Lesson #5: Making a movie is like having a baby.

Lesson #5: Making a movie is like having a baby.

I’m 23, and I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon. But, in some sense, Nadja and I both are parents. Sure, it’s a little weird having a metaphorical child with someone you’re not dating… but, hey, it’s the film industry. Anything goes, right?

I’m attached to Unorthodox like a parent to a newborn. When it needs something, I’m there – at all hours of the night. I can’t close my close eyes for a second without worrying. I’ve delayed major trips (that climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, that skiing expedition across Greenland) so that I can devote my time and resources to its care. And the idea of letting someone else baby-sit for a while? Unthinkable.

Even worse, Nadja and I send joint emails announcing the film’s milestones. (No picture attachments, though – see Lesson #3). We throw small parties on behalf of these milestones. We sign so many emails together that we even considered a joint email account. (Don’t worry, we didn’t go that far.) We both use the pronoun “we” when talking about the film — to the great confusion of the uninformed public. We cancel work to have meetings (with producers, composers, creative advisors, editors) about the welfare of our child. We trade shifts. We put our life on hold.

Like a newbie parent, I often can’t talk about anything except the child. How he’s doing. What he’s wearing. What he looks likes these days. I fret obsessively over any sign that my child may have deviated from the normal developmental trajectory.

And you know those parents who delve into excruciating detail about their child’s physical issues – “Johnny only wet the bed once last night” – forcing their friends to feign interest in things like the latest potty-training technology? That’s me. I provide my friends with a constant running update of Unorthodox. In fact, they’re used to it now. These days, when they greet me, they don’t pause for a breath before inquiring about the film: “Hi Anna, how’s the movie coming along?”

Sure, all of this is mildly disturbing, and I still think that I’m too young to be a mother. But at least I can be thankful for one thing: I didn’t have twins.

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