Just over a week ago my family and myself were involved in a home invasion.
Unfortunately this is a reality of living in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, South Africa. It was late, almost 2am, the family was sleeping and I was working on finishing off a project that I needed to deliver the next day. We have just moved into a smaller, apparently more secure, temporary home prior to our depaparture for Ireland in a few months. Anyway, to cut a long story short a man came into the house with a gun and threatened to kill everyone. Luckily for me he had walked right past my office and into the bedroom without seeing me and I managed to get the drop on him, got my hands on his gun and never let go until the end when he was shot in the back via a ricochet and suffered a broken leg during our 15 minute wrestling match where his only weapon was his teeth and mine, well my head as neither of us was letting go of the gun. I suffered several bites in the struggle for which I am now taking Anti Retro Virals ( for the HIV risks) but the biggest damage I took was to my thumb which was very firmly shoved behind the trigger of the police issue 9mm in an attempt to stop him from firing the fucking thing. The constant pushing and pulling took its toll on my pudgy left appendage and even now, after long days I struggle to keep the damn thing from being overly sore.
Suffice to say we all made it out alive and while I have a traumatized family we will manage and eventually get back to normality.
Now, in 1999 I was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with British band Marillion on a concert video. Then I had another once in a lifetime opportunity to tour Europe with them a few months later. My lovely wife on each occasion was told that each new journey was a once in a lifetime opportunity and over the next 10 years there were quite a few, once in a lifetime opportunities. And she gracefully accepted them knowing that they were important and it was my job. I travelled extensively with the band over the years and on one tour I travelled with a broken ankle I had sustained on the day after I had returned from an earlier once in a lifetime excursion with the band and just a few weeks before leaving on the next once in a lifetime opportunity. Debra knows and understands, it’s more than just a job, it’s a way of life, it’s our lives.
So when I am up into the wee hours of the morning on many occasions finishing off jobs or just pushing to end it so I can spare a few days with the family, she accepts that this is how life is for a family in post production.
If that night a week ago, I had been sleeping and I was in front of the gun, this would be an entirely different post altogether. The fact that I was effectively working unseen in my dark office, I was ultimately behind the man with the gun which allowed me to grab the gun, with the element of surprise on my side and win the day.
I had hoped to never go through what we went through and once we are out of this god-foreseen country I know we never will.
So my work eventually returned the favor and gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity, #FCPX really did just save my life.
Peace, love and vomit.