No Mist Lasts Forever
Another movie has wrapped, another cast, crew, and group of friends has scattered the way they always do, and the sun of “real life” has burned through the nine week mist of my most recent job. As the years go by, this inevitable ending has become both easier and harder to handle. On the one hand I know our paths will cross again as they always do, but on the other, I know that we have been on an adventure that is nearly impossible to convey to those who weren’t involved and that the small patterns and routines we developed in those nine weeks, now have nowhere to go but memory.
I think that “real life” might be the wrong term, for isn’t it all real? It might seem slightly fantastical that my real life could include hanging with super heroes and aliens while working on “The Avengers”, horses and trains while on “The Lone Ranger”, and crazy frontier women on “The Homesman”, but the truth is that for months on end, those were my realities. There really is a mist that envelopes the cast and crew of a film set and if you’re lucky, it is an amazingly beautiful one, filled with creativity, laughter, and people working exceedingly long hours together, towards a common vision and goal.
The trick is to then somehow blend that world with the one that is made up of your home, city, family, friends, and all that makes you who you are when you aren’t on that film set, doing that job. It is easier said than done as neighbors watch your house, mail piles up, and friend’s calls go unreturned for weeks. After ten years in the business, it is a balance I am still trying to perfect but which has become a bit easier over the years.
When I was younger I went to great lengths to separate these two sides of my life, for what reason I’m not sure. I felt that movies were my job and that was all and I didn’t want them taking over my “real life”, which turned out to be an impossible thing to ask of an industry where 80 hour weeks are normal. Eventually I began to accept this insane, gypsy lifestyle filled with other amazing movie gypsies, as a very real and large part of my life, and only then did the two sides of myself have a chance to work together to create a whole, happy, and fulfilling “real life”.
As this job ends and the inevitable weeks of mail opening, sleeping, and phone calling begin, I feel nothing but gratitude for the path I have stumbled upon. I look forward to when my path crosses with those of dear friends somewhere down the road, on a misty morning, probably outside of the catering tent on day 1 of shooting.