I had expected butterflies, and plenty of them, in the stomach. This is based on past experience; sleepless nights, led on by endless worries and potential disasters circulating in my head, had always made for the most uncomfortable of rests the night before a shoot.
“Sleep well, and have a good rest,” was the usual parting message from my crew, usually delivered on the night of the final meeting (which usually happened before the first day of shoot). It was, for the most part, a futile effort. It was no different for this film, either; my actor had especially wished me a night filled with sweet dreams.
And yet...it's not coming. Somehow, I did not feel as worried as I did before. If anything, my head was as clear as it could have been, my heart a little lighter, and my spirits as high as a kite. The planning had gone well enough, even with the typical spanners in the works.
But then again, as my father had always told me, filmmaking is about managing problems. We can only plan so much; when push comes to shove, we have to think quick, decide decisively, and with authority. I suppose that's where the respect and loyalty comes from, and perhaps that will drive people on to realise your vision even more.
Perhaps that is it. Perhaps, because my name will not appear as the director's, that my feeling of worries, paranoia, and restlessness did not come. Perhaps, instead of having found a permanent home, signalling my arrival on to the level of 'comfortably calling oneself a filmmaker', it is merely not having the pressure of being the main man that is keeping the butterflies away.
And so, on that first night, I slept well, thank you very much.
Just as well.
I wouldn't sleep well for the rest of the week.
At least it wasn't the butterflies.