Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mary arrived back on a visit from China - as usual, she was rushing around trying to see friends and family. She stayed over Monday and Tuesday. Looks like this is going to be the last chance she’ll get to come over before the whole of China goes mad in an attempt to make the Olympics into something other than a PR disaster.

As a foreign journalist there, it’ll be a tricky time – it sounds like the government are taking their first faltering steps into becoming PR savvy and it’s not working out very well. They’re typically heavy handed and it’ll be a while before they’re as sophisticated as our lot.

However, they are at least learning that there are different shades to getting your PR right – it’s not just about having one message for one audience – you have to balance a whole lot of different people and peoples.

And that’s important because PR isn’t just propaganda – it’s only a short step from seeing spin as central to your ability to do politics to making public feeling one of the drivers behind your decision making….. and China could do with a bit more of that just as much as the west could do with a bit less of it.

Spent the day on Tuesday with George – Gillian came over and we took him for a long walk in the park which was nice. In the evening I met up with Mary again and some of her friends – which is always interesting as they tend to be a pretty politically active bunch.

One of them was a mover and shaker in one of the charities (War on Want I think)…. He might be good to talk to once I decide what I’m going to do – but he seems to be more about the political side than the money raising side – he seemed to have more fingers in more pies than just being part of one charity….

Still wondering what I am going to do in terms of a charity project, but it will probably involve Africa… I look at the “local” charities and worthy as they are, we’re just so much better off to start with than the developing world that our problems really pale into insignificance…

When we got home – about midnight – George decided to give me about an hour an a half before waking up and starting to cry.

I couldn’t stop him and ended up leaving him to cry and just shutting the door so I couldn’t hear him! Actually, I could probably have got him to sleep if I’d persevered, but he has to learn to do it himself. Anyway, I was so tired and if I’d stayed with him much longer, I’d have got annoyed with him – so I thought it was better to just leave him.

This week is hard at work and in the evening, so we could really do without George waking up…. I guess that’s not his problem though! He’ll do what he’ll do.

Lisa is trying to book us into a hotel for the weekend – we need to get away!

Today was one of those Front Crawl days – where you take one look at the finish line, dive in and just keep swimming with your head down until you hit the other side.

Late last night, I got an email from a client in America who wanted an animation of a bottle (with a personality) for part of a video for children on recycling. The trouble is, they wanted it by Thursday (and I’m looking after George on Thursday). Adding that to the carbon nanotubes I had to get finished (the animation was rendered overnight) for the documentarymakers who were asking Science Photo Library for them (although whether they’ll be used, I still don’t know), you get a busy day.

Unfortunately, I still also have the book (another two chapters on my list to grab pictures for today) and the animation for the ethical investment fund manager and things begin to look hectic.

By the end of the day, I’m pretty well there on most of it. The book chapters are done (but not posted), the bottle animation is previewed and confirmed with the client – but now needs to be rendered in full size). The fund management animation looks good, but needs a little tweaking - right now the animation (which is quite complex) just starts up all guns blazing immediately. It needs to slow its pace a little to give viewers a chance to get orientated within (pompus phrase coming up) “the world of the story” before everything starts animating all over the place.

That’s a day’s work….

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