Friday, October 11, 2013

A+ Hollywood

Yesterday I dropped into an alternate universe: the set of a Hollywood movie that was being filmed by an A plus filmmaker. As any and all photography was prohibited - and my iPhone charge was plummeting like the Congress's popularity ratings - there was no way to digitally immortalize this unique window into a highly developed art form.

OK, so the director and the actors were mesmerizing, but equally fascinating was what went on behind the scenes. The beehive of people with electronic contraptions strapped to every body part to communicate effortlessly across sound stages, the graceful choreography of multi-pronged logistical maneuvers, and last but not least, the food. Class acts require class menus and abundance was an understatement. Fish - chicken - sushi - roast beef - tofu, veggies of all kinds, not to speak of the snack table on the set; always replenished to prop up lagging blood sugar (or greed in my case) for the crew, with an array of food that surpasses the contents of my refrigerator on its best days.

At the moment I'm producing a documentary funded by thin air. In contrast to the culinary comforts of Hollywood with a capital "H," our miniscule crew often shares a bag of almonds for lunch, or Luna bars, even though I am the only female. (For the uninitiated, Luna bars are made for women, though none of the males working on the doc have grown breasts from eating the Luna bars supplied by moi.) And fawgettabout any snacks.

Despite the obvious differences in budgets, the legendary skill of the A+ director and his superb crew, and the size of the audience that will hopefully see this movie - compared to a small documentary born of relative novices - there are similarities that apply across not only films large and small, but all human endeavors.

Gifted or powerful people can't manifest visions without a team to support those thought pictures that are born at an undisclosed time and place. Understanding this interdependency means valuing every effort equally. No one is better or inferior than the next one. 

The whole truly is greater that the sum of the parts. (Was that something gleaned from a math curriculum or simply a platitude wrenched from the collective unconscious?) Knowing or understanding that truism, one can develop real self-worth and regard for others as well.

In the meantime, the afterglow of a day in fantasy land continues to warm the cockles of my heart. We may all be equal, but there is nothing like the magic of movies to forget it all...


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