The Glamour of Goop – shooting my music video
Spent last Friday shooting day one (of two) for a music video I plan to release in the fall alongside my new CD. So many elements about the day have been staying with me … first and foremost how incredibly grateful I am to have such supportive, creative, hilarious and action-driven friends. The shoot is on a shoestring budget and is literally being pieced together by all kinds of pals I have met over the years.
The song is “Nina Doesn’t Care” a tune I co-wrote with Guitar Guy, Brian Haner, who it turns out can write a beautiful ballad as well as the edgy comedic songs he performs on stage to thousands each night. We met through my brother-in-law a few years back. So, there you go – talented family, introduces me to gifted friends …
“Nina Doesn’t Care” tells of my adjustment into motherhood. After being “adored” by little girls as ‘Belle,’ I had thought that someday when I had a daughter of my own, well, the adoration would continue. Silly me. Nina doesn’t CARE about any of that. Nor should she. Motherhood is the ultimate ego check – and rightly so. The daily reminders of this lesson make me laugh out loud.
Brian and I wrote the song when Nina was 18 months old, so in filming the story, I needed an 18-month-old to play her. Good thing I have one of those, too! WAIT! My 18-month-old, Isla (brunette with light blue eyes) looks nothing like her sister Nina (blond with dark eyes) – zeut! So I had to borrow a child … and thankfully Georgia’s 19-month old has … blond hair and dark eyes. Yay, Susannah! She was incredible! So calm and cool, and willing to play with me for the day. My own Nina plays herself at the end, and they do look alike!
The film is being produced by pal, Susan Haner (wife of Brian and producer of all his videos). From framing a shot, to directing the actress (me), to craft services, Suzy has been the grounding force.
Then my BFF, Karen’s husband, David, who happens to be the scenic designer for the famed Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, painted an enormous mermaid mural for one of our scenes – wait until you see it! Karen herself picked up every loose end at the shoot as grip, hairstylist, baby wrangler, spaghetti boiler, you name it.
Day two of the shoot will take place at my alma mater, the Orange County High School of the Arts, so that pulls in even more folks from my past.
I could keep going, but the lesson here is two-fold: I am unbelievably lucky. And art is a collaboration that is like no other. Those two elements have kept my mind reeling since, well, we were “rolling film” last Friday.
I have spent many hours on the set of big budget films, and many more in the independent film world. I have lived on stage for 12 years of productions in NY and also spent 2 years and several other weeks on the set of TV productions. Nothing happens without hundreds of hands taking part. And just spending a day in production reminded me how much I love the process of creation. Teamwork. Taking things a step at a time and asking what someone else thinks (or 10 others) before coming to a decision. Having a vision is one thing, but bringing it to life, you must depend on the expertise of others.
As we move into post, I am tremendously excited that Ken Duncan (who animated the character of “Meg” in HERCULES) will be lending his 2D animation talents to the video. I’m also stealing an editor from the production offices of Triage Entertainment, and ultimately we’ll have our little film ready for viewers. All of it accompanies the CD that Georgia Stitt (my partner in crime here on Glamour and Goop) is producing and musically directing/arranging. What a life!
Obviously this project is a piece of my heart, and I am a kid in a candy store pulling all my talented pals into it (boy, will I owe some favors!). But I’ve done hundreds of productions … why is this one so special to me?
I think it’s having the chance to work with people I truly love and respect. Every last person on this project is someone I’d take a bullet for. And then, to be producing something that pulls my life as a mom (which is how I spend the majority of my time) into my performing life – I’ve never done that to this degree. And, finally, it’s the song itself. “Nina Doesn’t Care.” A song about how my daughter doesn’t really “get” what I do, and how that is a wonderful thing – and the irony that we shot the story of that song in the house while Nina was outside playing with her pal Molly. What did Nina think of the whole thing, you ask? She thought we were shooting a movie about The Little Mermaid. I thought better than to try to correct her misperception. I’m cool with it.