During the 4-hour crashing of heads in Dubai.
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"Then we see the father making eyes with the boys, y'know, 'I'm after you', y'know, it's that father-son thing, like... y'know, it's gloves-off". I raced further ahead in the booklet, "the boys high-five!", I nudged at my colleague in alarm. Not wanting to interrupting the amateur dramatics, I quietly took it up with our Dubai-based colleague to my right, "they high five!?", I whispered. A strong indian accent responded, "y'know we...", he paused to find the words – 'jazzed it up', 'made it more lively' maybe. 'Shit on it', were the words I refrained from putting in his mouth.
Crafted for the Iranian market and well within the limitations of Iran's culture ministry.I was sat in the pre-pre-production meeting amidst a cocktail of nationalities representing different interests, gathered to tweak and refine a television advert to be aired in Iran for a Sony camera. It was nearly a proud a moment for me as the excessively long 3-months that it had taken to get to that meeting, my efforts had shone through. Of the 9-concepts proposed the 3-short-listed were of my making. The concept finally selected was a carefully choreographed one, merging cliche with parody resulting in a multi-layered, humorous advert crafted for the Iranian market and well within the limitations of Iran's culture ministry.
It was then the turn of the director to explain his 'treatment', this was a likely clash I'd been concerned about for some time – frighteningly aware of how they've previously butchered concepts. My planned precision in shooting sequence and scenes, all synced to specific music – detailing camera-angles and shot-durations – had left little room for a director's input.
The meeting was more correctly a game of Chinese Whispers – I'd previously sat in our offices in Tehran, being the animated guy, getting provisional confirmation on the script, having gone through all the subtleties – careful to illustrate the details and their meaning, preempting any creative conflict. Yet our indian colleagues had added their 2-Rupees' worth, passing it on for the French director to have his 2-Euros' worth – hugely deviating from the client's prerequisites.
Over 4-hours we'd resolved these embellishments, regrettably concluding on a compromise of everyone's ideas, leaving a tough lesson for me to learn and the ashes of a provisionally excepted concept.