lights, camera, action

23.5 degrees.  The tilt of the earth on it axis, the axis which points directly toward the Sun. The pointing happens twice a year during Earth’s orbit and today in the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year. 

And we are in the first day of filming.

Repetitious backstory: We travelled far too long on Friday, found a place to sleep and headed out again on Saturday.  It was Jersey that defeated me!  We crossed the George Washington Bridge, AKA George Washington Parking Lot, just after all light was gone and were dumped into maelstrom of Jersey highways.  Given too many signs that all seem said the same thing, or to be fair, slight variation of road numbers and directions that contain no logic to one no longer a Jersey whisperer. I took a wrong exit, recognized the mistake immediately and searched for a way off the speedway.  When I recalibrated and got back on the road, I found I was traveling at 50 MPH where others travelled at 70 MPH.  I could have pushed myself at 50 but I couldn’t keep up with 70.  I needed sleep.

A day and a half later, Monday now, filming has begun and Julia is not enjoying it.  The crew seems to have bought into Sarah’s grand scheme of using Julia to play a character with autism, bringing all of herself to every shot, and so there is lots of patience for and with Julia. Lots of praise and high 5’s when she complete a shot. However, so far no shot has been easy or quick.  For every new experience in her life, Julia has said, no, no, no, no, no and then enjoyed it.  We are still in the ‘no’ stage. I don’t know how long it will take until enjoyment sets in.  

Sarah perseveres.  I read extra stress in her demeanor although I may just be projecting my own.  To me, Julia seems tougher than usual, but admittedly I have not watched her refuse to be cooperative in school during which I suspect that the most recalcitrant behavior has been displayed on a daily basis.  

After a morning getting two or three shots, Julia, in high dudgeon, kicks a small, glass fish bowl full of water, rocks and a fake fish down a flight of stairs.  She does not want to following anyone’s directions.  The sound of breaking glass bumping down stairs surprises Julia.  She is taken aback and the indulgent, bad mood is broken although we don’t know this yet.  A moment of incredulous silence later, Julia and Sarah and I talk seriously about stopping.  True to form, Julia doesn’t want to stop and go home.  She wants to keep filming.  Julia feels awful and for a moment she is clear and very present.  She apologizes to Sarah.  The crew cleans up and a new shot is set up. 

The day is long and as the sun goes down, the last shot of the day is Julia playing her cello.  She plays a short piece that was written for the film and that she has worked on for a week.  She looking completely comfortable and cooperative playing her cello.  The crew around her is silent and the cello is the only sound.  For a moment, all is exactly as Sarah hoped it would be. 

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