This is the one that can push my buttons. And I his. We can be having a wonderful father-son bonding experience and within moments it can turn into something just awful.
Here's the thing: the kid never once growing up expressed any interest in movies or film or editing or the business his father used to be in. Ask him if he knows what "Rosebud" is, he couldn't tell you. Now he might as he went to film school last year. Before he didn't know a jump cut from an extreme close-up from a Steadicam or a dolly. I suspect he still doesn't know what all the positions do on a film set yet. He just started working on the crew of "Madame Secretary" last week freelance so I'm sure that's going to change and quick.
One day, I stop by to see him and he shows me a little video he shot and edited on his cell phone while he was waiting for someone to show up and let him in the house. He had lost his key. Again. It was a little story about a kid and a skateboard and I did not believe that he had just shot it and edited it alone. But he had. A senior in high school about to go off to Penn State to study Nano Biological something and he's got this apparently congenital talent. So after two years he leaves Penn State and decides he wants to make films.
As time has gone by, he has demonstrated that he possesses an almost spooky preternatural sense of filmic storytelling. And it's not limited to one discipline. His images are gorgeous. I mean "Barry Lyndon" gorgeous. He wouldn't even get that reference. Hey Thing 1, go watch Stanley Kubrick's: Barry Lyndon! He can throw together a shoot with his friends and run and gun it and it looks as slick as a beer commercial. But that's not all. His editing is sublime. He just knows how to move a story along and craft his shots into something worth watching. It's just the freakiest thing. You would think he studied Eisenstein in depth or something.. but no...just a lot of Xbox.
The really irritating thing is when he makes still images, I can't even look anymore. His pictures make mine look like they came in last at the Rego Park Camera Club kids competition. He credits me with being a big influence, I don't see it. I am grateful that he says it though.
I have a friend who was a Creative Director at Nick when Nick was good. He took one look at Thing 1's work and has had him shooting short videos for a big project for a couple of months now. And he's turned his production friends onto my son...so it's not just me being the proud dad. And did I mention the kid is fearless? He has walked into the Late Night production offices at NBC and told them he wants to write for them. He has a skit show that he shoots and appears in on Manhattan Cable TV! Bigger avocados than I had at his age.
Maybe once or twice he and I almost came to blows. He is very opinionated about a lot. Where the hell did he get that from? I must mention, however, that he very rarely ever departs my company or hangs up the phone without telling me he loves me. For as innately talented as he surely is, to my mind, that is one of his finest qualities.
Yeah, I know I seem a bit jealous. That's because I am... I can admit that. Better my kid than someone else's. Did I mention how proud of him I am? Even though he's a royal pain in the ass and often, I am very proud that he is his own person and that just maybe, he got some of that talent from me.