Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back in 3 days

I'm running late so I can't talk much, but I just wanted to let you know that I'll be away for 3 days for work. I'll take some photos for you all :)

xo Tammy

PS. Grrrr, I had a few funny anecdotes to share with you, but they'll have to wait - I woke up later than planned!

Monday, May 26, 2008


1) There's an older lady in our ward (I've known her since I was a little girl), who was a high school music teacher for years, and whenever I talk to her she's always going to, or has just been to, a concert, or a play, or an exhibit - she really gets around. A month or two ago I said to her - next time you hear about a good concert, would you let me know? So she called me the next night and asked 'were you serious about wanting to go to a concert?' and I said 'yes!' She told me about the concert series the classical radio station sponsors every year that celebrates a particular composer, and this year it was Beethoven. On Thursday night, I met her at the station's studio auditorium for a Beethoven trio concert. The trio (piano, violin, cello) played four works (so the concert was about an hour and a half) - and I was in heaven. I had forgotten how much I love classical music, especially live. It was the pianist I particularly loved. We picked seats in the front row off to the side, so we could watch her hands, and I just grinned and breathed happy for a whole one and a half hours. This music was my first love really, and something deep down inside me felt like it was finally being satisfied. There's so much beauty, emotion and such perfect precision in Beethoven - and the violin and cello just made my soul soar. So all in all a fabulous evening - even if I was the only person without grey hair (well, a total head of grey hair) and wrinkles in the audience :)

2) We're spring cleaning at our house at the moment, and as much as I usually dread the work associated with the 'spring clean', I've been quite enjoying it this year. Mum does such a thorough job of things, and each cupboard always looks so nice and new when we're finished with it. We had abby and james and jessima over for a bit on Saturday, as well as a few people in our ward, and the gardens got re-mulched and fertilized (although I could have done without that smell), and more cupboards on the inside of the house got cleaned out too. It was a fun day. So Mum, even though we roll our eyes and give you a hard time, I really appreciate you're pushing us all through the spring cleaning. It make the house a nicer place to live in and I really appreciate it :)

3) I was a little disappointed with the end of the India Jones movie :( I won't ruin it for people by going into detail, but that kiss? the worst one in movie history I think! It was fun to have an outing with Bethy, Ben and Oliver though :)

4) Can I just say something nice about my dad? He's been on a specific eating plan for the last several weeks now (and he's losing so much weight!) but it means that he has to eat a very specific list of food, and can't deviate from it at all. Dad - who likes to cook, and always cooks on Sundays - cooked a lovely dinner last night, even though he couldn't eat it. And that wasn't the first time he's done it! Now that's selflessness! It was really delicious, and I love him for that and the millions of other selfless service acts he does every day!

5) My sister Jessima is looking fatter and fatter every day! It's so exciting :) I can't wait to meet little Jenna/Jackson in September! They're buying prams and cotts and nappies and baby things, and I'm getting very excited about the whole thing. I know Abby and Bethany will do a good job too, but I plan to be the very best Aunty in the whole world, so I guess they'll just have to settle for second place!

6) Work has been crazy busy lately, and sometimes I wonder about how much time I spend at work. I'm hoping this is just a 'time and season for everything' thing, and that I won't always be doing this. But for now I'm enjoying it, and am so grateful that I enjoy it so much - considering the time allocation! This week I'm off to Mt. Isa for three days - it's a mining town that's truly in the middle of the Australian outback! I'm looking forward to seeing it because I love to travel, and I've been loving all these little Australian towns I've been visiting lately. I think you can really start to understand the flavour of a country when you visit it's outback towns.

7) Remember how excited I was to have completed the first day of my goal chart with 100%? Well, day 2 wasn't so successful I'm afraid. And then day three was a little less successful again. In fact, I finished Week 1 as a complete failure *sob*. I'm very grateful that it's Monday again though :) There's something about Mondays that make me feel like maybe you can handle starting again :) And I love it that Mondays come after Sunday, because at the end of a Sunday, I always feel like re-doubling my efforts to become a better person. I'll still have to try really hard today, but we all already know I can handle day 1, so I think tomorrow, day 2, will be the real test! Thanks for the Sister Hinckley quote mum - I really liked it :)

Okay, that's it for now - I'd really better get on and do some work now! let the comments begin (you all know that's the real reason I write entries, right? And that includes you Peta!)
Love you all!

xo Tammy

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

1 day down, 225 to go

I've been a bit dissapointed in myself lately, so on Sunday afternoon I sat down and set a bunch of goals. Most of them are small-ish daily goals, but I think together over time they'll make some really good positive differences. The key, of course, is to actually keep them! I made some beautiful charts (most of you know how much I love charts!), and they cover the rest of May all the way to December. I think most people prefer the 'set small goals rather than larger goals' philosopy (don't bite off more than you can chew). But I think the rewards for the larger or more long term goals are much better than the rewards for little goals, so I'm hoping that by imagining where I'll be in December if I can do each of these things every day, I'll have more of an incentive to keep at it.

Anyway, the good news is that yesterday I met everyone of my goals for day 1, and I got to colour in 7 little boxes on my chart :) It made me a little excited!

So 1 down, 225 to go ;)

xo Tammy

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hello Again!

You're right Jessica - I never would have put up with such a long break on any of your blogs ;) Sorry guys! I've been alive, just busy. I spent a few days down in Melbourne (you'll have to look up a map of Australia to see where Melbourne is in relation to Brisbane, but it's one the capital cities and it was a few hours plane ride away) doing some shooting there, then I came back to Brisbane and spent a few days doing some shooting here in Brisbane for a different project. Shooting days are long days, so I was tired and didn't blog! I was also trying to organize a shoot in Cambridge and Paris over in the UK (thanks Jenny for continually answering my 'what time is it over there' questions!) I didn't head over myself, and it's hard to organize things from the other side of the world. I found a good Aussie producer living in London though, so I felt alright about it in the end. He'll send the footage over tomorrow - fingers crossed it's good footage!

Next week I'll be back in the office and should be better about blogging :) I'll be relieved to be back in the office because I have so much post and prep work to do - it crazy when a bundle of jobs come in all at once! The following week I'll be up in Mt. Isa shooting - that's a rural mining town that's well and truly in the outback, so it should be interesting. I'll also have a shoot for a large bank either before or after it - I'm hoping that I'll only need to shoot in Brisbane for that one, because I honestly don't have time to go away again right now - even though I normally love the travelling and seeing new places part of my job :)

Things have been fun, and I've seen lots of new things again, but I did have one very tedious days shoot here in Brisbane: I was supposed to be shooting about 5 or 6 interviews in front of a greenscreen we were setting up in a board room in a tall building in the city. I was interviewing some key players who are working on a major infrastructure construction project in Queensland, just talking about environment and community relations, engineering, quality, resources, corporate approach etc. etc. (I asked a different set of questions depending on who I was interviewing). Anyway, the night before, the clients told me they actually had a few more people to interview... The next day I did 23 interviews. You start to forget your name when you spend 10 hours in a room with a greenscreen, interviewing an endless supply of engineers! I learnt a lot about Dam building, but I think I traded about 1,435,782 brain cells for the information!

I've done a lot of interviewing in the last year, and I generally enjoy it. Usually I have a pretty fair idea of the kinds of things I want/need them to say because I've got a loose script in mind (scripting is always a challenge when the dialogue is based on interviews, so most of the scripting gets done after the interviews are done). I enjoy the challenge of getting something good from the people I talk to. Some interviewees are just, point blank, terrible, and you're never going to get anything good from them - those guys you just try and wrap up quickly. But other times, you know they're interesting, articulate and passionate because you've talked to them off camera, and then the challenge is to get them to relax and act like that when the camera's on them (as soon as the camera's rolling they forget how to smile and talk in complete sentences without 'ah, ah, um, hmm' all through their answers). I also enjoy the challenge of letting the interview develop along interesting tangents - listening for some interesting side note they mention in an answer and pursuing it with them. Sometimes that's how you get the most interesting and usable pieces. Then finally, there are my favourite interview subjects - the absolute naturals :) They smile, they're easy, their answers are nice and succinct and they think quickly on their feet. On my 23-interviews day, the 'naturals' were few and far between. I don't think I saw the first one until I was about 12 interviews in and I almost fell on my knees and proposed to him! ;)

Well there you have it - that's where I've been: just working. Sometimes I wonder when I'll start having an 'actual' life to write about :)

xo Tammy

PS. My brother Oliver and I were looking at a site last night: It's a group of people who pull large scale stunts (all around NYC by the looks of things). If you have a second, read some of their mission highlights - Oli and I were laughing so hard our tummys hurt :) A couple of our favourites were 'Ted's Birthday' and 'Best Game Ever'... okay, so we only looked at those two because we were tired, but they were wonderful - I'm sure the others are good too. I heard about them on the news, and wanted to have a better look. They should give you a great laugh if you have a moment :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Warning: I might be going crazy....

