There was a time when a roughcut meant the first edit of a new ad. I used to love getting the phone call that heralded its arrival, and would positively skip up the stairs to the creatives' office, to view it in all its glory. Except, it was never that glorious. As I came to learn, there are thousands of caveats one must give when presenting a rough cut, as it is literally just an edit of the footage that the director and creatives are happy with, without any post production magic or (boo hiss) client feedback. Speaking of client feedback, the following never fails to take me back to those days with a smile: The Rough Cut Lady Song
Today, I completed my first roughcut of the year. It's the first time I've mowed the lawn in 2013. I like to refer to it as a roughcut because it's generally just about cutting back everything that's grown over the autumn and winter, and getting it to a manageable state. No fancy stripes or finer details for this cut, just the basics.
I also like to refer to it as a roughcut because it tickles me to use my old industry language in my new Mummy world. It's like seeing an old friend in an unexpected place. Recently, over dinner with dear friends from advertising, I referred to my brand onion. For those of you questioning the sudden use of vegetation, a brand onion is a marketing tool used to establish what's at the heart of a brand and then each layer that goes around it builds a picture of that brand and how it connects with its consumers. Anyway, as we laughed, I heard a particular sort of chuckle in my friend's reaction. There was surprise at hearing the term after so long (and from someone so far out of that world now), and delight in the shared understanding, the use of a term common to those of us in that industry (and common to poor old Mr W who had to learn all about it when I was in it). It made me think about how tribal we all are, and how brilliantly language can bind us together or draw us apart. We all seek out common ground with each other, and the kinds of words and references we use are such a substantial part of that.
About a year ago I made a new Mummy friend and mentioned to Mr W after one of our first playdates that I particularly loved hanging out with her because "She'll refer to something as being 'very Temperley' and she knows I know what that is!" A few weeks ago, on a rare Mummy night out, I had to hit the dancefloor when Sweet Female Attitude's one hit wonder "Flowers" came on. To my delight, one of my Mummy friends was right there with me, singing all the words too (ok, fine, so it's not exactly lyrically taxing, but still). In the search for common ground, beyond just knowing the same version of "Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop" (and seriously, who knew there could be so many?), occasionally we bump into old terminology from new people, and we get a glimpse of our old selves, in our new roles.
So today I'm celebrating those nods and smiles of recognition, the chuckles of delight at shared terminology, and of course, the smell of freshly (rough)cut grass.