October 07, 2003

Everything and everything will be fine

Our shoot got packed up again today. I've been "free" (meaning, without work) since Sunday. If this was 2001, I would have been the happiest guy alive. But the realities of 2003 are just harsh. Fact is, I don't have enough money for my social life. I'm a production worker now. Pay here is small, unlike what I used to get when I was both a regular employee and soap opera writer.

I know I chose this. Back in 2001, money was never a problem. Ego and "me" time were. I was working 24/7. On weekdays, I had my regular 10 to "sawa" job. On weekends, I had soap. Until it came to a point wherein I got drained in all aspects (psychologically, mentally, physically, and all the other 'llys). I became very depressed. I thought "I'm only 21 and I have no life already." I may have all the money in the world but I don't have time for myself, my friends and my family. So I made the major decision of just pursuing something that I love. I resigned from both jobs (and declined subsequent soap writing offers) and entered the world of movie production. From that moment on, I decided I would only do something that I like.

But idealism is just idealism. Almost two years have passed and I'm still a struggling film worker. Believe me, I enjoy movie production and it's definitely less stressful (just more physical) than my previous jobs but I find it less challenging when it comes to creativity. I think that when you work in movie production and you're not the director, cinematographer or part of the production design team (costume, make-up, art direction), then you don't have a creative job. Feel free to argue but this is just my belief.

My other complaint is that movie production workers are underpaid. (This is an understatement.) I mean, come on, our jobs are unstable, we're paying VAT, it's just fair that we should be getting a big sum of money.

Moreso, I'm missing my friends from my old jobs. My co-workers in movie production are cool people but I am just not able to establish close relationships with them. It seems that there's always a front or we just don't connect (except for a few.) As I always say, working in a movie production is like playing a game of Survivor. You meet different kinds of people with different motives. It's just up to you to know your strategy in order to survive the biz. That's why, trivial as I may sound, Survivor did help me survive the cruel world of showbiz.

Which brings me back to the morale of the story - you can't have the best of both worlds.

No comments: