Truth be known, I do have to remind myself daily that I have an “exciting” job and thank the Lord for it. More often than not, the intense stress and chaos tends to far outweigh the excitement. However, there have been quite a few perks thrown in the mix like this morning, starting off my day hanging out with Bob Ballard (found the Titanic) in my office listening to him tell crazy stories about being off at sea like when he got hit by a rogue wave when he was 17. Pretty crazy!
My title is post production coordinator for the Oceanus project. But titles are over rated. Basically, I am media managing over 500 hours worth of footage (on 40 drives there’s 70+ TB) for a 3 years in the making, multi-million dollar special on the ocean that will air in 2012. We are approaching the long stretch and things are getting tense as we’re wrapping up this massive project. My duties range from getting all footage ingested when APs return from shoots (no I do not get to travel, bummer), coordinating graphic animations between scientists and graphic animators all over the world, editing all the footage from each shoot down to the best one hour (up to 40 hours per shoot) and organizing all the footage and sequences in a master Final Cut project to make it more digestible for our future editor this fall, pulling together dozens of post deliverable for each shoot, and helping the rest of the production team prep shoots all over the world here and there when help is needed.
It’s crazy hectic days like yesterday that I realize that this kind of job may not be ideal for every season of life. There’s a reason why the Nat Geo Television department is comprised of mainly young, single adventure seekers. Yesterday my office mate found out with around 24 hours notice that he’d be headed out last minute to Panama to film a night time dive of a scientific experiment in the Pacific Ocean with a dangerous threat of deadly sea snake bites. Though it may sound exciting, the crazy string of hectic prepping to get him out the door and through customs took a significant toll on our sanity.
That being said, at the end of the day, it helps that I still can’t deny my deep passion for quality documentary film-making despite the long hours and surprisingly low job security. Though I do not see myself working at National Geographic extensively in the distant future when I eventually have a spouse and children, I am grateful for the fortunate opportunities I’m currently experiencing as a single person while I’m able to invest 150% into my job. My ultimate goal later down the road is to eventually work with missions organizations or non profits to make my own films on justice based causes. But until then, I imagine I will hop around quite a bit to different documentary opportunities and am excited to see what the future holds.