If any of you have ever shown a script to a creative director, or a portfolio to a critting team, then you’ll be familiar with that chunk of time when the work is perused and all conversation stops.
It’s an odd moment that I don’t think I’ve encountered anywhere else, but it never seems to get less awkward.
So here, for your more joyful life are some things you can do to occupy yourself during the wait:
1. Whenever Daryl and I did a crit we’d swap the portfolio for an awards annual and suggest the team flick through it for a few minutes. They seemed glad of the distraction and we preferred not to have them trying to decipher every cough and mumble for positive or negative signs.
2. Be like Hannibal Lecter: create a palace in your mind that you can walk round when things get too much for you or you’d simply like to visit somewhere nice. He did it when children were misbehaving near him on a plane; you can do it in a CD’s office. And it needn’t be a palace. Why not recreate your favourite brothel or maximum security prison for violent sex offenders?
3. Count awards. CDs tend to have awards; invariably, that’s part of the reason they’ve become CDs. Have a look and see if they’re the kind that are worth winning, or simply a couple of dozen Mobiuses or Regional Addys. This is very handy information because it allows you to to work out whether to take his opinions seriously or simply laugh in his face.
4. Pretend you’ve received an important email on your iPhone then play Angry Birds or Bejewelled 2. If you don’t have an iPhone just excuse yourself to the toilet and read The Sun for a few minutes. Don’t worry – they’ll wait for you to return.
5. Stare out of the window. There should be at least one in every CD’s office so take a look through it, plan your route home and see if the traffic looks like a bit of an arse.
6. Talk to your partner just loud enough to be heard by the CD then make sure you say something complimentary about something in his office (‘Wow! He’s got a box-set of The Wire! What impeccable taste!). The CD will then like you a little bit more. Possibly enough to give you a placement or pass your script.
7. Scratch yourself, but make it subtle.
Hope that helped.
Other suggestions welcome.
However, really sweary ones about people you hate at CHI will be rejected, just like the fifteen I received yesterday.