Juggling Family, Film and the Day Job

I love my family and I love filmmaking but sometimes it can be difficult to commingle the two together. In my last blog, I mentioned that we are working on our first feature film. Our scriptwriter wrote a script that could be filmed almost completely at my house.  We chose this because my wife had been recovering from hip replacement surgery and I have six children that I am raising at home.

With this much responsibility, it has been difficult to motivate myself to do anything but veg-out on the couch in front of the television after I have tucked in all of my children in for the night; or should I say most, my thirteen-year-old child refuses to let me tuck him in anymore ;-).  Suffice it to say I have struggled over the years getting my film shorts done on time.  I was unable to finish my 2018 Christmas film short in time for Christmas, it was released on January 31st, 2019.

Despite these difficulties, I persevere with my desire to be a successful filmmaker.  With my wife’s health continuing to improve it makes things easier.  Sometimes setbacks bring back that exhausted feeling I had from before her surgery and then after when she was recovering.

First We Plan

When we meet at my house to shoot scenes for the night we start planning before my family eats dinner.  Sometimes my wife can prepare dinner and we can spend more time planning the scenes we are shooting that night.  Sometimes my wife is in too much pain so I must take care of making dinner for my family.  After dinner, we prepare to shoot the scenes for the night.


I always tuck my twin six-year-olds into bed before we begin filming. The eight, nine and twelve-year-olds usually hang out with their mom in our bedroom watching television until bedtime. After the twins are tucked in we will start filming.

We take “five” right around my eight and nine-year-olds bedtime so I can tuck them in.  If they are lucky I lose track of time and they can stay up a little late. After this short break, we will continue filming until it is time for me to tuck my twelve-year-old into bed.  Of course, he is just like my thirteen-year-old and will not let me tuck him in anymore.  So instead I take a short break to tell him it’s time for bed and to say goodnight.

Xbox Woes

My thirteen year old will usually play video games online with his friends during this whole time. If he’s lucky we are not filming anywhere near the X-Box and he can play his games and talk smack to his friends while we are filming.  If we need to film anywhere near the X-Box he will need to go to one of the computers and play another video game.

During one shoot we thought the location was far enough away for my thirteen-year-old to continue to play Xbox. Unfortunately, he was talking smack to his friends at an increasingly loud level that night and I had to inform him on multiple occasions to quiet down.

Getting a newly minted teenager to quiet down is an art form, suffice it to say I have not mastered it.  I was able to get him to quiet down long enough that we did get the shots we needed for the scene.  The footage we took that night looks great and sounds better than I was expecting considering how loud my son was.  We have put the rough edits together for that footage and we are very happy with the results.

It just so happens that I was creating some behind the scene selfie footage with my cell phone when we realized we needed to ask him to quiet down. I have included the behind the scene footage in this blog post, you will need to register or login to see the footage.

The Day Job

I am fortunate with my day job as I telecommute so I can be home more often for my family when they need me. This was extremely helpful with regards to my wife’s hip replacement surgery and her aftercare. However, working from home can become a hurdle when trying to make a film.

The work barrier made itself known on one particular Saturday that we were planning to shoot.  My work called me while I was driving before the shoot, being a model employee I ignored the call.  To be honest, I rarely answer my cell phone while driving, I am not a fan of the distraction. 

After some time my boss called me.  Fortunately, I had just parked the car so I could answer. It would seem they found an issue in the software we develop and we needed to push an emergency release as soon as I was home.

Luckily, this was a relatively small update and pushing the new release was quick, but there have been times were an emergency release such as this has taken hours to complete.

Progress Made

We are very happy with the progress we are making shooting and editing the feature film. I will continue to update you with our progress. Be certain to register or login to view the behind the scenes footage included in this blog post.

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