Working on Mr Table Tennis

I am enjoying this process of cobbling together our first grown-up documentary film. 

“first” and “grown-up” because I have worked on and produced a few short documentary films on my own. Some of them only a close circle of friends may have seen. I could call them exclusive, but only as a joke. I wonder how much I could sell these exclusive films for …

The enjoyment comes partly from the fact that the team is really invested in the people and the story. Eileen, our editor, e.g. is upset at how the storyline has developed. Two nights in a row she brought it up and expressed her incredulity and displeasure. I am pleased that she cares enough to be displeased. While I have spent three years working on the story, the researcher, Erna, has spent two months on the story, and the transcribers, Megan and Prudence, have spent less time on the project, but have certainly been most intimate with the characters through the transcription process, and at the time of writing this Eileen had only spent one week getting to know the characters and the story to date. I hope that Eileen’s response to the story is an indication of how viewers may feel when they watch the film. Fingers crossed. Eyes crossed. Legs crossed. 

There are a few anecdotes about people’s emotional connection to the story, but the one that has made me chuckle recently (because I received his final invoice) is the one about our sound person, Craig. Each of his invoices is for the project titled, Mr Table Tennis, the Meyer of table tennis, not simply for Mr Table Tennis.

The team is attached to the people in the story and I hope that we do the people and the story justice. And I hope that I do the team justice. I hope that the film reflects the effort and commitment of everyone who worked on the film (both before the film was commissioned and after) and of those who have supported me at home. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Hope is not enough, of course. I need to put in the hard work to realise the hope. Only time will tell if I did enough. If I haven’t done enough, hopefully (that word again), I would have learnt what more needs to be done for next time. 

First shoot day with Vaughan (camera) and Craig (sound)

First shoot day with Vaughan (camera) and Craig (sound)

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