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Being a Mac person, I started playing with iMovie about 11 years ago after we got a video camera at our wedding. It helped a lot that 7 months after we got married we moved to Brazil where Joe got paid to travel all over South America and was supposed to document his trips. We had lots of fun making little movies about our trips and on the way, I learned the importance of, for example, getting a shot of your airplane to show leaving/arriving, leaving a little bit at the beginning and end of your shots for transitions and so on. At the time, iMovie had very little in the way of audio controls so that was a limitation but also made the entire project easier. I dabbled with Final Cut Pro a few times.

But about the time I was looking into Final Cut, I was also starting law school and not taking vacations that were really movie-worthy any more. And around this time, I started watching Buffy. I think I watched every episode about 3 times - once for the story, once to enjoy the themes ans structure, and usually by the third time, I was appreciating camera angles and transitions and staging and so on. The whole experience made me realize that I had about zero interest in being an actor but that I would love the work involved in making a movie.

Does anyone remember Project Greenlight with Ben Affleck? I loved that show. But having kids and relationship stress dramatically shifted my interests and priorities in the last few years. Plus actually being a lawyer usually meant that work was challenging enough that work plus the kids took up any energy I had.

On a separate note, I've been watching SPN a lot lately (I had started S1 in January and then got bogged down in S3, I think.) and, because Buffistas have spicy brains, I've also been reading through the 14,000+ posts in the SPN thread since the beginning on S5. Which means that I have been dipping my toes some into the behind the scenes stuff of TV again - watching con videos and listening to the actors and writers discuss their craft.

All of that is introduction to say that I filmed a commercial for my law firm on Friday. (I should add here that I live in a small down and the commercial will air on Univision so it really was not that expensive.) The commercial is, of course, 30 seconds. Nothing, right? We had one camerman/producer, the account/network person, me and my paralegal. The entire thing was so nerve wracking!

To cut myself a little slack, I know a huge part of my particular problem was that it was in Spanish which is hard for me to memorize in. But still, I realized today that regardless of any behind the camera interest I might have, I DO NOT have the personality of an actor. I just am way too self-conscious. I was supposed to be pretending to talk on the phone and during the first take, I realized that I was making stupid faces because I was pretending. So on the second take, I tried to focus on an actual conversation but I still felt excessively animated. I think maybe I got it on the third take. And then I had to actually say a couple of lines and it was so hard to remember what to say and smile and have my arms int he right place, etc. And at the end, J and I said something together and one would screw up and then the other one would and so on. I think we got it after 2-3 takes, but still, the whole thing was stressful.

After we were all done, I insisted on going and having a nicer than normal lunch because I was just worn out. From a 30 second commercial. So if I ever leave the law business and become a documentary film maker, it will be strictly behind the camera!
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June 2012

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