One month prior to going on the press:
Production meeting is called. Ideas hashed out, a themed is devised, the Managing Editor begins to panic. It’s a general rule. The ME is there to distribute assignments. We panic so you don’t have to.
Three weeks prior:
The theme is changed, assignments are changed, freelancers start coming up with excuses for being late, photographers get run over, someone invariably breaks something. The Managing Editor transitions into the next stage of panic which involves not picking up the phone and drinking too much coffee
Two weeks prior:
Some assignments start to come in for the initial theme, not the new theme which is now the NEW new theme. The art director develops a vision for the issue. The Editor in Chief hates the vision. Fights break out and sabotage begins to occur - phones glued down, e-mails fill up with singing hamsters, the coffee disappers from the kitchen. New photographers submit poorly lit pictures, photo shoots are rescheduled, someone’s uncle dies and they have to fly to Guam. The Managing Editor is so far past panic that even coffee won’t help. Bourbon becomes the beverage of choice.
The magazine is late, but not late, late, just normal, oh my god the ME is going to have a heart attack late, but not the press needs to be informed late. The layout that has gone through 14 revisions, three photographers, two separate editors and the death of a freelancer’s cat goes through final circulation to discover that the name of the person featured is spelled wrong, and differently in three different places. Also, that we may have attributed the invention of the combustion engine to Ronald McDonald. Unironically. The bourbon no longer has any effect.
Someone finally approves the cover, after the Editor in Chief wakes up with half his head shaved and the Art Director finds threatening letters to his pet hamster taped to his stapler. The ME comes to work wearing underwear on the outside of her outfit because the stress has driven her around the bend. Bluelines are sent back, knowing full well that somewhere in them, Guam is listed as the capital of Pennsylvania.
The whole thing goes to Press. With blessings and curses, and at least one ad that is really not the color it should be but came with a proof waiver.
Two days post:
The press calls. They didn’t read the paper work, the magazine is really supposed to be printed on a paper stock that they don’t have.
Three days post:
The press calls again. They were wrong. It’s fine. Please stop panicking and making frantic phone calls around the country.
1 week post:
The whole thing starts all over again.
Tell me life is different in the digital world!