Do you ever have those days where you're so frazzled you can't think straight? Of course you do - everyone has those days! I knew I had a fair bit to get through when I was driving to work, and I was a little uptight about two big back-to-back meetings with potential clients, so I expected to be busy. But then on top of that, every client I've ever worked with decided to call and ask for last minute, time-consuming 'urgent jobs'. I felt like I had so many pies up in the air that my poor brain started to go into 'I'm not here' mode. You know the one - sort of like an out of mind experience where your brain looks down on your frazzled personage and thinks something like "Gee I'm glad I'm not crazy like THAT guy!". It worked out in the end: last minute jobs all completed, potential clients converted to real clients, next week's shoots scheduled, etc. But I didn't make it down to 'Edit Suite 2' to work on the power station project. Not that that was a problem mind you: the editor was busy putting together some last minute show-reels for one of the above mentioned meetings, and the girl who was supposed to be typing up my scribbled shoot log for the powerstation shoot is only part-way through typing it up because she was suddenly flooded with 'important things to do' ... at least I wasn't alone in my craziness... :)

This post probably isn't making sense, but that's okay, I wouldn't expect it to. Work is over for the day and I've decided to let my brain turn off two hours before the rest of my body does :)

See you all tomorrow,

xo Tammy

Monday, May 5, 2008

Back from the Middle of Nowhere....

I'm back home safe and sound, and it was a fun (though exhausting) trip. I've actually been back for about 4 days now, but since I haven't mentioned anything about my trip yet, I thought you could suspend your disbelief a little and just be excited that I'm posting!

My plane left at 5:50am on Tuesday, which meant I really had to be at the airport by 4:50am (especially since we had a bunch of camera gear to check through). I live about 40 minutes from the airport, so I had to leave home by about 4:00am (to leave time for parking etc), which meant I had to get up at 3am (because I'm a girl and it takes me an hour to shower and pack etc). So I was very tired!

(I'll just wait for all of those violins to die down...)

When we went to put our gear through, we were way over the weight limit. That's not unusual, and I'm used to having to pay a few hundred dollars in access baggage fees (and then charging it to the client), but this time, the guy said the problem wasn't charging us extra, it was having space in the plane to put the baggage (this should have tipped me to the fact that we were going to be flying in a very small airplane). Well, I did some sweet-talking (which, as the producer, is pretty much my job description. Seriously, the camera man and our client just looked at me with their "aren't you supposed to sweet-talk him and fix this" looks), and I got the guy to agree to put all of our camera gear on the plane - since we had to use it to shoot with that day. Our personal luggage was only put on standby though. I couldn't get him to budge on that one.

I really hadn't thought much about the trip (well, I'd thought and planned for the shoot itself, but not for the trip), so I was really surprised when they put a small group of us into a little bus and drove us out to a little prop plane. My plane had propellers! I didn't realize they still made those! Once we got out of the mini-bus, we walked over to the plane and climbed the three steps (only three!) to get into the plane. As I was walking over, I noticed our personal luggage sitting there ready to be loaded into the plane. All the other luggage was in, and the guy put our bags in. Then then took them out again. Then they put them in again. I was about ready to try my sweet talking on the baggage guys (because I really didn't want to wear the same clothes for three days in a row), but the finally put them into the hold and closed the door - thank goodness!

The plane had 8 little rows inside, and as I sat there in my window seat - looking out at the propeller on the wing outside my window - I found myself looking around for the man who'd come and start swinging the propeller so the plane could start! Luckily, they seem to have a button in the cockpit that starts the propellers - because I never saw a guy go near them, and I was watching ;) The captain came over the intercom, and told us that they'd just be running some tests on the propellers for a few minutes, and then they'd take off. So we sat there for 15 minutes while they turned the propellers on and off. After about 5 minutes I wanted to call out "they work!" but I figured they probably know more about that stuff than I do.... and maybe the button was new, and they were just having a little fun with the novelty of it all...

