Running Naked Through the Mall

The naked slating dream.  I know three other camera assistants who’ve had this dream, and I had it several times during the decade I spent as a Second Assistant Camera in Toronto’s film and television industry.

In the dream I was on set standing naked in a corner.  No one had noticed yet, but the 1st A.D. calls, “Roll Sound!”

Crap!  I’m the slater, the guy who holds the time-code slate in front of the camera and calls, “Thirty-six Apple.  Take One!  Marker!”  Smack the slate and get out of the shot ASAP without tripping on anything or ruffling the lead actor.  But I’m naked!  How can I jump into the middle of set?  The director, the producer, continuity, the A.D., the operator and the focus puller, this is the one moment they’re all looking straight at me, mostly waiting for me to do my thing and get out of the way.

But this dream doesn’t happen to just 2nd ACs.  Some of you have had this dream.  Maybe you were naked at the mall, running to get out before anyone noticed.  Worse, perhaps you were in your underwear in the high school cafeteria…and you’re a teacher.

Well writing is like that.

It’s easy to pose as an intellectual at a party.  No one really needs to know that your favorite show is Battlestar Gallactica.  All you have to do is spout back what you read in the newspaper.  It helps if it’s politically correct, or if you punctuate your found opinions with emphatic statements like, “We’ve each got our part to play in solving…”  Insert current crisis of the year here.  Presto!  You’re a thoughtful person—an intellectual.

But writing is like running naked through the mall.  People see you at your most vulnerable.  They can see inside your skull.  They can judge, they can smirk, and if they read on they KNOW what you were thinking.

If they’re smart.

So take a look.  Railroaded and Burning Moose are up there already.  The rest of my Storyteller Magazine stories will go up soon, to be followed by my contest winners and placers.  I’m letting you into my brain, my soul.

I’m running naked through the mall.

I like it.

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