I’m keeping weird, long hours, and I’m going to start keeping even weirder hours any day now. My workdays start at 8am and sometimes I’m not done till midnight.
When we shoot, I’ll have to flip my whole schedule around because most of the film takes place at night, so we’ll be starting around dinnertime and wrapping a couple hours after the crack of dawn.
How will the wolf survive?
- Food. The next “day off” that I will have is going to be Monday May 18th. It will by no means be a day off but it’ll be the first break in shooting (after our first week). That’s six days from now. So, yesterday I hard-boiled six eggs; bought a huge bunch of grapes and separated it into six small bunches, each of which I put into a separate ziplock bag; filled another six ziplock bags with meat & cheese, and another six ziplock bags with mixed nuts and dried fruits. Worst case scenario, I have a wide variety of healthy snacks ready for every day of the week that require zero seconds of morning prep before I can throw them into my bag and go. It was a Herculean effort to make the time to do all that, but it is beyond worth it. It is crucial.
- Sleep. It’s hard to get enough, but I’m not watching TV (who has time, anyway?) and I’m trying not to look at my phone immediately before bed, so that I don’t end up wired and stressed and unable to turn off the hamster wheel in my head when I should be resting. If I feel restless, I force myself to read a book. And I’m out in 30 seconds.
- Social time. I have NO TIME FOR IT. And yet I made plans to see a friend last night. Even if all I could do is sit for an hour and talk about things that aren’t this project with someone, it did me a world of good. Getting swallowed up by something makes you kooky. It’s important to take breaks, even when breaks seem impossible to take.
- Blog. I wanted to write down everything about producing this film and make it all super useful, like a bunch of golden nuggets that any newbie producer could pick up and immediately feel better prepared. That task started to feel overwhelming and I found myself never updating the blog because every post threatened to become a 10,000 word dissertation. So, I made it less intimidating for myself. No need to explain every single detail. The opportunity for that will come later, when I’m not in the middle of the tornado. For now, posting brief updates about where I’m at helps me get through it. If I only have time to write three sentences, so be it. Maybe it won’t help anyone, but hey – my mom likes reading my updates, so I’m gonna keep writing them.
- Baths. Seriously, what’s more relaxing? Nothing. A cocktail and a hot bath before bed can do more than the 20 minutes of extra sleep that it replaces.
That’s all I’ve got as far as coping strategies go, but if you’ve got more to suggest, by all means!