Sunday, December 13, 2009

Directing is a lot like being a mom

Yesterday was the first day of shooting "In Montauk" and I was reminded of how much it's like being a mom in my experience. You put together the best environment that you can, give the actors a safe place to flourish and then let them go. In indie film, especially, where money is tight, you do your best to make sure everyone feels taken care of and appreciated.

Yesterday morning was cold. Really cold. Like 26 degrees on a windy beach kind of cold. We were shooting at 6:30 am. By 8:15, I could no longer feel my feet. I kept asking my lead actress, Nina, if she could feel hers. My crew started joking: "Why can't this movie be called IN MAUI?" I started thinking they were right. People don't flock to Montauk off-season for a reason. I started re-thinking the shirtless scenes that Lukas was going to have to do later. I couldn't bear the thought of him getting sick because of something I'd asked him to do. We were lucky - the weather got warmer, the sun came out, and the wind wasn't so bad where we were shooting. And, he knew the deal when he signed on, he's an adult. And that's the biggest difference.

Still, it gets kind of weird when you start calling your cast and crew "honey" and reminding them to pee because there are no bathrooms at the next location.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Finding Time for Oneself

I thought I didn't have time for myself before. Then I went into pre-production for "In Montauk." I can't remember the last time I was this busy. I get up, get the kids ready for school, take them or drop them off depending on who's carpool day it is, come home, work, pick them up, supervise homework, take them to afterschool activities, come home, feed them, hand them off to husband, work, read them a bedtime story, say "hello" to husband and go back to work. Part of it is the short pre-production schedule and part of it is the nature of the business. It's tough to get everyone excited about a project that's going to happen in six months. But a month, that gives some urgency to it. It would have been nice to find an in-between, but my location was about to disappear to construction crews.

I'm doing what I want to be doing, so I shouldn't complain, right? But that doesn't make it easy. I fall into bed every night feeling like I've been run over by a truck. Still, at least I sleep. Yesterday morning, while doing final re-writes on my script at 6:00 am, I got an e-mail from a friend telling me she'd found tights for our sons, who were to perform in a one-hour version of "The Nutcracker" later in the day. "Great!," I e-mailed back, "Can I come by and pick them up?" She lives down the street. I thought it would be no problem. She's e-mails back that she's in Central Park, ice skating. It's the only time she has for herself, early morning on the weekends. She gets time for herself by giving up sleep. I refuse to do that. Instead, I explain to my kids that Mommy's going to be very, very busy for a little while, but that I'll be back when it's over. "Are you going to be back for Christmas?" my daughter asks. I'd better be.