“Not if I’m early.”
“If we could have till five o’clock, it would be great.”
“Sure, I’ll do some grocery shopping.”
I turn to leave. He holds me back.
“You know, Noah is really creative. I’ll let him tell you, but he’s got amazing ideas.”
As I walk to the staircase, a black ninja goes running by. The animator wheels around and takes off in chase.
“Hey, Ray! Where are you going? We have a scene to film.”
4:30…half hour to kill so that “the star” can continue filming. Every Monday, Noah and a group of kids at his school work to create a short film, under the supervision of a student teacher who is both animator and technician.
Juice boxes, fresh strawberries, massive Danish, lettuce, small steaks, applesauce…all on sale. Supper, breakfast and box lunch all ready.
When I get back to school it’s five past five.
“Hey dad.” The White Ninja slashes the air with his double katanas.
“I look cool, huhn?”
Sunday we shopped for white leotards and dollar store light sticks.
Noah was fully operational.
“I have an idea for the mask, dad. You know my old white shirts, yeah the ones that are too old, well I could use the hole you know for the head? Yeah well I could just use that to look through, you know? Not pulled down but just, just, just…wait.”
He ran off and came back with the t-shirt wrapped around his head, peering through the hole.
“I just don’t know how to make it hold you know.” He’s keeping it together in a bunch at the back of his head. I find an elastic and tie the loose ends. Two belts strapped in a criss cross on his chest to hold the sticks on his back and …. the White Ninja arises.
So today, he was fully prepared to film.
“You know what sucked dad?” He says this loudly in the school hallway.
“Noah, wait, do you walk back home in ninja costume?”
“No dad! I have to like preserve it, you know or else if something happens to it, like you know it won’t match when we do the next filming, it won’t be in ummm….”
“Yeah, that’s it, continuity.”
“So run and change and you’ll tell me all about it on the way home.”
He skips away to the bathroom. The day can’t have “sucked” that badly.
After another mind melting wait outside the bathroom, he is finally ready to head out.
“Yeah so what sucked is that you know we were supposed to have a black ninja and a green ninja and a red ninja and me, the white ninja. Yeah, so my costume is real good. Oh, I wanted to tell you dad. Thank you so much! Yeah, the animator said I looked great. You worked hard with me, yeah, you’re the best dad ever that I had.”
Love the recognition but I’m always a little embarrassed as if I feel he feels he has to tell me to appease the monster his dad is…. Ouufff!!
“Thanks again dad.”
“Yeah so, all the other costumes sucked. So you know what I told the teacher? Yeah, I had a great idea and he loved it. It was like this: I said since the costumes suck and the script like sorta sucks too, we should make a movie called, ready dad? called “The Movie about how we Failed to make a Movie.”
A script I could have written.
“Yeah, so I’m like….”
He stops walking suddenly. Needs to gesticulate. The great mass of humanity on the sidewalk practically falls over him.
“…I’m like you know saying my lines and then I turn to the camera and go like this: ‘who wrote this line it’s really bad’. You see, dad? Funny hunh?”
“A parody, a film about making a film.”
“Yeah, exactly…because it really is bad so this way bad becomes funny for like everybody. But on purpose. You see? And the title is “The Movie about how We Failed to make a Movie”. Smart huhn?”
“Yes it is.”
“Dad, when you like make your movie this summer can I like work on it?”
“I don’t know… you might find that the script sucks too much.”
“It’s okay, dad, I’m sure I’ll find it pretty good.”
Pretty good !?!
“Dad, can we have sushi tonight?”
He’s primed for the cocktail circuit. Essential talents…confidence, irony, and sushi.
The kid’s ready for a film career.