Originally published at The Homepage of Michael John Bertrand. You can comment here or there.
Get ready for some brain farts, because my mind is pooped.
But for a quite wonderful reason. I am just getting home from collaborating on a project with another student and it was AWE SOME.
I have avoided collaboration so far because I thought it would be like group work and I hate group work with a pink and purple passion. To a “get it done” introvert, group work is the lowest level of hell. People fuck around, they don’t listen, they don’t take the project seriously, they don’t do their part of it, and the whole time, they give you fucking attitude.
Admittedly, that’s group work in a scholastic setting. It’s probably worse in offices.
And the thing is, I take responsibility for what I do. To do otherwise would impugn my sense of honesty, honour, and personal integrity and do me a moral wound.
Fuck THAT noise.
And that’s all very noble, but the thing is, most people are not like that. They feel no sense of responsibility to the group to do their part,. They treat anyone who expects them to pull their weight like they treat their parents. They are sullen, pouty, difficult, and feel absolutely no guilt about making other people do their work.
Just thinking about it makes me remember why I was a conservative in my teens. Then I found out that the Progressive Conservatives were a bunch of jackals like Mulroney.
Back to collab. The one thing where I was forced into collaboration at VFS was my film group, and you all know how that went. I got shut out of the process entirely.
So I was not super happy to be forced to collaborate with my classmate for the final project in Writing for Video Games. But tonight, I got together with my partner and we brainstormed a story together and it was so much fun.
THAT is what I hope I find in the TV industry. Creative people bouncing ideas off each other, helping each other out, everyone working to make the show as good as it can possibly be, all one big neurotic dysfunctional family. The story we came up with for a video game is quite good, if I do say so myself, and I am quite happy with the result.
And the process was a lot of fun too. Exhausting, but fun. Like the most fun exam ever. My creative engine was running at full throttle and so was his. We played off each other quite well. He’s young and energetic, and I’m… not, and I think between his enthusiasm and my own creative depth, we make a decent team.
For three hours we hammered away at that thing. It was exhilarating. He took care of writing things down on the dry erase board in the classroom we used, which is proper as he is the one with the energy, and I got to just sit there and generate ideas and solutions.
I wish my life was always like that. I’d be such a workaholic!
By the time those three hours were up, though, my brain calories were used up. Also, regular calories because I had not had my supper yet. I maybe could have done another half hour, but I would have been a goddamned zombie by the end of it. As it turned out, we finished more or less in sync with my mental gas tank.
Even my partner’s laptop was exhausted!
Actually, today has been a pretty good day. It didn’t start out that way though.
See, I was supposed to present my TV ads project in Writing for Commercials this morning, but there was one small problem : I hadn’t done it.
But I had a pretty good excuse. I’d never received it.
I was sick the day we did TV ads in class, and therefore never got the assignment. In fact, I completely forgot there was another assignment in that class until last Saturday, where a paranoid prowl through the school Moodle reminded me of the assignment.
Which I had never received, and therefore could not complete. It was too bad, too. I like writing my radio ads. Writing TV ads seemed like even more fun.
So then I had to get my hands on the assignment. First, I put a call out to my fellow students. Nada. Then I emailed the instructor. Nada.
Finally, Tuesday night, one of my fellow students photocopied the assignment and put in my binder at school.
Sadly, I did not learn of this fact until this morning, aka Wednesday morning. Right before the thing was due. I couldn’t even start it because the assignment was at school. I was completely out of options.
So I stayed home. It was not an easy decision. It was the product of a sudden and very fiercely fought battle between my will and my social anxiety.
Social anxiety won.
I just could not face my peers and an instructor without anything to present. My sense of shame was deep and burned bright hot. So I composed a point-form email explaining my situation to my instructor, and stayed the hell home.
Not proud of it, but so it goes.
I did make it to my afternoon class, which was TV Pilot 2, though. And I enjoyed it. For whatever reason, possibly the extra sleep, I felt far more alert and engaged today, and that made all the workshopping something to enjoy rather than endure.
Apparently, actual TV work is a combination of individual and group work, much like my workshopping courses. Writers go off to their office, write, then get together and present their work, which the group then workshops.
I kind of wish it was more like what I did today. And who knows, some people in TV write with a partner, maybe I could do that too.
I can say with certainty that what I produced with my partner is way better than anything I could do on my own. With him to do the writing down and contribute phenomenally good ideas, all I had to do was the parts that I do best, and bingo.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
So for the most part, today was great,
Except that I forgot to get the assignment out of my folder.
I am so high maintenance to myself.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.