During the 4-hour crashing of heads in Dubai.

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"So the bumper cars start, sending the father spinning backward out of control – y'know, kinda goofy like", our Liverpudlian senior-creative enthusiastically illustrated with accompanying jolts and an animated smile. I followed the explanation as we flicked through the booklet, staring down at what appeared like my illustrations, my writing and my hard-work. Our northern friend walked us through an unseen variation of my brainchild, "they've shit on it", I mumbled under my breath in horror.

"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.

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The Iranian extras, dressed so as to take no risks.

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"It seems strange that the images we must produce show a very different reality", delicately stated the regional Sony manager as I enquired as to how the preempting of Iran's supreme PR machine felt. I guess that like me he'd also noticed the volume of cracks appearing around Tehran's more well-to-do areas. Yet amusingly, on location in our mock well-to-do street we'd gotten our equations a little wrong, in our efforts to hide these certain cracks we'd failed to present enough of another type of crack to compete with reality that is Iran's street maintenance – or lack of.

England had wrapped it in too much PVC, strapped it down and curled a post-postmodern pattern over it

I tried to not to think of cracks as the time came for me to join my colleagues in conceiving a further advert. Each second of my silence represented an innuendo and each scratch of the head revealed an incomprehensible reference. I thought a lot, then I thought some more, nothing could escape the polluted right-side of my head, England had wrapped it in too much PVC, strapped it down and curled a post-postmodern pattern over it.

Our research had shown that 18-30s folk from Mashad responded to 'family-family', 'kids' and 'cute' – the PVC tightened around my head in disbelief. I reassured myself, disputing the methods of data collection and campaigned against the series of safe, flippant and tenuous suggestions put forward by my colleagues. They repeatedly reminded me of our limitations yet I couldn't help but be frustrated by theirs.

Then I did 'cute', redemption was in sight. "It's cute, write it down", our client responded and I did, in great detail. It was my compromise, one for the ailing Mashad youth with enough depth that I might mention I am associated to it. Momentarily pleased I ventured on but seemed to have left my colleagues somewhere in Mashad teaching young boys poor one-liners.

Amazingly another one slipped through the PVC, and thus far has evaded the reluctant henchmen of the supreme PR machine. Should this one be born my hope is that the only cracks appearing will be ones in limitations of both my colleagues and our audience, Mashad or beyond.

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