Thursday, 26 April 2012

dangling your toes in the water

When you're a kid, your parents are always trying to teach you things.  Some of them you pick up of course, but others you completely ignore.  And then, when you're in your thirties, you'll wish that you had paid attention and learned those things. 

My Dad especially was/is always generous about sharing his skill and knowledge with me.  Over the years he has taught me how to drive, negotiate, shingle a house, make my own shoes, compose a photo, and appreciate the luxuries in life.  Still, there are things I wish I had learned from him when I had the chance.  For instance, he used to have a sailboat when I was little, and was always offering to teach me and my sister how to sail.  I was usually preoccupied with dangling my toes in the water off the bow and didn't want to learn how to do anything but just sit there and enjoy the sensations of water and wind and sun.  But now?  Boy, I wish I knew how to sail. 

north shore - mrll 2011
 Recently I've been watching all the nominated films for the Vimeo Awards, prompted by the fact that a very talented filmmaker friend, Millefiore Clarkes, is up for an award in the lyrical category.  You can watch her brilliant and beautiful film, December in Toronto, here

Watching all these incredible short films has brought to mind another thing I wish I had really learned from my Dad when I had the chance.  Up until I was around twenty-two, my Dad worked in the film industry.  He started out as a cinematographer, then worked his way into directing, and later producing.  When he began, he did everything himself, so he knew about lighting, art direction, editing, etc., which made him a great leader on set.  I started working with him when I was about twelve or thirteen, and worked on TV and feature film productions large and small right up until he got out of the business.  It was, by then, time for me to get out too.  The film industry in Montreal was a little too fast and furious for the twenty-year-old introvert that I was, and I retreated for years into yoga and free-wheeling travel instead. 

into toronto - mrll 2011
I mean, I learned a lot working on set all those years - I did a tiny bit of acting, worked in production office, and for several years as an assistant director -  but what I really wish, now that I'm interested in it, is that I had taken one of the many chances I had to get behind the camera.  There is so much that goes into making a film, you could easily spend your whole life learning about it.  I suppose, though, that it's never too late.  And inspiration goes a long way to making up for lost time...

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