A work day…

The Master Class with the students went well yesterday.

I impressed on them those personal qualities that one needs to successfully inhabit the film industry:

  • Reliability – do what you say you’re going to do.
  • Punctuality – be early, don’t be on time.
  • Discretion – don’t gossip or speak badly of others.
  • Communication – don’t hide behind emails or text messages. Pick up the phone. Better still, go meet the person.
  • Fitness – you need to be fit and healthy. You need to have stamina when others around you are falling from exhaustion.
  • Rigor – you need to be rigorous in all things.
  • Money – get comfortable with money. Filmmaking is an expensive exercise. Learn how money works, and don’t be shy about money
  • Become entrepreneurial.
  • See yourself as a brand
  • Always do your homework
  • Be curious
  • Be respectful
  • Understand that everything begins and ends with story.
  • Get out and live in the real world.
  • Don’t follow rules
  • know that there has never been a more exciting time to be a filmmaker

Today, my day started at 6am going through what landed overnight on the blog, and responding to comments.

I then had three double espressos before a 7am conference call to Los Angeles – with two possible investors for the PGS film. They said it would be a film that could have a huge beneficial impact on the world. I liked them immediately.

I told them that the right investors would come to the film at the right time with the right amount of money, and when that happened, it would be perfect. It was a film where everyone had to play by the rules, and the rules are you have to listen to your PGS. That includes the investors.

I then had a breakfast meeting with an Executive Producer who wants me to write and produce a musical – a film then a stage version based on a terrific story about an iconic mid 60’s rock band. It’s something I will do.

I had another double espresso with breakfast. So far that’s four doubles for the day, and it wasn’t even 10am.

Jennifer and I then has a working lunch with an extraordinary man – a former green beret commando who set up a non profit NGO to battle the under-age sex trade in South East Asia. This is the film that I am currently writing a treatment for.

This man, let’s call him John, has recently been ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk, and is working as an anthropologist deciding on aboriginal land rights claims. As I say, an extraordinary man. His wife accompanied him to the lunch and she too was quite remarkable – a beautiful Japanese woman who writes a very popular blog about anorexia amongst Asian women.

What an amazing couple!

Jennifer and I then drove to Brisbane’s Southbank to wait for our next meeting. I had a cappuccino while I talked to my travel agent about the tour.

We then met two people who have been following the blog for quite some time – Donna and Greg. Truly wonderful people – and we had a great afternoon together at a funky Turkish restaurant. We laughed a lot.

I had two strong Turkish coffees.

Donna said she was going to walk the Camino in 2022 but I told her that wasn’t going to happen – she’d been bitten by the Camino mosquito, she now had a virus in her bloodstream and soon she would break out into an uncontrollable fever and she would discover that the only way to get better fast would be to walk the Camino earlier – I estimated that she will become a Compostela pilgrim within five years.

I was a bit hyper with Donna and Greg, probably because the Turkish coffees were very strong – and my caffeine level by that stage was well over my Plimsoll line.

Donna asked how was I able to fit so much into a day, and when she saw me ordering the second Turkish coffee, she knew.

Greg left our meeting considering the April tour – apart from his pilgrimage hankerings, he also responded strongly to my stories of delicious Portuguese chicken for €6.

It was fantastic for me to meet these two wonderful people whose names I had seen so many times on the blog. It impressed on me what a powerful tool a blog can be, and what an inordinate responsibility comes with it.

Jennifer and I walked back to the car and I looked around for another coffee shop to get a take-away for the trip to my sister’s house, where we’d be staying the night.

Couldn’t find one. Damn…

24 thoughts on “A work day…

  1. It is interesting to compare that list of qualities with those of a “successful” pilgrim. Some may be the same while others could contrast. There is a dilemma most of us face. What do you think?


    • Hi Clare –

      that’s a really fascinating question, and I hadn’t thought about it that way.

      The larger question is: can you be successful in a highly competitive industry and still maintain the principles of a pilgrim?

      I believe you can.



  2. Hi Bill.

    It was so nice to meet you and Jennifer yesterday. I feel very grateful that you guys could find the time to meet us. I could have chatted for hours.

    The coffee…. My goodness just the smell of the Turkish coffee was enough to keep me buzzing for the rest of the night. Let alone drinking that much.

    You never did answer why so much Coke Zero and not water on The Way. I’m guessing now it was for the caffeine fix.

    I’m off to buy some Quinine.



    • Haha – buy the quinine in bulk Donna, you got it bad!!

