knowing that i was about ten pages into my first screenplay, she quickly responded with, "...A LOT of people. it takes a lot of people to make a movie."
she probably didn't give much thought to her response. she may have been in the middle of a conversation with someone else or working on a big project or who knows what, i have no idea. but i'm pretty sure she didn't give much thought at all to her response.
she probably had no idea how much her response affected me. it shot me down and kind of devastated me. it is a vivid memory from my childhood. i had chosen my three best friends as my main actors and i had already asked my friend's dad if i could use his camcorder. i had a yellow legal pad filled with script lines. think little miss sunshine. i was dead seriously willing to make a movie and i was so excited at that idea. of course i was also working on song lyrics for my hit song that would surely appear on radio disney that next year, so i got a bit too busy to make my movie happen.
it wasn't until the next year that i sang in front of the whole school during an assembly, "america the beautiful" that i realized i absolutely could not sing. my best friend, one of the actors i had cast in my movie, told me she defended me in front of the mean boys making fun of my singing voice by telling them i had a cold.
i did not have a cold.
i would guess it was that year i began to be self-aware and started to lose the ability to dream without a care in the world. as life went on, that movie dream slowly started to die.
flash forward to last fall when i had some time to deeply reflect on where my life was going. we were in portland and jared was attending bicycle mechanic school. i spent most days reading, doing some homework, going out for casual jogs, and exploring the city. if that wasn't a time for reflection, i don't know what is. i found myself spending a lot of time reading about film production. i learned about typical positions and roles on movie sets and read a lot of firsthand accounts from people who had worked in the industry.
my impression was that film sets attract bratty people, that the work is long and hard, that gigs are unpredictable, and that you can never have a guaranteed career, because you can only jump from one gig to the next. despite all that, i was still interested in working on a film set. i remember thinking about the idea of working on a film set and feeling like it was such an unrealistic opportunity. at the time, i literally did not know a single person who worked in film.
then in may, earlier this year, i got a message from my friend asking if i might be interested collecting vintage furniture for a low budget film. i immediately got that stupid sick feeling you get when you know you can't say no but you're not sure you can do what you're being invited to do. you know that feeling? and then it all happened so fast, i gave him my email address, a few days later i got a call from the producer, and then before i could blink i was contractually obligated to purchase props for an actual feature film.
after spending the last several months (which is what we in the business call "pre-production" [said as uptight as possible]) purchasing furniture and props for their movie (and doing a screaming job staying within their budget, might i add), and managing the difficulty of the gig exploding into twenty times the work of that which i originally agreed, i find myself halfway through "production", which is the part where the lights and cameras appear and the director sits on a director chair and people with actual clapper boards actually yell, "action!" and "cut!", yes this is that part.
and i think i will take some time to write about how awful and wonderful this last week has been, and how i've learned from this experience, and how in some way i will never do this project ever, ever, ever again, and how in some ways, i will do another movie project again in a heartbeat. but not tonight. because it's 12:06am, but feels like 2:06am, and my body needs to rest.
because for now i am making my ten year old self proud, and doing something that i can say i've always, always wanted to do.