Today, my fellow marketing professionals, I spent a day doing something that, if I were to compile a list of things I like to do, would be below shitting in my own eyes, eating a dead man's ballbag and being presented to by planners.
I was at an edit.
The editing phase of any TV commercial or video project involves sitting on a sofa in a darkened room while a man of indeterminable age and pasty complexion (the editor) sits with his back to you operating a machine with unnecessary amounts of knobs, dials, sliders and screens, making imperceptible changes to the same piece of film for hours on end.
And that's it.
So, here are a few ways to make this interminable exercise feel like it's moving a little more quickly.
Eat the biscuits
There are always biscuits. Tons of them. Sweets too. And they'll keep bringing them until you stop eating them. Why not set yourself an hourly target and see if you can beat it? I once ate 94 Kitkats in 15 minutes. I was so bored it was either that or find a cat to fuck to death.
Read the arty magazines
There will be a ready supply of magazines targeting ever more selective niche creative audiences. Many of them will feature photoshoots of heroin addict models showing off their bee-sting bristolas and looking as close to being underaged as irony will allow. This, sadly, is as close as you will get to pornography.
Talk to the creatives
The creatives will always be there, somewhere, eating and drinking whatever they're offered and waiting for the editor to ask 'What about that?' They will look up from their arty magazines, and say something like 'Hmm. It's a bit...you know.' The editor will then wordlessly trash his last 6 hours' work and start making more imperceptible changes. Why not ask them what the fuck it is that they're doing there?
Argue with the creatives
If you're really bored, start throwing your oar in. When the editor asks 'What about that?' leap in quickly and bark 'Yes! Good. Next. Let's move on.' An argument will always follow. (The agency boys love my sense of humour, though, so it's fine. They do this dead funny thing where they shout and call me a fucking moron and stomp out. It's brilliant!)
Think about lunch
It will be a bento box. But which bento box will you choose? Bento box 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6? (Bento box 5 is usually the vegetarian one.)
Have a Wankathon
This is only to be tried in cases of extreme boredom. The rules of the Wankathon are simple: knock one out in every room of the premises you are in. In a studio or editing house, that will probably mean the edit suite itself (tricky), the lavs (doddle), the little kitchen area (slightly risky), the communal bit where people using the other editing suites hang about making phone calls (potentially problematic) and the reception area (downright difficult). If you pull it off (HA HA! I'm a funny cunt, me) then you feel an enormous sense of achievement. If you don't, you'll only have made a receptionist cry and the police angry.
I'd be interested to hear what you do to kill the time in the edit suite. Especially if any of you have mastered that tricky reception area challenge. I'll be pleased to give it a whirl.
Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!