April 20, 2017
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Attitude Adjustment 101
by Tim Ranahan
This month my rant will be less of a rant and more a run, or a walk in the woods. It's not about the film business; it's about the importance of the lack of it - i.e. every once in a while removing it entirely from your life.
I'm writing this on a star-filled night in the Big Sky State of Montana. Every time I spend more then a few days up in Montana, away from our business, I realize how unimportant many thing within our business are. The time away actually helps me re-appreciate all the great folks I've met over my 34-year career. From PAs to producers, we truly have a great community in Nor-Cal. But appreciating it gets tainted if you never step away and view it in a different light. To be fair, I must admit we do have some real ... shall I say "pains in the arses?" But I'll save any mention of them for further "Rants."
On a personal level, the "great outdoors," is my cathedral. Mountains, rivers, forests, valleys, oceans - and every type of animal - are my fuel to take on the realities of survival in the Bay Area. If I have all those plus my family and friends, "life is good."
Yesterday as I was riding my bike along the Madison River and Ennis Lake, I couldn't help but notice that the colors of the sky and land exceeded normal vibrancy and clarity. The abundance of wildlife was amazing in an hour-and-a-half ride. Two northern harriers danced along a ridge top, spinning and diving in perfect unison as they surveyed for prey on the ground below. White fresh water pelicans bobbed in the lake while those in flight periodically dived deep to surface with a fresh trout in their beaks. Six or seven North American pronghorn antelope meandered across fields below the harriers, grazing but always aware of everything around them. A lone kite-surfer skimmed across the lake, every so often taking flight in the strong winds and soaring 10 to 20 feet in the air, as graceful in many ways as the harriers on the ridge. Simply put, it was an amazing hour-and-a-half attitude adjustment and re-alignment, a moment in time when nature and I moved in seamless unison.
If I can pass on anything from this rambling, it would be to take the time off and go do something that tickles your fancy, inspires your life, makes you wonder, and gives you some peace in your heart and mind. This revitalization of the spirit is essential and an integral part of the life cycle.
June started strong, then school ended and jobs seemed to trickle in for a few weeks. I guess the "mucky mucks" had graduations to attend and had to take their kids to summer camp. The end of June seemed to pick back up with a strong showing by Nor-Cal locals Teak, Rick Bosner, Cardosa Productions, Little Red Robot, and Dwyer Productions. The month ended with multi-day shoots by Radical Media/NY, Furlined/LA , Sedna Films/LA, and Andrew Zuckerman/LA.
July had Zuckerman and Moxie/LA for multi-day commercials. Locals Lieberman Productions/SF and Studio B/Berkeley are working until the end of week 3. After that I see nothing on the calendar.
If I had to use my crystal ball, this is what I would hope to see. We will hold pretty steady with local and national commercials and industrials until right before Labor Day weekend. After Labor Day - usually - we would be busy through the fall till the Holidays. During this time we might have to weather some unsettled weeks, but with the economy improving, those should not be too disturbing.
Here's hoping that you all stay employed - and, if you can fit it in, that you take some time away to rejuvenate your soul.
Tim Ranahan is an equip renter who usually, works at the Film Center in W. Oakland:
Posted on Aug 13, 2010 - 01:58 PM