Pickles, or whatever
I could spend time listing out everything that went wrong with 4381’s last production, which finally wrapped last week, but instead I’ll talk about what I learned.
There’s always more than one way to do things, and there’s a point where you have to stop talking about the options and start trying one of them. Which one do you try first? How long should you try before realizing it won’t work? When do you move onto the next thing?
The above was written November 18th as a draft. Since writing that, a lot more has been said and a lot more has been learned.
Everything that goes into a production takes massive consideration. The resources, time, and care that go into projects like these are extremely important and should be treated as such. Always.
There are times when exploring solutions for problems undermines that, and that’s when you know you’ve gone too far.
4381 in many ways feels like a failed experiment. One that was filled with shaky optimism and perseverance (in spite of so many complications) that somehow managed to bring something to the table. That “something,” tainted by inconsiderate and disrespectful maneuvers that cost trust, valuable relationships, and potentially lives, is now a reminder of how disregarded one of our most critical supporters was during production.
The part I played in this disaster feels even more painful to think about. It’s not a matter of discovering what’s wrong and what’s right after the damage has been done. It’s a matter of learning that I was capable of understanding those differences and speaking strongly upon them before they happened, but ultimately trusting my peers and colleagues above what I knew should have been done. As a part of this project I had a say, and an ability to realize that my continued participation was consent for what was happening. I undermined my own instincts, and whatever challenges I made to the prospects of the destruction mean nothing when I ultimately accepted permission from those I was working with and not from those who hired me.
Everything we should have considered before doing, I did consider. It’s the fact that I lowered myself for louder voices and let KRH be disrespected in the process that I’m deeply ashamed of. Not to mention having undermined the hard work of previous cast and crew on productions.
Letting anyone down is already one of the worst experiences imaginable for me on a production, but letting down someone I regard as highly as KRH with nothing that could justify it makes me sick to the stomach. There is so much I have learned from this experience, but also from this feeling. A feeling I never want to feel again. Mistakes will continue to be made as I grow and learn more, even with careful consideration, but I understand how deliberate I must be in my association with any practice on a set moving forward.
If there’s anything I wish for KRH to know, it is that he does not deserve this, especially not in this environment. The kindness, accommodations, and trust he gave us during this pandemic (not to mention overwhelming support) is indescribably valuable and appreciated no matter how little it seems after this affair. I am infinitely grateful to him for how much he puts into his craft and the extent to which he pours himself into these filmic endeavors for us, as his pupils.
Our actor, Adrian, was given a safe-word during the shoot to yell in the event he felt uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or in any sort of pain. The word was pineapples.
After one of the takes, Adrian said “pickles, or whatever.”