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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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The whole thing boils down to a battle between Joe's primary specialty - Military Intelligence - and his secondary - the FAO thing.  Joe called a friend who works at the FAO branch and they totally want him.  They think he is the perfect guy for the job, more qualified than any one else, totally has the experience for it, and would slot him today if possible.

BUT, he needs to be released by his primary branch first.  The good news is that they all work for the same person these days, the two branches, that is.  The bad news is that, according to the FAO guy, Joe has a fantastic record for tactical intelligence stuff (read: deployment!) and MI branch will very likely resist letting him go.

The good thing is that because of this recent reorganization, there is one decision maker instead of two colonels arguing over it. The bad news is that Joe has done well over the years and his tactical experience and his consistently high evaluations mean that the MI people will certainly feel that he belongs in the "real" Army instead of going off and playing diplomat.  

I guess this is the part where the persuasion comes in.

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 So, this is one of those things that has, optimistically, a 10% chance of actually happening, but it would be so cool if it did happen that I can't get it out of my head.  I"m hoping if I write it down here, I can go on and on without feeling too embarrassed and then forget about it.

Joe told me last night that there are three openings for Army officers in Brazil next summer.  One is in Brasilia (totally not interested, super boring capital filled with boring bureaucrats and interesting diplomats who you can't socialize with) and two are in Rio.  Of the ones in Rio, one of them is for an instructor at the school Joe graduated from when we were there!  

Now, there are a few reasons why Joe would be awesome at this job.  He speaks fluent Portuguese, he graduated from the school, and the Brazilian officers loved him.  Also, the school is in a great location (on the beach, right next to the Pao de Acucar).  Even though all our friends there are now living elsewhere, there's still a decent sized military/government/expat community in Rio, plus it's a really cool city.  And, we could afford a maid to clean the house probably every day!  And there's fresh mango and passion fruit juice on practically every corner!  And you don't have to drive because there is gret transportation and they deliver almost anything you buy!  We could take Ellie to the Amazon without spending a fortune and show her (and the baby) all sorts of cool things!  I have no idea if I could work or not (visa issues) but I'm sure I could find something to do.  

Now, here are the reasons why it won't happen.  Our current tour is technically 2 years long (that would be up next summer) but because they consider PR an overseas location, the Army wants us to stay for 3 years to get their money's worth out of moving us and all our stuff here.  This could be waived, but it's very easy for the decisionmakers to use it as a reason to say no.  Also, even though Joe was a really awesome "Foreign Area Officer", the Army really wanted him back in the operational world.  So, the foreign stuff is considered his secondary specialty, meaning that the Army could (and technically should) exhaust all their options with Portuguese speaking primary-foreign officers before looking to Joe.  But, there aren't that many Army officers that speak Portuguese well enough to actually teach classes and Joe is one of them (plus two of them will already be needed in country at the same time).

Seriously, I doubt it will happen.  The timing is off and that makes it hard.  But if anyone could make it happen, it would be my husband.  I've never met someone who was as talented as he is at convincing people to give him what he wants.  He is just kind, persistent, and sincere enough that it happens for him on a regular basis.  So, because of who he is, I can't totally just call this impossible.  Still, it almost certainly won't happen and I need to accept that.


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June 2012

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