      Yes, the Coke Zero as for the caffeine. In every rink those horrible energy booster drinks, like Mother etc. I draw the line there. They are evil.

      It was terrific meeting you and Greg yesterday too, and yes, Jen and I could have talked for hours too. I am still amazed at how modern communications work. Twelve months ago if someone had said I would become a blogger, I’d have shaken my head and said: what’s that?!


    • LOVE Turkish Coffee or the Greek would call it Greek coffee… everyone is very territorial about that. Well, in my family it’s called Greek, none, in my family have Greek routes, so go figure. When I was little, my mom taught me how to prepare it properly… since it is said, only if you know how to cook it properly, will you be able to get married. My family was full of ‘old wife tales’. I have the proper copper can, the proper tiny little cups (which look like Chinese tea tasting cups..lol), I grind my own coffee to fine powder, I boil the sugar water and then add the coffee and you have to boil it up 3 times – not once or twice, no 3x without it rolling over the sides – again you can’t get married until you know how.

      Turkish coffee, needs to be black as the night (hence no milk), sweet as a virgins smile and hot like…… you fill in the blanks.

      Enjoy your next sip of Turkish coffee with all that added knowledge. 😉

      p.s. my new neighbours are from Lebanon, and already tasted their version of coffee, much like above with the added spice of nutmeg.. wonderful!


      • where is the spell check if one needs one… roots, not routes, but who knows all routes lead to knowledge… eh


  3. Bill, Know just what you mean.
    I had a busy day also. I went to breakfast with a friend, then to coffee to meet some others at Starbucks, and finally to the gym. Wow, what a day. Just like yours. Steve


  4. I think you had my usual daily caffeine consumption beat by a few mL! And when you cast the stage version of the musical I’ve got an actor for you to consider. 🙂


  5. Gosh I must be scary! You had two Turkish coffees and would have had a third had Jennifer let you.☕ Maybe it was Greg’s beard. He used to have a really bushy beard and looked like Ned Kelly.


    • You two were terrifying!!!


      Nah, I was knackered after the long drive and the Master Class etc…

      Yes, Jennifer does have a very strong influence on my behaviour. That’s why when she’s not around I start to think that a dwarf on fire could be funny…

      I think she should be surgically attached to me…




  6. I know this post is days old but I’m just doing a wee catch-up. With the exception of branding yourself (although I do encourage “being” yourself) and with some caveats on what is meant by “don’t follow the rules” (I prefer to talk in terms of “think outside the box” – which might actually be the same thing as you mean – but I DO encourage obeying rules, which in this day and age is somewhat countercultural)….your list is largely what we teach our kids for LIFE. Honour God in all you do and seek to serve others would be our two main additions to your list.
    I’ve been intrigued thinking about they relate to pilgrimness. I don’t see them as oppositional at all. “Do your homework” can be as simple as “order your plane ticket and make sure you’ve got good shoes”; it doesn’t have to mean you have overplanned every step of the way. “Be punctual” doesn’t mean you have to get in the Bed Race, but it does mean when the hospitalero has asked you to vacate by 8am that you do so even if you want to linger. You can be rigorous in enjoying the moment or thinking through an issue. Know how money works – understand that donativos actually need some to continue! Even “entrepreneurial” can fit with pilgrimage if it is understood in terms of “willing to take risks in order to make a profit” – the profit may not be monetary, but in some other area of life.
    Cool post.


    • Thanks Rachael,

      Good to hear from you again.

      The feedback I got from the Master Class was very positive, by the way- which is gratifying.

      You’re right in the way these bullet points might be appropriate for a pilgrim – and yes, whether it’s follow the rules or think outside the box, it’s the same underlying thought – be original, be different, don’t accept the norm.




      • Dare I suggest you change your “don’t follow the rules” to “think outside the box” so that you can’t be accused of inciting anarchy? It takes away any possible ambiguity – and surely as a journalist you would aim for clarity of expression. Or perhaps the desire to provoke is stronger;-)
        I’m going to use your list if you don’t mind – get the kids to analyse and critique it and see if they can add anything. Thanks.
        BTW, went to see Gravity myself (3D but not Imax – still stunning. Still thinking about how there were really only two significant actors and how everything happened in a very limited – albeit enormous – setting, and how it was a story told simply through conversation……and how with those kind of constraints it could have gone horribly wrong but they did an amazing job – especially the sense of being isolated – we’ve discussed a bit how that was achieved)
        Thanks for the recommendation – I never would have gone otherwise!


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