Every once in a while, I make a judgement call blunder and run around frantic and a bit panicked to try and resolvethe situation. The repercussions are always so dire that the alternative to just "chest" the situation and move on is too painful a thought. I have surrendered the situation to the Holy Spirit, inviting my Inner Master/ Guide to take control and help me resolve the situation before it escalates beyond what it is now.
I am trying really hard not to panic or inflate the scenario because the person who is holding me to ransome is holding all the cards and I would rather not not get legal or dramatic over the whole situation. I have also accepted that I made a huge mistake entrusting my project to someone I barely knew because I was trying to cut costs.
This is one of the things you have to be careful about when you are a filmmaker/producer on a very limited budget: Don't in a bid to save money do something stupid like leave HD footage of an interview you shot on location with a DP you met through Craigslist and who lives in another city when he will not pick up your calls or respond only in texts hours/days after you initially sent them.
Without my footage, I have nothing to show for a trip taken on borrowed/credit funds and I think he knows this and is banking on frustrating me into waiting until he is good and ready to do what he said he would do. I don't blame him, I blame me because had I not given him the upper hand, I would not be in this mess...
Still, I have given him till tomorrow to make things right. I have told him to put my hard drive with my footage in a box, FEDEX bound for DC from Houston since Saturday to arrive latest by tomorrow evening. I have left enough messages both voicemail, email and text for him not to pretend that there has been no communication between us--and if he says he did not get anyone of them, he has to change his provider because clearly there was no problem with him getting my messages in the beginning when I was to pay for the initial part of the service provided.
I have also prayed, inviting God to intervene because I don't want anymore drama. I know I will get my footage, the question is when? The longer I wait, the less material I have finished produced.
So, let me serve as a lesson to anyone out there:
1. Don't entrust anyone with originals of your creative work.
2. Always work away from a project with all the material that belong to you
3. If you need to collaborate with someone, go prepared, do what you agree to do and then leave with what you came with
4. Accept responsibility for any and all decisions you take
5. Expect the same amount of professionalism that you bring to the table
6. Don't incite confrontation but also don't be afraid to get tough. Cover your bases as much as possible.
7. It will blow over and you will look back in wonder.
Such has been the drama of my past two weeks...