Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cancellation Roller Coaster

At first, I was confused.

After almost two weeks of pre-production hell, scrambling to get what I needed to produce my short film for the CAPE/FOX Digital Marketing Initiative, everything was finally ready to go. I had just locked my last location as I headed over the Sepulveda pass to pick up the lighting equipment.

Then I got the call.

FOX wanted me to cancel my shoot until certain liability issues could be resolved. What what what? Craft services was already packed in my trunk!

They explained that while they appreciated all the work I’d already done, they needed me to take a step back until they could figure out how to better support and protect us (and themselves).

My first instinct was to be agreeable and accommodating. I let them right off the hook, took the next exit, and started making calls. I called my director, cancelled my locations, unbooked my beautiful actors, and told the equipment rental houses I wouldn’t be picking up after all. Everyone was sweet and understanding – what could I do? The situation was out of my hands.

I finished my last call just as I arrived at the opening night of the LA Film + Music Weekend for a quick turn on the step and repeat...

...and to see the opening night film Take Me Home before the final festival screening of the last film I produced, Misusing Irony.

As I sat in the theater, I could feel my adrenaline starting to drain. I’d been racing toward this weekend for almost two weeks and now it was over. I felt like I was coming down from a sugar rush. When I finally hit the bottom, I honestly didn’t know what to feel.

Sadness crept in first. Everything was set. I was going to have another project under my belt and it was going to be a blast. I sank into disappointment as I shoveled popcorn into my mouth.

Then, over a prosciutto pizza at Rocket Pizza, anger hit me right in the chest. FOX waited until 4 pm on the Friday before my shoot to tell me to cancel? Seriously? They’re lucky I hadn’t already picked up my equipment or I’d be demanding they reimburse me! Ridiculous! I slammed the table for emphasis as I railed and ate.

Finally, while watching Misusing Irony for the final time on the glorious big screen at the Downtown Independent – a theater Christopher and I always dreamed would show his movie – I shrugged and let it all go.

I didn’t have to cancel because I wasn’t ready – FOX wasn’t ready. And with more time to prep and more support, my project will surely look better and go more smoothly. This type of production hiccup happens all the time in Hollywood.

I wasn’t cancelled – my production was just postponed. I laughed and enjoyed the rest of the screenings, went home, and crawled into bed knowing I didn’t have fifty things to do in the morning. I could just sleep. And I did.


  1. i imagined you must be feeling crazy. i think you're handling it beautifully, though. go get a massage girl!

  2. Good on you Teresa, way to re-frame the situation positively AND see how getting more time to prepare will in the end make your project so much better for you and everyone else involved in the production.... enjoy your weekend!!!

    1. Thanks Johann! More time will be better - and I've been enjoying my unexpected weekend off! :)