Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple Pie

Since this blog is called "Filmmaking, Motherhood and Apple Pie," I thought I'd better do a post on Apple Pie, since this is the time of year when I usually attempt one. I say "attempt" because I've probably made a dozen apple pies in my life, with varying degrees of success. Our family goes apple picking almost every year, a ritual that I love. We always seem to end up going Columbus Day weekend, even though our friend whose family owns the farm, Applewood Orchards in Warwick, NY, tells us that it's too late and too crowded. Nevertheless, he always steers us to the best area with the perfect apples that always taste a thousand times better than what we get at the store. And so we invariably come home with 2 bushels of apples and I'm left figuring out what to do with all of them. It's unavoidable with two young children who love to pick them and have a daddy who's willing to carry them.

So, we decided to make an apple pie. And when I say "we", I mean the kids decided and I acquiesed. Because like most things I commit to in life, I always forget how much time it takes and blissfully dive in, realizing at the halfway mark that I'm finished, want to be done, and still have much more to do. Take the dough, for instance. Even with a food processor and three pairs of helping hands (we added a friend to the mix this year), it still takes a while to get it right. And I refuse to buy prepared pie shells. So we made the dough, I flattened them into 2 disks and dutifully refrigerated them. The kids got bored, the friend went home and I sat down for a few minutes. I thought to myself, "Now I just have to peel and cut the apples. Shouldn't be too bad." After my daughter took 10 minutes to peel one apple, my son the same, I decided I'd better do most of that myself. An hour later I finished peeling and cutting and the kids came back to help me measure the spices for the mix. Then we rolled out the dough. I never get it right the first time and always over process the dough and it never seems to stretch out as much as they say it should. But finally, we got it all put together, albeit imperfectly, and put it in the oven. The hardest part was waiting until the next day to eat it, since it needed to rest for four hours and we all went to bed before it was ready. It didn't look beautiful, but tasted great and I derived great satisfaction from doing it with the kids.

And I find myself thinking how much making a pie is like writing, or filmmaking, or editing. If I really thought about how much work I was getting myself into, I might never get started. But every script starts out a perfect film in my head. Then comes getting it onto paper. Then there's the first time you read it out loud and realize you've got so much further to go. But when it's done, it's a great feeling. And the process starts all over once you go into production and again, when you're editing. Yet each time, I dive in with the same enthusiasm that I started the pie, certain that this time, it will all come out exactly like the beautful picture in my head.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Juggling Time

It's been three and a half weeks since we wrapped principal photography for the first half of "That's What She Told Me," a short film I directed. I'm also the editor on the film. The plan was to create a trailer with the footage we've shot, show it, and raise the rest of the money to complete the film. But as I started looking at the footage, I realized that I needed to edit together all of the scenes that I have before I can cut together a trailer. So I began, thinking it would take me about a month. In three and a half weeks, I've spent a total of 20 hours editing. And I'm only halfway done with the rough cut. It will probably take me at least another 20 hours to finish cutting the film before I can start on the trailer. Why so little time?

In that time, I've also had three school holidays, attended one high holy day service and held one family dinner for Rosh Hashanah, had four therapy appointments (me), two occupational therapy appointments (my son), one appointment in the burn unit (my father-in-law), one sick day (all of us), moved my kids into two separate rooms and painted both rooms, attended five meetings at the kids' school on volunteer projects, bought two birthday presents (the kids' friends), three other birthday presents (the kids and husband), took the kids to three piano lessons, designed and printed birthday invitations, designed and ordered Christmas cards (my husband is Jewish and I'm Protestant), and paid the bills. And that's just on the personal side.

In my other film work, I've had two phone meetings for film consulting, attended one artist networking event, submitted two film grants, put together a proposal for a potential producer for "Weeki Wachee Girls", did some re-writing on "Weeki Wachee Girls", read 12 pages in my writing workshop with Mick Casale of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and sent off "Flower of a Girl" to the Baltimore Women's Film Festival (playing Friday, Oct. 24 at 10:00 p.m.).

And I ask myself for the thousandth time, can I really keep doing this? So far, the answer is still "yes." Or maybe I'll just go back to bed.