Wednesday, 4 May 2011

An office, an office, my kingdom for an office

All the parts in the short film project are cast, rehearsals are underway, painfully slowly right now, but it's tricky pulling lots of people together, especially when they're giving their time away for free, for which I am eternally grateful of course! Hopefully we can have at least one thing happening each week.

The next step is locations. We've already earmarked and set aside quite a few, houses and businesses of friends being our main source of locations, as well as the odd live venue which will carry their own set of challenges. But one location, which is pivotal, is the office of Juggernaught Records A&R executive Felicity.

I set up a minimalist "office" for the Grenade music video that I did with the Explorer's Collective, it was just a table, two chairs, a laptop and some charts in an empty room. And that is exactly what it looked like. It didn't convince as an office at all. I don't want to make the same mistake. I guess I want to find an office that is almost ready to go. I know I won't find that, and that I will have to compromise, but then I began to even question what it was I was looking for. I don't even know what the office of an A&R executive looks like. What would be in there? Am I looking for something which only exists in my mind, pinned together from various films and books and stories and hollow anecdotes about record labels? Sure, I was in a band for years, but we never made contact with anyone who worked for a record label. Well, there was one guy, from a very small independent label, but that was a brief informal meeting in a pub where he said he wasn't looking for any bands to take on but he liked us. That hardly helps the situation. Then or now.

So what do I want? I want a room that can convince as one office in London or Greater London. Felicity will need a desk, I guess I'm imagining more of a desk in the centre of the room rather than a corner unit like most people have their computers on at home, purely for dramatic purposes. She will need a computer or laptop, probably a printer, and I envisage piles of CD samples sent to her by various bands. A CD player or record player with good quality speakers. She is after all, in the music business. I'm trying to just get by on logic here, but the more I think about people meeting in an office over a desk, the more I subconsciously try to dress up the office like one from a private eye movie. Venetian blinds! Table lamp! Desk fan! Ashtray!

Is she organised or messy? Are the Juggernaught offices in a dingy cellar or a room with a view? Clean white surroundings or dripping pipes and rot? These seem like decisions the script or story should dictate, but interestingly, either option works with the narrative.

Maybe I need to make it a home office just to simplify things. But I feel that I've made too many compromises like that already, and I want the thing to have some production value, and not be set entirely in what are clearly people's houses.

I need to find a location. Somewhere, someone is sitting in a room just like the one I need.

Where are you hiding?

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