In case you haven't heard, I'm in Rome during a good chunk of Aventura's principal photography. "Student producer"? Here's where the "student" overrides the other half, unfortunately. It's a two-week trip to cover four units of the honors program I need to graduate this spring.
When you're a student producer, you're essentially the mom of the film. It's very hands-on. Not being there feels like...well, I feel like I'm a babysitter that just walked out on the kid she's supposed to be supervising.
However, like most parents, I also feel an indescribable amount of pride. Shoot, that film took off. I was there in the beginning to make sure all systems were a go, and now look at Aventura! The best part about film is that its basic tenet is collaboration. Its success isn't tied to any one person; it's a group of dedicated crew members that believe in a vision and are willing to work hard to make it a reality. Aventura is a reality now; something we've been praying about and working ourselves to the bone for these past few months.
All of the aventureros are giving a a lot more than was asked of them, and it overwhelms me by the selfless examples others are setting. That's what kills me the most about being in the other hemisphere right now. More than the memories and the crazy bonding experiences - I want to be there to pull my weight in the actual principal photography. I care so much about the people I've been working with for the last half-year or so on this production. We've all given so much blood to Aventura, but in a weird sense it's also reciprocally life-giving. That's why I felt so blank on that 10+ hour Air France flight. I love where I'm going, but the leaving part sucks. It canceled out.
I don't know why I ever thought it would be simple to transition out. From the very first pre-pro meeting when we decided Aventura would be a feature film, we were planning around my overseas absence. "Oh yeah," we joked, "We'll Facetime Hannah on someone's iPhone, gaff-taped to a C-stand with a PA bearing it around."
In everything I thank God for the Aventureros. They've been encouraging me in my motto for this season of life: "faithful and present." I'm still working on living in this moment, here in Rome, without trying to astrally-project part of myself to LA with all my wistfulness. I guess I count it as a blessing, in a weird way, that my team is made up of the type of people to make it a real battle.