If you want to learn humility very quickly, try making a movie. There is no other art form in the world so dependent on a wide range of other people, and truly, so little you can actually accomplish yourself. Even universally-accepted geniuses make terrible movies all the time, none of them even knowing it until long after production.
I think of my own life as a succession of scales falling off my eyes, scales made of brittle, calcified ego. One major life lesson was the Pink House movie, which was so amazing in parts, but added up to a jumble we could never rescue. That was eleven years ago – and in a way, this Hawaii movie is something of a redemption, no matter how it turns out.
Alack. Let me back up and say what the hell we’re doing. My dear old friend Stasia moved to Hawaii when her husband Jim got the job as 1st assistant camera on “Hawaii 5-0”. He’d like to move up to the job of Director of Photography at some point, but that requires a “reel” of his work. Thus he put together a list of shots, and when we saw it in February, we said, “why don’t we just write a short film containing all those shots?” Win-win!
What followed was an outpouring of support from his crew on “Hawaii 5-0” (many of whom had worked on “Lost”), and several of them agreed to work on this film for free – and, for some of them, the experience of having their boss’ job. Hawaiian Airlines read the script and jumped aboard as sponsor, flying us (and the actors) to and from the mainland.
After three months of part-time (but intense) pre-production, we all flew to Honolulu over the weekend, and today was the first of four days of filming. To put it mildly, the crew… these cats are good. They work as one, a body of 20-25 folks made flawless by their own muscle memory and trust in each other.
None of you will know any of that, which is a testament to their fluidity. What you’ll experience is the story, simply a comic romp across Oahu that starts when a married couple on a therapist-mandated holiday take the wrong rental car and end up being pursued by a villain having the worst crime day of his life.
in Hawaii, thunder and sudden rain can happen pretty much any second
Today we shot a scene involving a mother and two kids dropping off her car – the mother being Stasia herself, and the two kids being her son Noah and our own Lulubeans. They nailed their big scene in one take (unheard of!) and earned the kudos of the crew.
Lucy and Noah remind me of the Chinese gymnasts – too young to fully grasp the stakes of the situation, and therefore utterly at ease. I have decided to adopt their equanimity and spasmodic serenity. I’ve come to the realization there are some things I’m very good at, and as for the rest, I should let the village, each individual member, shine, shine on.
Jim and Tessa set up Lucy and Noah’s shot