The Mess of Finish Line Fever

I’m wrapping out APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER from the Big Mac’s desktop, external hard drive, etc.  The system is definitely a mess but somehow decipherable by me, like how my room would be after Finals Week.  Back then, if I needed that super, super, super important book to quickly annotate I knew it was shoved under the couch next to the two month-old GLAMOUR.  In a post-project/finals jumble like this, there is a maddening lack of separation between crucial resources and insignificant trash.

For us with AIV, I think we made a mess because we thought we could see the finish line.  I believe this is a mirage often imagined in post-production.  It’s akin to a recent broken-hearted thinking she’s spotted her ex-love buying avocados at the market even though he hated avocados.  Or like the Bush administration with WMD.  Wishful thinking is a powerful hallucinogen.

You begin thinking that if you complete that and send this and output those, you’ll be DONE in 20 minutes!  Four days later, you’re grasping at the “20 minutes and then we’ll be done” fantasy.  Editors build immunity to this Finish Line Fever, but directors and producers seem particularly susceptible to the infection.

In the “we’ll be done in 20 minutes” frenzy, you become hasty with your organization. Heck, you’re going to be done in 20 minutes, why would you move that new file off the desktop? You’re only going to be using it for another 20 minutes!

Do not call this behavior “sloppy.” You are the opposite. Right now, in the final hours, you know this system so well it’s like you’re speaking FLUENTLY in the same secret language. You may even show off — “Oh, you want to hear the music for Cue 7 with vocals?”  A second later, you readily locate it in a folder titled “Msc_V2_Best.”  You and this project can finish each other’s sentences right now.

But you are doomed to regret your bravado because this beautiful understanding of a slapdash system is fleeting.  You can speak the language for only as long as you are actively in the relationship.  And this relationship is only going to last 20 more minutes.

Like many real-life relationships, when you stop spending quality time together, you’re connection fades.  Soon you don’t recognize each other or even remember how you could communicate so fluently before.  You certainly won’t remember what was in “Msc_V2_Best” or why you gave that folder such a vague, unhelpful name.

Though I’m planning on leaving this project, it’s best for me to keep the flame alive a little longer while I sort everything out.  Then, we can go our separate ways, fall in love with other projects and look back on our romance fondly.

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