Saturday, 31 March 2012

The week I broke again

So it finally passed: the bigger deadline of the ones I've had to deal with recently, thus ending 3 solid weeks of stress and heavy workloads. Between last-minute philosophy essays, company promotion videos and this latest horror, I've had just about the hardest month of my academic career - and I doubt I'll get much out of it to show for it.
                First came the essay, a 3,500 word thing with an open question (well, it was more an instruction: to create your own question adhering to Film and Philosophy and then answer it with as much depth and understanding as you can). This I only found out about 2 days before it was due in, while I was back home for a couple days for my sister's birthday. It was horrible, discovering I had to do this with less than 48 hours until the deadline, I had been working on another project for the course instead and had no idea that I had sort of mixed the two together without knowing of the existence of the first one. This I got lucky with, insomuch as I was able to cobble together a half-arsed question on a disturbingly wide topic and locked myself in my room to finish it. I broadcasted the whole thing on, which, as it turns out, as a godsend. I had 64 people watching me over the course of those 7.5 hours and each one seemed to spur me on, to help me get it done, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart, whoever you all were.
                I'm still awaiting the grade for this essay, and while I'm not nervous I'm not expecting a high grade for it. If I make a mid-low 2.2 I'll be happy. A 3rd will be acceptable, necessary, even, as punishment for my foolishness. Lower and, well, I'll have to start again. At least I have that option...
                Then came a project totally unrelated to university. I had recently been picked up as a consultant for a management training company. It was my job to help their advertisement manager in creating a series of promo videos to help promote their company, something they had apparently never thought of doing in their last 30 years of business. The business is located in Ross, the man I'm working with in London, and I'm in Bristol. I've never even met the man, and I've been the company a couple of times but I still, at heart, have no idea what happens there. This all made the task of creating a video very difficult. He didn't want it to look like a cheesy and stereotypical advert, no clips of people in charge of teams of bankers, no camo-clad missionaries running through forests and solving puzzles, hell, he didn't even want any speaking. What I managed to build for him over the course of a couple of days was instantly scrapped for containing parts of each of these things. In return, I asked him what the hell he did want and he gave me a script and a selection of pictures taken from Google and said "do this". So I did.
                While it's not the most amazing of things, I find it quite a triumph. I worked on it for three solid days before it was due to be shown this just-passed Monday. It features a quiet heartbeat sound track overlaid on some text with the occasional inspiring or thought-provoking image fading to-and-from shot. Simple stuff. Took a f***ing eternity to edit... But hey, the stuffy exec-types apparently enjoyed it and I was sent an e mail of thanks telling me to re-edit it. If that makes sense to you, please explain it to me...
                Finally came this week's major horror. I knew about the project for a long time, had even been working on it since December, but things never work out just how we want them, do they? With the madness of the last three cramped-up assignments I had lost all will to finish the project and wound up, yet again, mere days away from the deadline with the whole thing to do. After a rush of getting together a script for the machinima I would make, I sent it off to my tutor for a review and began filming. The response took a long while to get back. After confirmation and editing, I spent a harrowing 14 straight hours switching back and forth between filming, scripting and editing, until, when dawn broke and the hour struck 8, I was done. I hadn't slept or ate in days and I was exhausted, but finally I handed the work in and all was done with.
                I later discovered I may not have done the work right, either, despite confirmation. So I'm not holding out for a good grade with that one.
                Today's blog is somewhat short and rather boring and whiny compared to the last few, so I'm sorry about that, but I'm working on a "Whatever comes to mind first" basis, so yeah. Hopefully something better next time... Still, I can say that after the whole event I am feeling reinvigorated and very good, I needed the purge I got from all that heavy burden and lack of sleep, the last few days have been wonderful and heaped in respite. Hopefully this high will last.
                Thanks for reading. And thanks again if you happen to have been one of the people who helped me out on my work. It's unlikely, but I still owe you a big one!

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