The flight was uneventful, and it only took us about an hour to get there. Thanks to Abby's comments on the last post, you all know a little about Biloela (Billo-wheel-a), and it really is out in the middle of nowhere! It doesn't have it's own airport, so we were landing in Thangool, which is about half an hour (of farms) away from Bilo.

I LOVED the Thangool airport - it's a room! one room! It's surrounded by a small waist-high fence that you can climb over, and it shares the fence with the local primary school on one side, and a paddock of cows on the other. As we were coming in to land, the wheels were only about 3 metres above the head of a cow near the fence, but he didn't seem bothered at all! There's only one runway there, because they only get two flights a day to Thangool. One from Brisbane in the morning, and one from Brisbane in the early evening. I'm not sure what the 2 airport employees do all day long, but I suspect they head home and wait for the evening shift!

We got off the plane, and walked 10 metres to the airport (which, as I said, was one small room). Inside the airport are a few chairs, a desk with 'QANTAS' written on it (where you check in I supposed) and two tables (manned by one lady) where you can rent a car from one of 2 companies. I think each desk only had a few cars on offer, but we got one of them :) My favourite part about the airport was the guy who drove a little ride on trolley over to the plane, put our bags on the trolley, and then drove it around the 'airport terminal' so we could collect our bags from the 'other side' of the airport, from the trolley out in the carpark. I think he drove it about 20 metres all up. So the good news is that his trolley only needs to be filled up with gas about once every 2 years :) He was wearing a pair of shorts and thongs (flipflops) with socks on.

I really loved the Thangool airport. It was (I assume) the epitome of a small country town airport, and I found it really fantastic. I hadn't realized just how 'out in the middle of nowhere' Bilo really was! The town has 2 main streets, and they boast a KFC and a Subway - the Subway is new, and pretty exciting. We were staying at a lovely little motel owned by an older husband and wife who make a point of knowing your names. The man used each of our names 3 times in a sentence when he first met us, and then introduced us to his wife, who did the same thing :)Then, for the next three days, they used our names whenever they saw us - I loved that.

This was my 3rd power station now, and I really enjoy them. They're huge, and totally fascinating. Plus, now that I'm a pro, I can talk shop with the best of them - haha! (I'm actually just one of those part-timers who know just enough to get themselves in trouble!) But I do know what each of the parts of the plant are called, and I know what they do, so that's exciting :) The turbine halls are always my favorites, but I also like open-air boiler houses. You stand high above the ground, asking yourself when you got over your fear of heights, covered in coal dust and surveying the industrial beauty of man's creation :) The only bad part about these power station trips are the thousands of stairs and the hardhats and safety glasses we have to wear. I have my own pair of steel-capped boots now, so those aren't too much of a problem.

I was really excited at the end of my first day to see what a fantastic tan I was developing - being outside all day long and all. Sadly, when I had a shower minutes later, it all washed off :(
Darn that deceptive coal dust!

We're making a series of induction videos for these sites, so I had a 14 page shot list of really specific shots - it's all hear and see stuff. We didn't need a Soundo, because the whole thing will be put to voice over and music. They were long 12 hour days, but we got everything we needed. I didn't have to write much of a script for this one, since it's very similar to the last one we did for this company, so it was a bit of an easier job than the last couple. This coming week we'll be editing it all.

So the trip was a success. Perfect weather, and some really nice people and footage. When we went to the airport for the trip home, I learned that the Thangool airport doesn't actually have a computer! haha! But don't worry - the lady behind the desk assured me that they have a very good typewriter ;) There's a huge coal mine up there right next to the powerstation, so most of the people on the plane were people who work in the mine or on the station, and they all know the lady in the airport. She was saying goodbye to everyone by name, and it made me want to be a regular so I could say 'See you next week Desley' like everyone else...


xo Tammy

PS. Now, About the car's name: This has dragged on now, and I still can't make up my mind! So the car is now officially called: Fritzerrol Wilson!

Congratulations to Gayle, Brecken and Emily for their winning suggestions. May all of the praise and honour due those who win internal competitions, be rained down upon you :)

PPS. So, any suggestions for the car's nickname? Because Fritzerrol Wilson is a bit of a mouth full... haha!