other German-speaking countries. And that force was being diverted towards France and Russia.
- The Swiss were better prepared militarily than its occupied neighbors. While German tanks could have rolled easily into Bern, a contingency plan had the Swiss Army fighting with guerilla tactics from the Alps, which was more than the French or Belgians had planned. So invasion was postponed.
- The railways that ran through the Swiss Alps connected Hilter's Germany and Mussolini's Italy. Germany knew an attack on Switzerland would lead to the Swiss Army dismantling the railways, paralyzing trade indefinitely.
If the Nazis had attacked Switzerland, it would have been a short battle – even all of these together wouldn’t have been enough to keep the Nazi agenda at bay. But together they were enough to encourage them to postpone their invasion plans.
So it's not that Germany respected Switzerland's neutrality. The Swiss were just very lucky.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Yesterday, with a home full of sick kids, we turned on the TV, and I decided to introduce the kids to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. We put in the DVD of the George C. Scott version – which I had never seen – and sat down for a couple hours of edifying holiday mirth and merriment.
We ended up with kids who were too afraid to sleep alone, plagued by visions of Jacob Morley.
Thanks a lot, Chuck.