It’s late Saturday night and I just cut the last thread on the graduation quilt I have been making since January for my son Sudi. I made a quilt for each of my children when they completed high school. I discovered the Native American graduation quilt tradition at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii where I watched a brief film in which Navajo families gave quilts to their children when they graduated. I loved the idea and adopted it. Sudi is the baby so when he goes we’ll have that proverbial empty nest.
For Sudi’s senior project he chose to make a short film. Not a surprise, since Ron has his degree in film and Sudi plans to study filmmaking in college. He will be attending California College of the Arts in Oakland, where he has been offered a fine creative achievement scholarship, to study media arts. Like his father before him, he can’t make up his mind if he wants to go into visual art, video, film, audio, music, animation, etc. So he figures that the best way to combine all his interests is to study film. He said he chose to make a film for his senior project because he has never made one and he wanted to see if he could do it. He wrote a plot, storyboarded, asked a friend to be his production assistant, got permission to film in a local bookstore, cast his actors, borrowed a camera, dug Ron’s Universal Studios scene-identifying clacker out of a box in the basement, and became a director. When he returned home from his first day of filming, I asked how it went. “It was OK,” he said, “but not what I expected.” I asked him if he had run into any problems. “Well, yeah,” he replied, “the biggest problem is that I have no idea how to make a film.”
Have a look at the film, which he posted on YouTube, and see if you think he had no idea. I confess, I cried when I saw it because it’s pretty damn good for a first go from a seventeen-year-old, and because I’m a Jewish mother. My son is so talented. The most impressive part, to me, is that he composed and performed ALL the music in the film, staying up late at night in his bedroom, playing all the instruments (plus voice) into a microphone, and mixing them with the computer program Audacity (a very basic, simple sound program). He played back what he had done with one instrument, listened on the headphones, and played the next instrument, laying one track over another. He had practically every instrument in the house back there. Ron and I would be trying to go to sleep and he’d be at it on the drums or a ukulele he borrowed from a friend.
I’m a proud mom and I don’t care who knows it. Here’s the film, entitled Backpack. Remember to click HQ for the high definition version (or else it will be blurry).