Being away from home and family for extended periods of time sucks. Years ago I had lunch with a director who had just come back from shooting his second feature film in Germany. He said to me "...as exciting as you think being a director might be, in the end the reality is you spend huge amounts of time by yourself in hotels rooms far away from family and friends..." It seemed like a weird thing to say at the time, I was desperate to make a feature or anything longer than a short, but the honesty of the comment has always stayed with me.
Since then I've found myself on many occasions in that exact situation with his comment ringing in my ears. As much as I love the exploratory and immersive aspect of filmmaking and the fact that it has taken me places and given me experiences that I could only have dreamed about at that lunch ten years earlier. Alot of the time the reality is your distant from the people you love. And I must add, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
This isn't a whinge, I love what I do too much to ever really complain, it's just a post about one of the flip sides. I know alot of directors, actors, cinematographers, producers and all crew feel it too at times. Not to mention other friends who have work that takes them away from home for long periods of time. The work / family balance is always a trick to get right, but when you are immersed in a project in another city or country, the balance is near impossible to get right.
Last weekend I flew back home to Melbourne for a night with the kids. The highlight was sitting wedged between the two of them on the couch watching Star Wars. The next morning while Ollie was a birthday party, Rosebud and I had waffles at one of our favorite cafes Luncheonette. The photo below of her laying down she is demonstrating to me how she can count to hundred... It takes a fair while for a six year old to count to a 100. I think she is at 67 in the snap. Precious moments.