So excited for my first guest post. My sister Carrie sent me a script she wrote for a short film awhile back that blew me away. I love talking with her about her experiences working on big budget sets and production but there is something very special about this small project. Even the film about making the film is pretty magic. You can sense the wonderful energy and beauty that they are creating with this project. If you want to join in and be a part of making this film happen check out Carrie’s link at the bottom of her post.
Filmmaker Family Time.
I’ve known a special universal truth for a very long time and it’s served me well over these years working in the field of art and entertainment: Food brings people together. Food makes people happy. Therefore, eat food, together, and things will go okay.
Living and working in Los Angeles in the entertainment world for the last six years and having not gone off the deep end or had any nervous breakdowns, I sometimes get asked by L.A. hopefuls or parents of L.A. hopefuls – how do you survive? L.A. feels so harsh and materialistic. L.A. people seem horrible. L.A. sucks, doesn’t it? Truth is, yeah, sometimes it really, really does. No lie, Los Angeles can friggin’ suck. Hard. Parking tickets. Weirdos. Traffic. The constant hustle of not doing enough and wondering about your next paycheck. Luckily, there are antidotes for the sucky-ness and they don’t come in the form of success or money – although those can be nice when deserved. They come from the same things that make anyone feel safe, happy and whole. The first thing I tell anyone is that you have to find your L.A. family. Not blood relatives necessarily. Not people on a screen that you obsess over. This family is the one made up of your friends that actually like you. The ones that listen to you and are generous in spirit. These are the people that invite you to their place for no other reason than to just hang out and laugh. Most importantly, these are the people you eat with. A lot.
Delicious food – in the form of good snacks or good meals- has magical qualities for keeping groups happy. It can change the atmosphere of a room in seconds. It is, hands down, my favorite way to get to know people. I’ve made it a habit to really remember people’s food preferences and it’s amazing how much this can be a persuasive way of making friends. When I graduated college, I was awarded a scholarship at graduation and the only reason this is relevant at all (brag alert), is that part of the speech this professor gave mentioned the plethora of snacks I brought to rehearsals. That was such a distinct part of my leadership abilities – bringing food – that my esteemed professor included it in her speech… to the very packed theatre of parents and peers. It got a good laugh, but the point is that I knew, even back then, food is an important tool for me. Eating together unites a group in a way that not much else does. It’s magic. Wielding the positive power of collective eating – seeing how happy eating leads to productivity and teamwork – has become a strange asset in the way I approach any job, P.A. or Director. It is an essential tool in my toolbox and I use it every time, with 100% success.
This year has been another sweet reminder of the importance of eating good food together. I belong to a fantastic group of generous, kind filmmakers and artists that I feel are my L.A. family and some of us have been tirelessly working on a project that requires a lot of late night meetings and weekend get-togethers- a difficult task given our L.A. schedules. Luckily, these are people who also believe in the power of collective, family style eating and it affirms our connection and creates a space of comfort constantly. There is rarely a week we don’t at least try to do some sort of potluck meeting where foods are brought, shared and devoured. Aside from our deep discussions about our intensely difficult goals and dreams, we talk about food stuff a lot. We’ve probably had about twenty lengthy conversations about cheese. We fuss over different wines, their cost, and what store they were on sale at. One brave soul recently made homemade Kombucha successfully (look up images for ‘scoby’ and tell me that ain’t brave). We don’t all have the same diets but even that is part of the magic- we all consider each other in what we bring and what we make. The personal nature of simply sharing together, celebrating cooking and real food, making awesome recipe discoveries together, and especially laughing over meal failures has been, in my opinion, a large part of how we end up negotiating our projects together too – like a family. Not always perfect, but willing to negotiate and make it work.
To learn more about some of this filmmaker family and the current project we’re working on called Kinesthesia, visit us on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/KinesthesiaFilm) and take a look at our live, 30-day campaign on Seed&Spark (http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/kinesthesia) where you can join us in helping the film get made and see where it all ends up. We’d love to share our progress with you – and guaranteed, you’ll spot some of our family-style potluck meetings during production!
Now, let’s go eat. I’m suddenly starving.