Friday, August 3, 2012

Why I love my boss

"Vance, you gotta come here and check this out. Do you have a minute?"

"Not really ... what is it?"

"This tracking shot in Children of Men ... it's unbelievable!"

I was of course quite familiar with all the unbelievable tracking shots in Children of Men. I've seen the movie four times, and I will generally tell anyone who will listen about the sheer cinematic genius on display in the film's uninterrupted takes.

"Well, I have to find a printer repairman who will go and fix a jammed printer in New Jersey."

This kind of thing was among my least favorite of my occasional tasks: hunting down a printer technician who might or might not be able to fix a printer problem, who will charge at least an arm if not a leg whether he fixes it or not, and then negotiating the terms of his site visit.

"I'm your boss, you have to do as I say!" His rank-pulling was performed with a big grin.

And so it was that I went into his office and watched the four-minute shot inside the car. You know, the scene where Clive Owen and Julianne Moore shoot a ping pong ball back and forth between their open mouths, though that's all I'll reveal about what happens if you haven't seen the movie. You know, probably the most ridiculously difficult scene in a movie full of ridiculously difficult scenes, from the standpoint of camera positioning and other logistics.

Not only that, but then we watched most of the tracking shot through the Bexhill refugee camp, though for some reason, the video clip cut before the shot did.

Not only that, but I was then inspired to find him the "taxi scene" from I Saw the Devil -- unsuccessfully, as it turned out. So I called up the famous tracking shot from Atonement instead, and we watched that.

All the with some poor, harried users in New Jersey tearing their hair out.

I felt a little bad about it, but hey, it was under the boss's orders.

And when I got back to my desk, there was this email waiting for me:

"Copier is okay for now ... I think we finally got it so you can hold off on the service call."

And to think ... if I hadn't been watching choice segments of Children of Men on the internet, I would have been knee deep in trying to resolve that problem.

1 comment:

Nick Prigge said...

Ha! That's a great story. Tracking shots cure all ills.

I have a friend and whenever he and I have had a bit too much whiskey we like to - and this is how we say it - "watch selected tracking shots." We always lead off with the first one from "Boogie Nights."