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This has always been a favourite one of mine - defining that special
relationship between producers and engineers.
A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He
reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon
further and shouts: "Excuse me sir, can you help me? I promised a friend
I would meet him a half-hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man below says: "Yes, you are in a hot air balloon about 30 feet
above this field which is located at 40.36 degrees north latitude and
58.21 degrees west longitude."
"You must be an engineer", says the balloonist.
"I am", replied the man on the ground. "How did you know?"
"Well" says the balloonist, "what you say is undoubtedly technically
correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the
fact is I am still lost."
The man on the ground says "You must be a producer."
"I am", replies the balloonist. "How did you know?"
"Well" says the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are
going. You have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and
you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is that you are in exactly
the same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my
Digital Film at The Moving Picture Company, London
Thanks to Seamus O'Kane for support in 1999
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