Production Blog #2
Break is done, back to work.
I thought that festival season would be super busy for this project, but it turns out not so. For starters, a lot of the US Roadrunner contingent are still yet to head back to the UK in any regular fashion. This is primarily because of lingering and understandable COVID concerns, it could also be a management strategy not to oversaturate our fair isle with artists in one given season - but also the hidden blocker appears to be Brexit. This is evidenced by a multitude of acts heading from the US to the EU, but and either listing the UK run as a separate touring venture, or not at all. I'm not sure of the mechanics of why exactly this is (tour managers in the know, hit me up), but from my own experience, voluntarily imposing trade sanctions on ourselves has coincided with everything becoming super fucking expensive. Weird, that.
Secondly, I'm finding that the filming opportunities that are available during festival season are susceptible to quality bleed. That is, instead of a well prepped and researched 30-minute interview in a closed setting with Artist X... the frantic nature of festival season can often only offer 7 anxiety-ridden minutes before curtains, and I have to coax usable and interesting footage out of that window. Great for press, but not for a deep dive into a 41 year old metal label. Of course, beggars can't be choosers, and this is an indie operation - but while there's plenty of "I'll take what I can get" scenarios, there's also plenty where I simply can't compromise on the quality of the content, typically with a key character in Roadrunner's story. If I have to wait a year or two for the next opportunity to present itself, so be it.
But summer hasn't been a complete bust so far, I'm swamped with editing, swamped with admin, and funding round has formally kicked off. There's already been some movement towards Plan A as detailed in the former Production Blog post, a sizzle reel is being assembled with already-shot material, as well as guff from the archives and the Bleh podcast. So hopefully by the end of the year I'll be delivering to an exact budget, and will be able to determine a target release date. Until then, without oversharing, 2022 is still proving to be quite bonkers.
Speaking of being swamped, it's starting to become clear that having a single point of failure (me) on a project of this scale is likely unsustainable. In response to this, I was playing with the idea of expanding the production team, and maybe bringing in some personnel to handle the business wheeling and/or dealing of this project. But, similar to my experiences in live production, many folks are extremely receptive to the idea of joining the project formally, only to drop off the face of earth when dates start to hit the calendar. The production itself is passing the point of no return, what with 100+ hours of recorded audio on the podcast (and a further 50 off-the-record), and something like 23 hours of footage in the bank, and climbing. Being where I am - time is much better spent tidying up the audio on the Suffocation footage, than it is speaking to another would-be producer for the project.
The one-man-army resolve comes across as arrogant, but fuck it - I haven't really got time to waste anymore, sadly.
Speaking of Suffocation - mad props to Frank, he came out of retirement to talk about Roadrunner!