I’m kind of terrified of having children. And not because of the obvious physical pain associated with labor. I’l l forget that pain quickly, or so my mother claims. I’m terrified because I feel like raising children is the equivalent to making a movie, a slow, arduous, riddled with hurdles and late night caffeine binges, process.
Right now I am in the midst of creating my second short film. I created my first in high school. It was about an Orthodox Jewish middle school girl who chased around a curly haired secular boy with her digital camera. It was titled “Walking in Circles,” and featured lots of round props. The theme was simple: hormones gone wild. But unlike stereotypical teen dramas, all the action happened behind the camera lens. It was a heavily mediated cinematic reality, and one that despite the rather absurd premise, really excited my inner film nerd.
Now I’m embarking on film number two, and my two leads are once again Orthodox Jews. The setting is slightly varied; the tension remains the same– how do two individuals unaccustomed to flirtatious interaction engage in it successfully? And oh, how modern technology complicates these present-day interactions.
While I’ve basically fallen in love with my new cinematic prospect, I’ve also spent the last two weeks functioning on less than 5 hours of sleep. Why, you dare ask? Because creating a script that reveals something about me as a writer is a freakishly revealing endeavor. Like my [future] child, my script reflects my decision process– the choices I’ve made so as to maximize the potential in it.
Though I pride myself on personal revelation, particularly in cyberspace, script writing is even more demanding. It requires digging to the depths of your soul, grabbing your personal truth, wringing its stubborn little neck, and pouring it out on paper in a way that is visually engaging and emotionally significant. Frankly, the Arab-Israeli Conflict sounds like an easier matter to tackle.
I, however, am not a quitter. I’ve made a commitment to complete this filmmaking course, and Moses, I will do it. Even if I have to consume every last coffee bean on the island of Manhattan. NB: I was thinking of moving to Brooklyn anyway.
In the meantime, I have to finish preparing to meet my maker, who in this case is a balding Italian professor with a penchant for Clint Eastwood films. Just as long as he doesn’t share Eastwood’s politics, I should make it through tonight’s lecture.