1. "Hello Joe. Alex, you wanted to see me before I headed home for the holidays?"
  2. Joe's office is bigger than I remembered.
  3. I wonder if he ever lays down on the floor, just because he has the space. If I-
  4. Did he say he has notes on the Yule log?
  5. "The log I filmed for an hour?"
  6. They love it but want to make some tweaks.
  7. I mean, I have a flight home to D.C. in a couple of hours.
  8. And my mom is all excited to stay up late so she can pick me up at the airport.
  9. She never stays up late.
  10. They want me to sit down.
  11. To discuss the Yule log.
  12. Oh no, they got a muffin spread.
  13. This is an actual meeting.
  14. "Um, what kind of changes would you make to the still frame of a log?"
  15. He's your boss, Dan. Be respectful.
  16. Better fire?
  17. I'm not sure what constitutes "better fire."
  18. Like really flickery fire?
  19. "It's kind of hard for me to control fire, Joe."
  20. The network wants the fire to really dance.
  21. "I could throw in some newspaper? I don't want to be rude, but I'm not really sure-"
  22. They love my vision and want to make sure it's realized.
  23. "I mean, I was told to film a fireplace for an hour, so I sort of just put the camera on the floor and pressed record."
  24. They think we need to know more about the hero log's arc.
  25. "I think it's just a log that is burned."
  26. They want to know why.
  27. "I guess because someone is cold?"
  28. It's my job to discover who that "someone" is.
  29. I think I'm going to have to refilm a log burning for an hour.
  30. I could still make my flight if I do it now.
  31. I just won't be able to do all my Christmas shopping at the airport like I was planning.
  32. I really should have gotten my mother something ahead of time instead of a Danielle Steel novel at the Hudson News.
  33. It's so easy to Amazon things nowadays, and anything I gave my mom that showed her I thought about her for two seconds would make her day.
  34. "Ok I'm going to go film another log real quick."
  35. They booked a studio downtown.
  36. And they want to know if I have any allergies that may be a problem with craft services.
  37. "Um, no. I don't really think we need all-"
  38. They want me to meet Blaise, an "absolutely genius DP" who's making a name for himself shooting French gum commercials.
  39. "Hello Blaise, but I don't know if I really need-"
  40. Our driver is waiting outside.
  41. Everyone is on walkie.
  42. "Um, it's December 23rd."
  43. They know. That's why time is of the essence and they are throwing all the top talent on the "Untitled Log Project."
  44. I don't think I'll be catching my flight.
  45. A Swedish sound collective is supplying the cracklings soundscape.
  46. And they are having the bottom of an old Rockefeller Center Christmas tree flown in for the log.
  47. They cast this particular log as a favor to one of the higher-ups.
  48. Dan, buddy, I know they are your bosses, but this is absolutely insane.
  49. Like not-really-grounded-in-any-reality insane.
  50. Apparently they have a lot of money leftover and they need to spend it on something so they can ask for even more money next year.
  51. I can't stay and film a log, even if I do now have a $820,000 budget.
  52. They said I'm going to get an associate producer credit.
  53. Dan, suck it up. Skip Christmas and film the fancy log.
  54. But my mom and my brothers...
  55. Yeah... but they are throwing money at me.
  56. And the Yule log wrap party sounds amazing.
  57. "I really can't stick around-"
  58. They like that I'm playing hard to get and have tripled my salary and offered me a percentage of the Yule log backend and an option to direct one of the other films in the Yule log cinematic universe.
  59. I mean, Mom will understand.
  60. Yeah. That's the worst part. Mom will think I'm out here pursuing the dream and be totally ok with it.
  61. I can't pretend this is my dream.
  62. "Sorry, but I'm going to have to remove myself from the Yule log over creative differences. Very sorry, gentleman, but I have a flight to catch."
  63. Grab one of their daytime Emmys on the way out for Mom. She'll get a kick out of it.