I was doing a thing in a television studio this week and – no, wait, actually, quick aside? I was the talent. I’m not used to this. Wasn’t producing anything, wasn’t writing a word, not interviewing anyone, my job was to turn up and be interviewed on a show. I was the talent. So strange.
I mean, I’ve done a lot of radio on both sides of the mic but precious little TV. It turned out that some of the other guests I was chatting with in the green room had never done any television before so I was the great wise expert, having done it once. I tried not to dispense too much wisdom. They have to learn for themselves, they have to make their own mistakes.
That way you’re looking at me now, that’s how a runner at the studio should’ve been looking at me. I was chatting with a couple of runners and got into the subject of a film one of them had made last year. She told me about how hard it had been to get the rest of her group to actually do anything and I was nodding wisely, ready to say that she’s back at university for the next year and she’s making more films, I bet those others aren’t.
“But you’re back at university for the next year and you’re making more films, I bet those others aren’t,” said Rob McLaughlin, one of the other guests. I’m not sure how I taught him so well but clearly I did. Clearly.
We talked on about how production is collaboration and part of the job is getting the right group around you. And this runner – wait, I’m not telling you her name because she’s 17 plus she’s already made more films than I have – this runner mentioned how none of her friends are into filmmaking. Some of them sounded actively against it, they had been doing that thing of saying you’re wasting your time on that, you’ll never make it, that’s rubbish.
I was really ready now to point out that no matter what you do or want to do, there are people around you who say no. Ultimately the thing I’ve learned as I near 50 is that you have to say bollocks to them and do it. They come around after you’ve done it and in fact they tend to come around whether or not you did something successfully. If you want to do something, that’s always better than not wanting to do anything and you should just do it without them.
“But I suppose if you want to do something, that’s always better than not wanting to do anything and you should just do it without them, shouldn’t you?” she said.